Bonnie, the wonderful leader, said, "Well, Doris, what are you going to do about it?"
"Me? For heaven's sake, what can I do?"
"Well, what can you do?"
So I thought it over and remembered what Jim and I did during the Alaska campaign in the sixties. At the next meeting of the Tuesday Academy, I had a plan ready.
"We can make up a petition and send it out to all our relatives and friends throughout the whole fifty states. When we get them back, we will send them to our senators and ask for a meeting to discuss what should be done. What do you think, girls?"
I was still naive enough to think that today's senators and congressmen care what people think and would even look at our petition. Times had changed more than I realized, and politics had become far more "hardball." But we hadn't fully learned that lesson yet, so the ladies agreed to my plan. It took us two years, but we organized tens of thousands of petitions demanding campaign finance reform. We each sent them to our two senators and waited for replies.
What I got back from one of my senators was a form letter quite like the letters senators in other states were sending to others of us, saying that spending money was a form of political speech protected by the Constitution. My other senator didn't respond at all, and when I contacted him he said he never received the petitions. I sent him fresh copies of all of them. Again no response.
Excerpted from Granny D by Doris Haddock with Dennis Burke Copyright 2001 by Doris Haddock with Dennis Burke. Excerpted by permission of Villard, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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