For activists dedicated to transforming the role that money plays in our politics, these are the best of times and the worst of times. Worstas everyone knows, at an estimated $3 billion-plus the 2000 election is already shaping up as the most expensive in history, and Congress has shown no signs of passing any serious re-
forms. Bestthe rising clamor for change is finally being reflected by some of our leading political figures, and more important because of signal victories in several states. Without wearing rose-colored glasses, its safe to say that the movement for comprehensive campaign finance reform is making real headway.
The biggest change, of course, is how the issue has risen in the public eyestarting with the protests in Seattle and on through Sen. John McCains surprising surge in the early Republican primaries. Despite the economic boom times, a great deal of dissent is bubbling just beneath the surface at how corporate fat-cats have hijacked our democratic institutions. A 90-year-old great-grandmother, Doris Haddock (aka "Granny D"), became a folk hero for walking across the country for reform; later, after she was arrested (with 30 others) inside the Capitol Rotunda for trying to protest "crimes against democracy," a D.C. judge embraced her and praised her efforts.