It’s not like Senator Jeff Smith (D-SD4) actually thought, when he filed a bill proposing public campaign financing, that it might pass. But you have to put these ideas out there and get people used to hearing about them. Another Jeff–by the name of Harris (Rep., D-HD23)–had the same notion when he filed a bill that would grant control of CAFOs to the communities where they’d be located.

We’ll see how Harris fares, but Smith’s bill has already gone down in flames. At the time that Charlie Shields brought the bill up for a vote–this was before their spring break–there were many questions, plenty of curiosity. And no support. Only three other Dems were on the floor when the vote was called, and two of them (Chuck Graham of Columbia, and Tim Green of north St. Louis County) were co-sponsors of the 2006 bill that lifted campaign contribution limits.

The nays were so resounding that Smith didn’t even want to ask for a roll call, lest it turn out to be 32-1. No use letting an important idea end up looking lunatic fringe.

Just bring it up again next year, Jeff, and every one of your remaining years. Do what you do so well: talk to everybody and build as much consensus as possible, both within the Senate and in the community at large.