"Campaign finance reform" never does "get the money out of politics." Yet, the faith that "good government" is just over the horizon continues to entice educated people, now about a hundred years after the Progressive Era.
So it is no suprise that the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (McCain-Feingold) is a flop. "Money Keeps Talking", by Julian Sanchez in the Feb 2004 Reason, includes data on money spent by the candidates in 2000 and 2004: $3,042 million vs 3,862 million. I could not find similar tallies in the major newspapers.
Big government means big stakes which means big attempts to buy influence. Smaller government is the only alternative.
That's not a serious option. The real, serious options are laid out in a recent Brookings study and involve further election campaign law reforms.