If you aren’t familiar with Doris “Granny D” Haddock, think of her as a modern-day Paul Revere. He, of course, raced from Boston to warn the Minutemen that British troops were coming. Haddock’s “midnight ride,” completed at age 90, was a 14-month, 3,200-mile walk across the country to awaken Americans to the growing corruption of our democracy by wealthy special interests, and to enlist modern-day patriots to fight it.
On Saturday, Aug. 12, a nonpartisan grassroots group founded by Haddock will celebrate her and enlist new supporters to her cause with a six-mile walk starting soon after 9 a.m. near her former home in Dublin. The walk will end in Peterborough with a rally, live music, and a pizza lunch. Please join us!
Haddock died at age 100 in 2010, but she would not have been surprised today that the United States spends nearly three times as much for health care as comparable advanced countries without getting better overall care. Nor would she be surprised by how polarized Congress is, or by its seeming inability to debate and pass multi-partisan, fair, affordable and workable solutions to health care, the economy, and other challenges.
Most importantly, recent events would never have made Haddock stop fighting. When she began her walk, many dismissed her as an out-of-touch dreamer and considered her cause futile. Fourteen months later, several dozen members of Congress walked some of the final miles to the U.S. Capitol with her, and Congress soon passed the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform act.
Haddock didn’t stop. Not long after her walk, she was arrested while reading the Declaration of Independence as part of a protest inside the Capitol. In court, she told the judge she chose the Declaration “to make the point that we must declare our independence from the corrupting bonds of big money in our election campaigns.”
It was her first arrest, and she acknowledged that it put her good name at risk, which she did not take lightly. But, she said, “some of us do not have much power, except to put our bodies in the way of an injustice _ to picket, to walk, or to just stand in the way. It will not change the world overnight, but it is all we can do.”
Kazi posted this on behalf of Joe Magruder, a retired journalist and New Hampshire Rebellion member since 2013.
The past nine months have been a whirl of activity, largely due to political events that have changed the legislative landscape both here in New Hampshire and in the nation.NH Rebellion and Open Democracy are committed to developing and promoting legislation that will strengthen democracy, increase transparency, and improve accountability. All these principles are threatened in the current political climate. Throughout the past year, our Legislative Committee has been meeting regularly to assess these challenges, while our Open Democracy Action group has been defending and advocating for our priorities. The following is a summary of past highlights.Read more
6-mile NH Rebellion March to End Big Money in Politics.
Dublin --- Supporters of clean election reform will participate in a Granny D Memorial Walk from Dublin to Peterborough on Saturday, August 13th. Walkers will depart at 9:15 am from Cobb Meadow Road, near Granny D’s home, for a 6 mile walk ending in Depot Square Park in Peterborough. At the conclusion, food and entertainment will be provided. The public will be invited to share poems, stories and memories of Granny D.
Born in Laconia on January 24, 1910, Granny D began her political activism in 1960 when she and her husband, James Haddock, successfully campaigned against planned hydrogen bomb nuclear testing in Alaska, saving an Inuit fishing village at Point Hope. Granny D and her husband retired to Dublin, New Hampshire, in 1972 and there Granny D served on the Planning Board and was active in the community.
At noon, a program will take place at Depot Square (12 Depot Square, Peterborough NH 03458)
Program will include:
• Music by Tattoo (Fred Simmons & Leslie Vogel), Granny D's "personal band"
• Granny D Memories- Chuck Weed, Pat Westwater-Jong, Marsha Morrow, Dan Weeks
• Keynote Speaker- Virginia Rasmussen, Move to Amends’ National Leadership Team
Granny D achieved national fame when, at the age of 90, she walked over 3,200 miles across the United States to advocate for campaign finance reform. After initial efforts with Senators John McCain and Russ Feingold to regulate campaign finances, Granny D forged ahead, until her death in March 2010, helping to spearhead a nationwide movement that continues to the current day with numerous groups working to overturn Citizens United and get big money out of politics.
