After an hour of circling Laconia and Meredith I intercepted the NH Rebellion walkers on Parade Road in the northern reaches of Laconia at about noon today. There were several dozen of them, perhaps half of whom had set out from Dixville Notch a week ago. Others joined later, or were like me just there for the day.
Walking in the spirit of Doris “Granny D” Haddock, who was born in Laconia in 1910, the rebels aim to oust corruption from American politics by sparking an irresistible demand for reform of our money-driven election process.
The idea of the NH Rebellion was hatched by Larry Lessig, author of Republic Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress—and a Plan to Stop It. Speaking at a late lunchtime rally at Laconia’s Vintage Cafe, he said polls indicate 96% of Americans believe we need to reduce the influence of money in politics. “There is no other issue in America that unites us like this,” said Lessig,
One rebel told me he likes the fact that the effort speaks to the concerns of liberals and conservatives. When I asked if he had met any conservatives on the walk, he could think of one. There’s still time.
The aim of the Rebellion is to get New Hampshire voters to ask presidential candidates, “How are you going to end the system of corruption in Washington?”
Today’s turnout was largely people from other states. I met people from New York, California, Massachusetts, and Colorado.
Vermonter Ben Cohen came with his dog, Riley, to walk for the day and support the movement to get money out of politics. “It’s all about corporations using unlimited amounts of money to buy politicians,” he said to the packed crowd at the Vintage Cafe. It’s entirely feasible, Cohen believes, for a mobilized New Hampshire electorate to “create a situation where the presidential candidates have to address the issue.”
Yes, there were a few Granite Staters among the walkers and supporters. Dick Pollock, from Conway, called the effort the most important thing he’s done. That’s why he’s taking two weeks off from his normal activities to drive a support van. And as the walk heads south through Concord and Manchester to its conclusion Friday in Nashua, the walkers expect to sign up more New Hampshire residents. Lessig thinks 50,000 is a good goal by Primary Day, probably sometime in February 2016.
For more information on the walk and related events, or to enlist in the Rebellion, visit www.nhrebellion.org.