The NH Rebellion three-day “We the People” Convention kicks off today in Veterans Park, Manchester with additional speakers, including
- Presidential candidate Gov. Jim Gilmore, confirmed to speak at2:30 pm today;
- NH gubernatorial candidate Rep. Frank Edelblut (R- Wilton NH), confirmed to speak at 1:45 pm today;
- NH gubernatorial candidate Mark Connolly (D, former NH Deputy Secretary of State), confirmed to speak at 10:00 am tomorrow;
- NH gubernatorial candidate Colin Van Ostern (D, Executive Councilor), confirmed to speak at 10:30 am tomorrow; and
- Democratic candidate in NH first Congressional District, businessman Shawn O’Connor, confirmed to speak at 2:15 pm tomorrow.
“In this campaign we have seen how the media and their pollsters have controlled the debate process and limited voters access to the candidates by continuous coverage of celebrity candidates and the highest bidders,” saidGov. Jim Gilmore. “While individuals are limited in their personal contributions, access to the debates has been controlled by the corporate media with few limitations. Now it’s time for the New Hampshire voters to reject the attempt to narrow their choices and speak.”
“The powerful interests have plenty of champions already - it's time we stood up for the people of New Hampshire and of our country,” said Executive Councilor Colin Van Ostern. “Together, we'll build a state and a country where everyone has the chance to get ahead, not just those at the top who rig the game in their favor.”
Hundreds of Granite State #FightBigMoney activists are expected to attendtoday’s session of the Convention, which also features:
- at 2:00 pm: a keynote address by Richard Painter, who served as associate counsel to President George W. Bush and is now a professor of corporate law at the University of Minnesota Law School, and author of “The Conservative Case for Campaign-Finance Reform” (op-ed in Wednesday’s New York Times)
- at 5:00 pm, remarks by John Pudner, the conservative political consultant who helped Dave Bart unseat Eric Cantor who now heads “Take Back our Republic”;
- at 7:00 pm: dinner with “Law & Order” star Sam Waterston, interviewed by veteran reformer Nick Nyhart;
- at 8:00 pm, the comedy show “Jimmy Tingle for President” with top political humorist and former 60 Minutes II correspondent Jimmy Tingle;
- at 3:00 pm: remarks by former Chief Justice of the NH Supreme Count John Broderick and Tiani Coleman, head of NH Independent Voters;
- at 4:15 pm: remarks by former Republican Congressional candidateMike Peabody of “Issue One”; and
- at 12:45 pm: a roundtable discussion with former state Sen. Jim Rubens, chair of the NH Liberty Caucus Aaron Day, and NH Rebellion activist Brian Tilton.
Full Convention schedule for today available at http://www.nhrebellion.org/friday_schedule
As-updated schedule for Saturday and Sunday available through the links at http://www.nhrebellion.org/convention.
The Convention is being held in a huge heated tent across the street from the Radisson Hotel in Manchester, NH.
National groups cosponsoring the Convention include: Avaaz, Common Cause, Every Voice, Franciscan Action Network, Free Speech for People, Issue One, People for the American Way, Public Citizen, Represent.US, the Stamp Stampede and Take Back Our Republic.
The NH Rebellion is best-known for its cold-weather “Walks for Democracy.” To date, more than 2,000 activists have walked a total of 30,000 miles to bring attention to the corrupting influence of large campaign contributions. The movement was inspired by the efforts of the legendary New Hampshire reformer Doris “Granny D” Haddock, who walked across America beginning in 1999 in support of campaign finance reform.
“This is going to be a ‘Big Tent’ event – quite literally,” explained NH Rebellion Executive Director Dan Weeks. “We’re bringing together people who hold all kinds of political viewpoints in one big heated tent just in time for the New Hampshire primary. Despite all the differences between the parties, this is one issue just about everybody agrees on. Our polling shows that 96% of New Hampshire voters believe money has too much influence over politics.”
“Our members have been working for two years to make campaign finance reform the number one issue in our presidential primary,” Weeks said. “The more money that has been poured into this election cycle, the stronger our grassroots movement has grown. People are sick and tired of thinking that our politicians only represent the big donors, and that our government doesn’t belong to the people anymore.”
NH Rebellion members have attended hundreds of events during the primary season, asking each presidential candidate “What specific reforms will you advance to end the corrupting influence of money in politics?” Candidates’ replies are available at www.QuestionR.us.
The group also sent each campaign a formal questionnaire, asking for support of six solutions to restore democracy detailed in the group’s We the People Pledge www.nhrebellion.org/pledge and members have met with several of the presidential candidates and campaigns.
“Last year’s midterm elections broke all kinds of records. Here in New Hampshire, spending by campaigns and outside groups added up to more than $106 million. This election, we’re expecting that number will double or even triple,” Weeks added. “Candidates who think they have to raise that kind of money from large donors, in order to be competitive, are going to pay attention to what their donors want in return. That’s how our government gets bought. And voters have a right to be angry about that.”
“It’s time to fix the problem, and reclaim our democracy,” Weeks said.