Instead of campaign finance reform (yeah, like that’ll really happen), re-write how campaigns are actually run. De-fang the horrible wholesale politics (broadcast/scattershot attack ads) and force an emphasis on retail (personal, issues-oriented, face-to-face):
If I ran the zoo, campaign ads would have a minimum length and maximum frequency and would be aired by the broadcasters as a condition of their license to use the public airwaves. Out with the 15 second attack every hour, and in with the 15 minute presentation of ideas, of things you’ll do, not what you say the other guy did. [From Ezra Klein: Political Science Abstract of the Day: Smear Me Edition]
The reason candidates need so much money (incumbent Senators need to raise something $15k/week for their whole 6 year term) is to fund these nasty ads. By making them longer, I think it removes the cheap shot potential, and by making the broadcasters run a specific amount of campaign advertising as part of their license, we remove that barrier to entry for more candidates, ie someone besides lawyers and industralists.