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Courtesy photo.




Closing statement
Campaign finance reform activists host convention

02/04/16
By Ryan Lessard news@hippopress.com



 Advocates for getting big money out of politics are hosting a convention to punctuate the end of the New Hampshire primary season.

The We The People Convention will take place in a heated 500-person-capacity tent in Veterans Park in Manchester. It starts on Friday, Feb. 5, and runs through Sunday, Feb. 7. 
Open Democracy executive director Daniel Weeks says this event will be the culmination of months of bird-dogging advocacy work.
“This is our kind of closing statement for the presidential primary,” Weeks said.
He says his organization and the New Hampshire Rebellion, which he also heads, have logged a combined 30,000 miles of protest walking and his army of volunteers has asked every presidential candidate how they would get big money out of politics approximately 200 times overall.
While several pro-reform celebrities will be there, such as Ben Cohen, the co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, and Harvard professor Lawrence Lessig, Weeks says he expects presidential candidates to participate as well.
“We are expecting the candidates to attend. At least a number of them should be there,” Weeks said. “We’ve received interest from eight of the Republican candidates and all three of the Democrats.”
He said the candidates will be invited to speak and give their respective plans on how to fix what advocates see as the effective corruption of America’s democracy. 
The event will kick off at noon on Friday and will feature conservative speakers and Republican candidates. The following day will be dedicated to progressive speakers and Democratic candidates and Sunday will feature a mix of speakers. On Saturday, there will also be a march from the tent to Saint Anselm College ahead of the GOP debate taking place there.
“We want to send a statement from New Hampshire that this is a major issue, a top priority, for the 2016 election. We want what happens in New Hampshire to continue throughout the country as the election becomes a national one, so that candidates have to address this issue and really give substantive solutions,” Weeks said.
As Weeks first announced the event was taking place, NH Rebellion also released a scorecard ranking the presidential candidates on their publicly stated positions surrounding a host of issues related to money influencing politics. Democrat Bernie Sanders received the highest grade overall while Republican Donald Trump received the highest grade among the GOP candidates. New Hampshire Rebellion is a nonpartisan organization and will not be endorsing any particular candidate. 





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