“We are proud to continue the fight for clean elections,” said Olivia Zink, executive director of Open Democracy, the Concord, NH based election reform group that was started by Granny D more than 10 years ago and that leads the bipartisan NH Rebellion project. “Government must work for We The People,” she said.
The event is free and open to the general public. For more info: 661-8621 or go to nhrebellion.org
NH Rebellion is part of Open Democracy, the Concord-based nonpartisan reform organization founded by legendary NH hero Granny D. To learn more about the NH Rebellion, please visit: www.nhrebellion.org. To register for the walk please visit nhrebellion.org. To see details about the planned events, follow us on Twitter @nhrebellion and on Facebook at: facebook.com/nhrebellion.
On Saturday, July 9th, we took to the streets once again to end the corruption of big money in politics and demand the accountability that we need in our legislature.
100 rebels walked the 5 mile trek from Portsmouth to New Castle where we had sandwiches and our Rally to #EndBigMoney in Fort Constitution. There we enjoyed a reading of the Declaration of Independence. Unfortunately, we were unable to have Betti Tamposi, the former assistant secretary of state under President George H.W. Bush, join us this year so David Borden, state representative from New Castle, filled in her for by reading an op-ed that she co-drafted with Dan Weeks. In it she noted her continued support for this movement by stating, “When citizen-funded elections are paired with other bipartisan reforms like full transparency, independent redistricting, closing the revolving door and stopping super PACs, Congress will finally be able shift the balance of power away from special interests and back to the American people.”
We also enjoyed some remarks from our keynote speaker and NH Rebellion founder Lawrence Lessig. He said, “We can’t wait 20 or 30 years to solve the issues facing America. Climate change is not going to wait, and we cannot wait to solve the issue of inequality in America.” Other speakers included John Rauh, founder of Americans for Campaign Reform, and our Democracy Fellow Jazmine Langley who added a very unique perspective to the program by outlining how the issue of big money in politics stifles her demographic: young people, women, and people of color.Read more
MARCH TO END POLITICAL CORRUPTION
5-mile NH Rebellion March to End Big Money in Politics.
Portsmouth, NH - At 9:00 am this Saturday, July 9, dozens of committed "Granny D walkers" will set out from Portsmouth High School to raise awareness of the corrupting influence big money has on our Democracy.
Over the last two years, hundreds of reform-minded citizens have braved the elements and walked more than 40,000 miles across New Hampshire in a frigid “New Hampshire Rebellion" against big money in politics. Walkers from across NH marched from Dixville Notch in the north, Nashua in the south, Keene in the west, and Portsmouth in the east.
The July 9 Seacoast walk will kick off from Portsmouth High School at 9:00 AM. Reformers will be greeted in Market Square by a marching band, then will walk on to Fort Constitution for a rally at noon.
CONCORD, NH – Open Democracy, the nonprofit organization founded by legendary campaign finance reformer Doris “Granny D” Haddock in 2009, announced today that Executive Director Dan Weeks of Nashua is leaving to take the next step in his distinguished career of public service by running for public office. An announcement of his plans is expected soon.
Scanning through the hours and hours of newly-released video from our We the People Convention on Primary Weekend, I was reminded of this line:
"I came to New Hampshire looking for hope … and I got it!"
That was the actor Sam Waterston bidding farewell to the NH Rebels at the Convention. He had driven five hours through a wicked snowstorm to be with us, and he didn't waste any time speaking with Rebels, the media, and even leading our first march.
But Sam didn't come looking for publicity – he came in search of hope. And thanks to all of you, NH Rebellion has brought hope that democracy is possible to a lot more people than Sam.
Big money from special interests isn't just flooding the presidential contest – it threatens the integrity of our state races as well. That's why, as the presidential contest moves to other states, NH Rebellion is turning our attention to the blockbuster Senate race between Sen. Kelly Ayotte and Gov. Maggie Hassan, which could easily exceed the 2014 record of $30 million in negative attacks from "independent" groups – unless we intervene now.Read more
After yesterday’s New Hampshire primary results were finalized, NH Rebellion Executive Director Dan Weeks issued the following statement:
"What a day for reform!
