Sunday, March 14, 2010

Campaign finance reform activist Granny D dies

Doris Haddock - a New Hampshire-based campaign finance reform activist better known as Granny D - died Tuesday at the age of 100.

Granny D was best known for her 3,200-mile walk across the country to support campaign finance reform. This year-long trek concluded when she was 90.

In 2004, Haddock was the Democratic candidate for Senate against right-wing incumbent Judd Gregg.

Granny D's work is of particular interest now, in light of the Supreme Court ruling giving corporations unlimited "rights" to spend on political campaigns - a ruling that gutted a century-old campaign finance law.

This ruling also raises the question of why court-packing hasn't been instituted yet. Seventy years ago, conservatives on the Supreme Court kept siding against New Deal initiatives - even though no real legal theory would have deemed these laws unconstitutional. To combat the court's legislating from the bench, President Roosevelt proposed court-packing: New Justices would be appointed in addition to the existing 9, and the Supreme Court would gradually return to 9 Justices when existing members retired or died.

The current Supreme Court is so out of step with basic constitutional law that President Obama and Congress need to enact court-packing. (Not like I expect them to.)


  1. Why doesn't Obama just dissolve congress, the Supreme Court and state governments and declare himself Supreme Ruler? He could do it if he just lines up a few key allies in the military.

  2. No he can't, because that would be illegal.

  3. That wouldn't matter if he had control of the military.