Senators John McCain, R-Ariz., and Russell Feingold, D-Wis., introduced a bill in the United States Senate in January to ban “soft money” contributions that corporations, labor unions and wealthy individuals make to political parties.
Reform-minded Senators failed in the efforts to ban soft money contributions for four straight years. These Senators lacked the 60 votes necessary to override opposition filibusters.
Five incumbent Republican Senators who opposed campaign finance reform were defeated in November. And with the election of five Democratic Senators expected to support the bill, prospects of passing the legislation have improved.
McCain made campaign finance reform a key issue during the presidential primaries, a sharp point of disagreement with then Governor George W. Bush.
Bush favors a reform effort that would give union members the right to keep their union dues from being used for political purposes. Others reject such a plan unless stockholders “had the same right concerning corporate political donations,” according to the Washington Post.