With virtually every news outlet in the state reporting that House Republicans are pushing a new campaign finance bill, it's worth taking a step back and examining just how badly the Democratic leadership handled ethics reform last year. First, they passed a bill that was so poorly designed Gov. Pat Quinn was pressured to veto it weeks after calling it "historic." The revamped version addressed many of the pitfalls identified by the reform community, but still preserved -- at the behest of Speaker Michael Madigan -- the ability of the "Four Tops" and the political parties to dole out unlimited funds during the general election. Not surprisingly, the media and the GOP vocally criticized the Democratic bill. In the following months, Republicans have been able to cast themselves as the reform party and yesterday's headlines only help to solidify that image (even though a Democrat, State Sen. Heather Steans, is the lead sponsor of the new campaign finance bill in the Senate). In short, while Dems took some action last year, the GOP is now trying to run away with the issue.