When we launched the NH Rebellion two years ago, we had one aim: to make big money corruption the defining issue of the 2016 presidential primary.
Yesterday, we saw the results. Thanks to the tireless work of thousands of volunteers and in response to voter demand, the four top vote-getters in New Hampshire have all claimed that campaign reform is a top priority.
This is one issue that just about everybody agrees on, regardless of party affiliation. Poll after poll shows that voters agree – in overwhelming numbers – that we need to fix our campaign finance system. Multiple candidates from different political parties competing to out-reform each other is just fine with us!
Big money in politics has been the ‘silent story’ of this presidential election – and it’s becoming less silent by the day. The American people have been way ahead of the political establishment in their condemnation of how our government is being corrupted by the campaign spending of billionaires and special interest groups.
At NH Rebellion, our work is far from complete. As the primaries move from New Hampshire to other states, we will continue working with partners around the country to inject our issue into the national debate. We will also ensure campaign finance reform is addressed by candidates for state offices in New Hampshire in 2016."
After a remarkable We the People Convention, Primary Day finally arrived in New Hampshire – and what a day for reform!
When we launched the NH Rebellion two years ago, we began Walking the Talk and Asking the Question across New Hampshire with one single aim: to make big money corruption the defining issue of the 2016 presidential primary.
Today, we met our goal – thanks to We the People.
For the first time ever, the top candidates in NH claimed that campaign reform was their top priority, in response to voter demand.
On the Democratic side, Sen. Bernie Sanders' landslide 60-38% victory over Sec. Hillary Clinton was linked to Sanders' consistent condemnation of a "corrupt campaign finance system" and his calls for reform in every speech. Declaring victory in Concord tonight, Sanders said, "We served notice to the political and economic establishment…that the American people will not continue to accept a corrupt campaign finance system that is undermining American democracy."
Even so, Clinton sought to challenge Sanders' widely-accepted claim to the reformer mantle with help of a comprehensive reform agenda of her own. In her concession speech tonight, she maintained that "no one is more aggressively committed to campaign finance reform than me" and assured her supporters that "Senator Sanders and I both want to get secret, unaccountable money out of politics and [overturn]Citizens United."
Multiple candidates competing to out-reform each other is just fine with us!
On the Republican side, Donald Trump scored a decisive victory in the NH Primary under the banner "can't be bought." According to Trump's own estimation tonight, "one of the things that really caught on, it's very important, [is] self-funding my campaign" – a sharp contrast with the millions in "special interest [and] lobbyist" money being raised by his opponents. "We were not going to let it happen," he said. "We have to do something about it." Although Trump has yet to release policy specifics on this or other issues, he has consistently called for full transparency, banning Super PACs, closing the revolving door, and even expressed support for small donor citizen-funded elections in response to our demands.
Trump's runner up, John Kasich, also decried the millions in negative advertising as the "old politics" that must end, in a moving speech tonight. Under a flurry of questioning from NH Rebels around the state, Kasich has also said he would support full transparency and nonpartisan redistricting reform, and is open to banning Super PACs and passing citizen-funded elections, as recommended by the late Republican senator Warren Rudman. Not far behind him, Jeb Bush just yesterday joined former candidates Lindsay Graham and Jim Gilmore in supporting a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United – no small feat for a Republican in today's climate.
All four leading candidates received the highest scores of any credible candidates on NH Rebellion's preliminary Candidates Scorecard.
Our work as a reform movement is far from complete. As the primaries move from New Hampshire to other states, we will continue working with partners around the country to inject our issue into the national debate, we we'll ensure it also gets addressed by state candidates in 2016.
Next up: Democracy Spring!
But tonight, we pause to celebrate how far we've come together. Together, we will #FightBigMoney – and win!
The NH Rebellion Team