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Torricelli bows out, b'casters relieved

Broadcasters won't lament Democratic Sen. Robert Torricelli's decision Monday
to drop a bid to retain his New Jersey seat.

Torricelli was a key proponent of campaign-reform legislation that would have
drastically discounted the rates stations can charge federal candidates for ad

A Torricelli-authored amendment passed the Senate in 2001, but it was defeated
in the House early this year.

Torricelli's poll numbers have been plunging thanks to his Republican
opponent's successful effort to draw attention to the ethics cloud hanging over
"The Torch."

Torricelli's departure from the Senate race may dampen Democrats' hopes for
retaining their Senate majority unless they can woo a former star like
ex-Sen. Bill Bradley, out of retirement.

Republicans said they will fight any attempt to replace Torricelli on the