With all the attention being paid to campaign finance reform, may I suggest a solution to the problem? I'll take this as a yes.
It appears as if every political candidate is taken aback when he is thrust into the forefront of campaign ads of negative nature. Would it not be logical, not to mention fair, if the party or person who take it upon himself/herself to run negative ads must also front an equal amount (deposit) of money to pay for a rebuttal by the person or party being attacked?
This may not stop negative ads; however, I would bet my last dollar that it would substantially cut down negative ads to a manageable level. Let's call it the Public Defender Account! All would benefit; the accused, the media, the public, even the prosecutor (that is if his/her ad is fair and just!)
In closing, I would like to share a prediction for the general election: Don't relax just yet, ye of little faith. "Big Bad John" will be back in a week or two. His wings may have been shot off by the Republican Party bosses; however, as a former fighter pilot, he of all people knows when to bail out! He will continue the fight on the ground. By this I mean run on the Independent or Reform Party ticket. After all, most of his base supporters fall into this category. There is no shame in changing party affilition - there is in giving up. I'm sure John is not the type to give up. Let's just say he went into retreat to regroup and lead a new and unstoppable charge. "Braveheart" he is! So, Mr. Bush and Mr. Gore, prepare to have your boat rocked (maybe even sunk!).