Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Granny D's Rebellion to Save Democracy Continues

Soon after arriving at the New Hampshire headquarters of the Kerry/Edwards campaign in order to help do its work, I noticed, on the wall, a newspaper clipping about the US senatorial race in that state and was fascinated to learn the Democratic nominee was 94 years old.  She was named Doris Haddock but was better known as "Granny D" and had earned international attention in 1999 when walking from Los Angeles, CA, to the US Capitol to raise awareness of the need for campaign finance reform.

Haddock ("Democracy Now!")
Although the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, a.k.a. "McCain-Feingold," became law, Haddock was continuing her fight by challenging Republican incumbent Judd Gregg with a candidacy she kicked off by walking across the Granite State.

The great-grandmother authored Walking across America in My Ninetieth Year, You're Never Too Old to Raise a Little Hell and Granny D's American Century in addition to being the subject of the documentaries Granny D Goes to Washington and Run, Granny, Run! as well as of the plays Go, Granny D! and Granny D: The Power of One.  She died at age 100 but had lived to blast the decision of the Supreme Court in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.  That decision allows unlimited, corporate, independent expenditures intended to influence public elections.

Today, the third walk organized by New Hampshire Rebellion -- a division of Open Democracy, which Haddock founded -- for campaign finance reform concludes at the State Capitol in Concord.  Events along the way included a presentation by law professor Zephyr Teachout, author of Corruption in America: From Benjamin Franklin's Snuff Box to Citizens United.  Last year, Teachout ran for the nominations of the Working Families Party and the Democratic Party for governor of New York against incumbent Andrew Cuomo, who remains under federal investigation for shutting down a commission that had begun to probe some of the biggest contributors to his campaign.

Yesterday on Bloomberg TV's With All Due Respect, the Fordham University faculty member reiterated her support for a populist challenge to former secretary of State Hillary Clinton (whose previous campaigns were brimming with donations from special interests) for the Democratic presidential nomination.

The NH Rebellion is determined to ask every presidential candidate in the upcoming cycle, "What specific reforms will you advance to end the corrupting influence of money in politics?"  The voters had better elect the one who has the best answer.

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