By Elizabeth Lindquist
In January 1999, an elderly New Hampshire lady by the name of Doris “Granny D” Haddock began a trek across the United States to raise awareness of the need for campaign finance reform.
The journey from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C., took Haddock 14 months. She was 88 when she started, and celebrated her 90th birthday on the road.
The people of New Hampshire have not forgotten her or her message. Indeed, since Jan. 11, dozens of New Hampshire residents have been marching across the state in an effort to persuade every one of their fellow citizens to ask a single question of every presidential candidate they see: “How will you end the system of corruption in D.C.?”
The New Hampshire Rebellion is a nonpartisan movement to make the root problem of systemic corruption driven by money in politics the central issue of the 2016 presidential primary. Being the first state to hold a primary each election cycle gives the citizens of New Hampshire a unique opportunity to do that.
In 2014, organizers held one march in January, from Dixville Notch to Concord. They started on Jan. 11, the birthday of late reform advocate Aaron Swartz, and ended on the birthday of Granny D, Jan. 24.
Another one-day march took place on the New Hampshire coast on July 4. This year, organizers expanded the January march to four legs, each starting in different towns and converging in one location, the state capital of Concord. This year, the marches are scheduled to end on Jan. 21, the fifth anniversary of the Citizens United v. FEC Supreme Court decision. The number of walkers doubled this year, from 207 to 420.
Wanting to participate in this rare opportunity, my husband and I joined the Portsmouth to Concord route. Helping to restore our Republic one step at a time has been a rewarding experience. Walking 10 to 15 miles per day in snow and wind has not been easy, but there isn’t one of us who is 88, much less 90, and we have not had to resort to traveling by cross-country skis the way Granny D had to in order to complete her journey.
I’d encourage anyone wanting to know about this amazing woman to read her memoir, Granny D: Walking Across America in my 90th Year. For more about the New Hampshire Rebellion, including information on the July walk and how you can help, go to www.NHRebellion.org.
From the Jan. 21-27, 2015, issue