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Progressive Campaign Reform Activist "Granny D" Dies At 100

Doris “Granny D’’ Haddock of Dublin, N.H., walked across the country at age 89 to promote campaign finance reform. (Jim Cole/AP 2004)

Doris “Granny D’’ Haddock of Dublin, N.H., walked across the country at age 89 to promote campaign finance reform. (Jim Cole/AP 2004)

A friend to AlterNet, the progressive activist known as Granny D died lastweek at the ripe age of 100. Most famously, Doris Haddock walked 3,200 miles across the United States when she was 89 to bring attention to campaign finance reform. This meant braving all sorts of landscapes -- from scorching deserts to blizzard conditions. She told the AP then, "Sometimes I think it was a fool’s errand, but I think there are more people in this country who know what campaign finance reform means since I started." In 2004, Haddock ran for Senate in her home state of New Hampshire. She lost to Judd Gregg in the Democratic primary, 66 to 34 percent. Of her attempt to win a Senate seat she said: "It comes down to this: If you want something done right today, you have to run for Congress yourself, or at least send your grandmother." Indeed. At the time of her death she was working on a memoir called My Bohemian Century, which will now be published posthumously. It is said to detail her college years, her walk across the country, and her Senate campaign. The AP reports that in the dedication to her book, Granny D wrote: "You have to keep the young adventurer inside your heart alive long enough for it to someday reemerge. It may take some coaxing and some courage, but that person is in you always, never growing old." AlterNet published a number of pieces by Granny D. Here is a sampling:
  • Granny D's Dirty Thirty: Based on soft money campaign contributions, Granny D lays out the 30 worst computer corporations, phone companies and gambling enterprises that undermine democracy. Says Granny D: "This list includes companies to which you may be loyal. I am asking you to make a sacrifice -- to take the pain of political progress upon yourself." (April 1, 2000)
  • Don't Stand In the Way of Our Joy: Charting a course for the anti-war movement and the future of democracy. (May 1, 2003)
  • Waking Up the Vote: In the poorest communities of the U.S. there are people who are alienated from our democracy. They live in another nation, almost, but they long for respect, inclusion and prosperity. (March 10, 2004)
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