Along the way, we will recruit everyone we can to do this one thing: We want them to ask every presidential candidate at every event between now and January 2016 one question: "How will YOU end the system of corruption in D.C.?"
A system of corruption, not particular crimes. Our focus is not Rod Blagojevich; it is the system of campaign funding in which fundraising is key, and the funders represent the tiniest fraction of the 1 percent. That system corrupts this democracy. And until that system changes, no sensible reform on the right or the left is possible. Politicians may continue to play this fundraising game. But we believe that New Hampshire can change it.
As this question gets asked, we will record the responses. Literally. And post them. And through allied campaigns, we will put pressure on the candidates to surface this issue—and if we're lucky—make it central to their campaigns.
This campaign will only work if the citizens of New Hampshire care about this issue. And the citizens of New Hampshire will really care only if we can find a way to convince them that there's something that can be done about it.
Because here's the really incredible fact that we've just discovered in a recent national poll about this issue:
Ninety-six percent of America believe it is "important" "that the influence of money in politics be reduced"—68 percent believing it "very important," 28 percent just "important."
Yet 91 percent of America believes it is "not likely" that the influence will be reduced.
If we can, as Harvey Milk used to say, "give'm hope"—hope that that there's a real chance this system of corruption might change—then some of this latent energy for reform might be released. And then this, the only real hope for real reform, might be realized: an end to this system of corruption.
Since Aaron convinced me to take up this cause, I’ve written three books and given more than 300 lectures about the problem. But the walk across New Hampshire is not a lecture tour. It is a chance for all of us to talk about this issue, person to person, one citizen at a time. Most politicos believe it is not possible to convince ordinary voters to care about this issue. I believe these experts are wrong. Over the next two weeks, and twice more before the 2016 primary, as we walk across the state, we’ll see. And I will report back.
You can help. Please help. You can still join the walk. You can spread the word of the walk on Twitter with the hashtag #NHRWalk. You can sign a petition from wherever you are to push the candidates to answer this one question. You can send support that will help this movement grow.
It will always be my penance to believe that I didn't do enough for my friend. I will do more. This is the start. If we're lucky, we'll mark the third anniversary of that terrible day with the real hope that the New Hampshire primary will turn upon this issue. And if we're super lucky, we'll mark the fourth with the anticipation of a president who made it her or his issue. And won.