NH Rebellion holds ‘Big Tent’ Convention to #FightBigMoney with Candidates, Celebrities


Historic three-day ‘We the People Convention’ will be held at ‘Political Ground Zero’ -- in a heated tent

In the final days before the First-in-the-Nation presidential primary, the grassroots movement NH Rebellion is bringing together presidential candidates, celebrities and voters from across the political spectrum to focus the national debate on the one issue almost everyone agrees on: the need to #FightBigMoney in politics.

For its We the People Convention to Fight Big Money – to be held February 5-7 in Manchester’s Veterans Park – the Rebellion is hosting a long lineup of speakers, candidates and entertainers who believe the influence of high-dollar political donors is corrupting our democracy.  Appearances will include:

  • Actor, producer and director Sam Waterston

  • Pulitzer-prize and Emmy-winning journalist Hedrick Smith

  • John Pudner, the conservative political strategist who helped Dave Brat unseat then-House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and currently executive director of Take Back Our Republic

  • NYTimes best-selling author and lecturer on spirituality Marianne Williamson

  • Comedian and former CBS “60 Minutes” commentator Jimmy Tingle

  • Richard Painter, who served as associate counsel to President George W. Bush and is now a professor of corporate law at the University of Minnesota Law School

  • Former NH Supreme Court Chief Justice John Broderick

  • Fordham University law professor and author Zephyr Teachout, former candidate for Governor of New York and now running for Congress in New York’s 19th District

  • NH Rebellion founder and Harvard Law professor Larry Lessig, who also founded Creative Commons, clerked for US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, and was a candidate for president during 2015

  • Congressman John Sarbanes (MD), author of the “Government by the People Act”

  • New Hampshire Congresswoman Annie Kuster and former U.S. Representatives Paul Hodes, Carol Shea-Porter and Ambassador Dick Swett

  • Activist and author Derek Cressman, whose book “When Money Talks” is now the best-selling book in Amazon’s constitutional law category

  • Ben Cohen, co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream and founder of the Stamp Stampede.

Presidential candidates from both parties have been invited to speak to the Convention, along with contenders for US Senate, the US House of Representatives and Governor.

National groups cosponsoring the Convention include: Every Voice, Issue One, People for the American Way, Represent.US, the Stamp Stampede and Take Back Our Republic.

The NH Rebellion is best-known for its cold-weather “Walks for Democracy.” To date, more than 2,000 activists have walked a total of 30,000 miles to bring attention to the corrupting influence of large campaign contributions.  The movement was inspired by the efforts of the legendary New Hampshire reformer Doris “Granny D” Haddock, who walked across America beginning in 1999 in support of campaign finance reform.

“This is going to be a ‘Big Tent’ event – quite literally,” explained NH Rebellion Executive Director Dan Weeks.  “We’re bringing together people who hold all kinds of political viewpoints in one big heated tent just in time for the New Hampshire primary. Despite all the differences between the parties, this is one issue just about everybody agrees on.   Our polling shows that 96% of New Hampshire voters believe money has too much influence over politics.”  

“Our members have been working for two years to make campaign finance reform the number one issue in our presidential primary,” Weeks said.  “The more money that has been poured into this election cycle, the stronger our grassroots movement has grown.  People are sick and tired of thinking that our politicians only represent the big donors, and that our government doesn’t belong to the people anymore.”

NH Rebellion members have attended hundreds of events during the primary season, asking each presidential candidate “What specific reforms will you advance to end the corrupting influence of money in politics?”  Candidates’ replies are available at www.QuestionR.us.  

The group also sent each campaign a formal questionnaire, asking for support of six solutions to restore democracy detailed in the group’s We the People Pledge and members have met with several of the presidential candidates and campaigns.

“Last year’s midterm elections broke all kinds of records. Here in New Hampshire, spending by campaigns and outside groups added up to more than $106 million.  This election, we’re expecting that number will double or even triple,” Weeks added.  “Candidates who think they have to raise that kind of money from large donors, in order to be competitive, are going to pay attention to what their donors want in return.  That’s how our government gets bought.  And voters have a right to be angry about that.”