Doris Haddock, an 90 year-old woman known to her great grandchildren as "Granny D," is walking across America from California to Washington, D. C. She left Los Angeles on Jan. 1, 1999, and walks ten miles per day. Her goal is to show Members of Congress that people care about campaign finance reform by walking in spite of her arthritis and emphysema, and by talking to as many people as she can along her way. She hopes that her effort will encourage people to contact their representatives and demand campaign finance reform. [includes rush transcript]
Granny D expects to arrive in Washington D.C. on February 29 (Leap Day). She turns 90 today.
- Doris Haddock, aka Granny D.
AMY GOODMAN: On the line with us is Granny D. She turns ninety years old today, as she walks across America to Washington, D.C. Welcome to Democracy Now!, Granny D.
GRANNY D: Thank you very much.
AMY GOODMAN: Happy birthday.
GRANNY D: Thank you. Oh, thank you.
AMY GOODMAN: Can you tell us why you are walking across the United States?
GRANNY D: I’m walking across, because I feel that our elections have been taken away by the super-national corporations and that we need to get back our government that’s of and by and for the people.
AMY GOODMAN: So you started in Los Angeles on January 1st, 1999. Where are you today?
GRANNY D: Today I’m about five miles before I get to Cumberland, Maryland. And it’s in the snow.
AMY GOODMAN: Are you skiing?
GRANNY D: Am I skiing?
AMY GOODMAN: Yes. Are you skiing, or are you walking?
GRANNY D: I’m walking, but I have my skis with me in case I need to use them.
AMY GOODMAN: So you are ninety years old today. How has this trek been for you across the country, and do you think you’ve had an impact on campaign finance reform?
GRANNY D: Well, I hope so, Amy. I have had two different presidential hopefuls that have invited me to come and talk and introduce them both: Senator McCain and former Senator Bradley. And I have been featured in the local papers across the country. I think a great many people know more what campaign finance reform is than they did before I started my trek.
AMY GOODMAN: Can you share with our listeners the twenty-five-word pledge that you’re asking politicians to make?
GRANNY D: Well, I think I have the twenty-five-word thing. It says that I agree that I will not take any campaign finance. I will not take any soft money for my campaign, that I will — here’s the words: "I pledge my vote and full procedural support to ban soft money, the $100,000 contributions to state and federal races that undermine our democracy."
AMY GOODMAN: Well I want to thank you very much for being with us. You’re expected to arrive in Washington, D.C., on leap day, February, 29th?
GRANNY D: I hope that they will look at my grannyd.com website, and they can get all the information they need. I’m going to come into Washington on the 29th, leap year day, and I hope people will come and walk with me. I will start at Arlington Memorial Cemetery at 9:00 a.m.
AMY GOODMAN: Well, I want to thank you again for being with us. That website, www.grannyd.com, as we follow Granny D across the country.