New polling finds that Granite Staters overwhelmingly support proposal to reduce the power of big money in politics

CONCORD: A new poll shows that two-thirds of New Hampshire adults support public financing of elections to reduce the influence of money in politics. Public financing had 67 percent approval overall and majority support among Democrats, Republicans and independents, according to the University of New Hampshire poll for the nonpartisan Coalition for Open Democracy and our project NH Rebellion. Only 7 percent opposed public financing, while 26 percent didn’t take a position.

National polls also have shown strong support for giving all voters more equal influence in elections.

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March to End Political Corruption

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.


Thank you to all of our July 9th NH Rebellion Walkers!

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. 

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Faithful Democracy Event

Manchester Public Television | January 20, 2016By Franciscan Action Network and Open Democracy | Read the full article here.


‘Monitor,’ Change.org seek questions from voters to pose to candidates

Concord Monitor | January 14, 2016Read the full article here.


2016 State House Look Ahead: Legislator Roundtable

New Hampshire Public Radio | January 11, 2016Read the full article here.


"I came to New Hampshire looking for hope..."

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. 

waterston.pngBut 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. 

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Franciscan Action Network Statement of Support

As people of faith, we recognize the responsibility of government to seek justice for all people and to build the common good. Justice cannot be achieved unless the rules governing the democratic process are just and fair for all. Central to that process is a citizen’s vote—not limited by the powers of money, social class, and unequal access to public media. 

Money has always played a role in electoral politics, but what kind of role it plays should be subject to regulations that reflect ethical and democratic values. Most important, it is necessary to have policy safeguards in place which ensure that more than just the wealthiest interest groups have a voice in the public sphere.

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My Turn: Volunteers push for an end to governing under the influence

The Concord Monitor | January 20, 2016 | By Arnie Alpert and Kathleen McQuillen | Read the full article here.


NH House Votes to Pass, then Kill, Bipartisan Bill to Fight Big Money in Politics

Bill to Overturn Citizens United Blocked, Despite Thousands of Citizen Calls to Legislators 

New Hampshire reformers won a major bipartisan victory today when the NH House voted 156-152 to pass SB 136, a bill calling for a constitutional amendment to overturn the Citizen’s United Supreme Court decision allowing unlimited spending in elections.  The vote, which followed a unanimous NH Senate approval of the bill last March, would have made New Hampshire the 17th state – and the first with Republican majorities – to officially take a stand against Citizens United.

That vote, however, was quickly reversed through a highly irregular process in a reconsideration vote.

Open Democracy Executive Director Dan Weeks said his organization is investigating the circumstances and urged reporters and concerned citizens to do the same.  The Legislature’s website does not include the original roll call vote to pass the bill; so at this point, citizens are not able to see which Representatives switched their votes on the measure.

The House consideration of the bill was marred by an apparent failure of legislators’ voting machines.  At one point, it was reported that the voting machines showed 24 members as present when they were not in the room; and Representatives were forced to vote verbally, one by one. 

“New Hampshire citizens are frankly disgusted with the amount of special interest money flooding our elections, and SB 136 was an important first step in addressing that problem,” Weeks said.  “We need to protect the First Amendment rights of ordinary Americans to speak and be heard.  As things stand now, citizens are being shouted down by big spenders with an agenda of their own.”

According to the Open Democracy Index, released by Open Democracy in July 2015, $106 million was spent in New Hampshire during the 2014 elections by candidates, parties, and third-party groups – the highest level of election spending in state history.  That political spending equaled more than $200 per vote cast.

More than half of the total spending came from so-called “independent” groups, with the majority of their funding coming from out-of-state and/or undisclosed sources, according to the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics.  New Hampshire’s 2014 U.S. Senate contest also ranked as the most negative race in the country with over 90 percent of all television ads characterized as attacks.

To date, 69 New Hampshire municipalities have passed resolutions calling for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United.  Concern about political spending crosses party lines, with 96% of New Hampshire residents believing that money has too much influence over politics.

Members of the Open Democracy Advisory Board John Broderick and Brad Cook, the former NH Chief Justice and Republican Chairman of the Election Law Commission, respectively, had urged the House to pass SB 136.  "Although we may not agree on some issues, we both believe there is nothing more destructive of good politics and good policy than secret special interest money in elections,” Broderick and Cook wrote. “Left unchecked, it will consume our electoral process and silence the voice of the people."

As evidence of their frustration with the “big money" status quo, thousands of Granite Staters have walked 30,000 miles collectively throughout New Hampshire as part of Open Democracy’s NH Rebellion campaign.  The Rebellion activists and allied groups are also challenging the presidential candidates to support systemic campaign finance reform during the state’s first-in-the-national primary.

Leaders of New Hampshire’s Faith Community are holding a panel discussion on the issue on Wednesday, January 20th at 6:00 pm at Manchester City Hall.  Speakers include Sr. Simone Campbell of NETWORK/Nuns on the Bus and Karenna Gore for the Center for Earth Ethics.


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