Campaign 2000: The Rebel's Revenge

With a victory for campaign-finance reform, McCain is still a force to reckon with in November

With all the high-flown speechifying coming out of Congress last week, you would have thought the July 4th re-enactments had started early. "We struck a blow for freedom today," said G.O.P. Congressman Lindsey Graham. On the Senate floor, John McCain gave a similar fife-and-drum salute: "It is indeed a great day for democracy." The defeated foe: a proliferating breed of shadowy tax-exempt special-interest groups that must now disclose their political spending and donors. The patriot among patriots? McCain, who led the charge for the first successful effort to change campaign-finance laws in more than two decades.

The defeated groups began to...

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