BELMONT — Some two dozen members of the New Hampshire Rebellion, a group which is walking its way from Dixville Notch to Nashua in support of campaign finance reform, set out from the Belmont Park and Ride lot in Sunday morning's snowstorm on the ninth day of their journey across the state,
Led by the Dr. Lawrence Lessig, Harvard constitutional law professor, the organization started its walk in early January while paying tribute to the legacy of New Hampshire's Doris Haddock, better known as "Granny D", whose 14-month cross-country walk which started on New Year's Day, 1999, brought national recognition to her and her cause when she arrived in Washington, D.C. in 2000..
The 185-mile walk, which covers about 13 miles a day, will wrap up this Friday in Nashua with a birthday celebration for Haddock, a Laconia native who died in 2010 shortly after her 100th birthday.
''We're taking up the fight by continuing Granny D's walk,'' said Lessig, who stated the march will continue the next two years and into the New Hampshire Primary in 2016, during which every presidential candidate at every event in New Hampshire will be asked the same question. ''How are you going to end the system of corruption in Washington?''
Lessig says ''we're not talking about people who are corrupt. We're talking about a system which is corrupt. That's what polls show people think about what's wrong with campaign financing and we want to build support to change that system..''
He says that New Hampshire, due its having the first in the nation primary and with a record of being fiercely independent, also is one of the only states in the country that has an express right to revolution in its Constitution.
''That puts New Hampshire in a unique position to restore integrity, transparency and responsibility to a broken and corrupt political system,'' says Lessig, who points out that the Supreme Court's Citizen United decision has opened the floodgates for anonymous political contributions.
Among those joining the march was Olivia Zink of Franklin, who says she was inspired by the march and wanted to help out by taking part. She is the program director for the Coalition for Open Democracy, which is headquartered in Concord.
Also marching was Dan Weeks of Nashua, who attended Con-Val High School in Peterborough and says that a visit Granny D made at his high school where she talked about campaign finance reform left a lasting impression on him,
''I've always wanted to do something which could have an impact for the better on people's lives since that time and I see this at that kind of opportunity,'' Weeks said.
Yet another marcher was 58-year-old Cornelia Sargent of Claremont, who has been blind since she was 21 and still manages to run the Porter Sergeant Publishing Company put of her home. She told her fellow marchers not to worry about her and that if they thought she needed any help or guidance along the slippery highway all they would have to do was touch her right shoulder from behind to give directions.
Also lending his support, although unable due to his knees to walk long distances, was State Rep. Leigh Webb of Franklin, who said that he was heartened to see such a good turnout in bad weather and was looking forward to marchers returning and keeping the issue alive during the state's presidential primary.
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NH Rebellion marchers walk along Rte. 106 en route from Belmont to Canterbury Shaker Village as part of statewide walk to call attention to campaign finance reform. About two dozen marched during Sunday's snowstorm. (Roger Amsden/for The Laconia Daily Sun)
Harvard College Professor Dr. Lawrence Lessig talks with NH Rebellion volunteer Dan Weeks of Nashua, State Rep. Leigh Webb of Franklin and volunteer Alex Mazzola (holding sign) of Boulder, Colorado, prior to Sunday's march from the Belmont Park and Ride to Canterbury Shaker Village as part of campaign finance reform drive. (Roger Amsden photo The Laconia Daily Sun)