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What's Happening

The Daily Camera (Boulder)
October 1, 2000



By Christopher Anderson
Camera Staff Writer

Natural Law Party candidate John Hagelin will be on Colorado's ballot for president this November, but he won't appear in Tuesday's nationally televised presidential debate.

During a visit to Boulder on Saturday, Hagelin called it a "travesty" that the bipartisan Commission on Presidential Debates locked out third-party candidates from the forum. Tuesday's debate in Boston will include only Republican candidate George W. Bush and Democratic nominee Al Gore.

The 46-year-old nuclear physicist, who teaches at the Maharishi University of Management, said such rules would have barred Abraham Lincoln.

"They have rigged this," Hagelin said. "Democracy suffers."

But Hagelin, who said he filed a lawsuit over the matter four years ago, said he has better things to do than join protesters who plan to rally outside the event.

As Gore and Bush prepare for the debate this weekend, Hagelin is stumping in Boulder and Denver and will remain in Colorado through Tuesday morning....

Hagelin believes Boulder voters especially can appreciate his platform, which includes promoting renewable, safe non-polluting energy; consciousness-based education; providing sustainable, organic agriculture and ending special interest control of government.

"For the first time since they shot students at Kent State, I found a person running for president who once again convinced me to become active in politics," said Hagelin supporter, Maureen McBride, a Boulder actress, singer and song writer.

Hagelin says a vote for Bush or Gore is more than a wasted vote: "It's a destructive vote."

"It says to Washington, D.C., 'Keep up the good work,'" he said. "It sends the wrong message."

He said recent national polls show he has 1.2 percent of the votes but believes he can still win the Nov. 7 election. Even if he is not elected, what matters are that the two party's are adopting his ideas, he said.

Senator Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., is co-sponsoring a bill he proposed that requires "truth in advertising" on genetically enhanced foods, such as tomatoes and corn.

Hagelin said his hope is Congress will pass legislation that requires labels on foods that list the host organisms and traits used in foods.

He said his fear is the new technologies can cause allergic reactions for people who unaware of what they are consuming. There are no tests for human safety of the products, he said.

"I am scared to death of what happens to our food supply," he said.

On other issues, he favors abortion rights, campaign-finance law changes and gun control laws such as child safety locks. He also advocates a flat tax that would exempt families earning less than $34,000 a year.

Hagelin has hired the same campaign adviser who made wrestler Jesse Ventura the governor of Minnesota....