I had the privilege of having breakfast with Doris “Granny D” Haddock today. Granny D, who lives in the woods between Dublin and Peterborough, New Hampshire, came to Columbus to campaign for clean money in the state and to end the culture of corruption. Granny D is most famous for walking across the country at the age of 89 in support of campaign finance reform. The single greatest problem in our system is the fact that 1% of the population provides 90% of the money for political campaigns and political action committees (PACs). To clean up politics, you’ve got the get the dirty money out, particularly the corporate money, and get clean citizen-subsidized money into the process.
Granny D knows this. She was arrested twice in Washington DC demonstrating for clean funds. In 2003 and 2004, she went on a 23,000-mile tour of swing states, walking in some of the poorest and most depressed areas of the country, urging people to register and vote. She also ran for U.S. Senate at the age of 94 when no one would take on Republican Senator Judd Gregg.
Cliff Arnebeck arranged the Columbus meeting with Granny D, which included campaign finance reform activists from Common Cause and Citizen Action. All agreed on two things: that the current system is inherently corrupting whether you’re a Democrat or Republican and with a sitting criminal as governor, Ohio should become the fourth state to adopt publicly subsidized campaigns, joining Connecticut, Arizona and Maine.