This email was sent to residents along the path of the walk.
Between January 11 and January 24, you may see people walking along the south-bound side of the highway, carrying signs that refer to the “New Hampshire Rebellion.” As one who plans to join those chilly souls, I wanted to write to explain why.
This isn’t a email asking for money. Nor are any of us who are organizing this running for any political office.
Instead, this email is just the facts — with a few reasons to explain the walk, and our hope for what it might revive.
Fifteen years ago, New Hampshire was at the center of a national movement for fundamental reform.
On January 1, 1999, New Hampshire’s Doris Haddock, aka “Granny D," at the age of 88, started a walk from Los Angeles to Washington, with a single sign embolden on her chest: “campaign finance reform.” It took her 13 months, but on February 29, 2000, at the age of 90, she made it, and was greeted by thousands in Washington, including many Members of Congress who believed in her cause, and who walked with her those last few miles.
One of those believers had made her cause his cause in New Hampshire. Seven months after she began her walk, Senator John McCain traveled to Bedford, and declared that he — alone among Republicans — would make “campaign finance reform” his issue.
Money, McCain said, "corrupts our political ideals,” whether that money "comes from big business or from labor bosses and trial lawyers.” And though he was “a conservative” who believed that skepticism about government was "a very healthy thing,” McCain worried we had gone too far. Skepticism had become a “pervasive cynicism” that was “hurting our democracy.” “All of our ideals are corrupted,” McCain said. “We are all corrupted.”
I met Granny D only remotely — she was a guest blogger on my blog in 2004. And I’ve met Senator McCain only a few times, and each time, for just a few minutes. I think I can say with some confidence that it’s hard to imagine two more different souls.
Yet here they were, united in this one common belief: That if we don't change the way money mattered to politics, we are never going to see any sensible change in Washington.
Whether on the Right or the Left, it doesn't matter. Corruption isn’t a partisan issue. The system of corruption in DC doesn’t bend to the Democrats any more than to the Republicans. Corruption is an American issue. It is a democracy issue. And it raises this one question for every citizen and patriot: Can we get our democracy back?
We've decided to take up that question, to continue Granny D’s walk, along the lines of John McCain’s run.
We want to revive the movement that flourished here fifteen years ago, so that by the presidential primary in 2016, every candidate for president has been asked a single question by the citizens of New Hampshire hundreds of times:
"What are YOU going to do to end the system of corruption in DC?"
That is the aim of the “New Hampshire Rebellion.” We’re not arguing about gun rights, or abortion, or the right to marry, or climate change: Those are important issues, all. But before we can think about those issues, or any issue, sensibly, we believe we need a politics not addicted to money.
Every time a candidate speaks, whether Republican or Democrat, or anyone else, we want this question asked. We’ll capture the answers, and post them. And by the beginning of 2016, if we, as a people, are lucky, we will have a clear sense of who will carry this anti-corruption cause forward. And New Hampshire can choose, not just the next President, but the next chance for this Republic.
Or you can watch this fantastic 3 minute video about the walk by one of our volunteers HERE.
Or you can watch an 18 minute video that I did explaining why I’m in this movement HERE.
None of this is going to be easy. Neither the walk, nor this campaign.
But to borrow from President Kennedy, we don’t do this because it’s easy. We do it because it's hard. And not just because it’s hard.
We do it because if we don’t do this now — if we don’t end this system of corruption that has paralyzed our government — our government will fail. It will fail us, and our children, and the hope of democracy everywhere.
So that is why we walk — from January 11 to January 24, and then twice more before the 2016 primary.
Join us if you can. In any case, thank you for your time.