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What's Happening

The Tampa Tribune
November 4, 2000



By Josh Poltilove of the Tampa Tribune

TAMPA - Natural Law Party presidential candidate John Hagelin travels to two states a day, sometimes flying on his running mate's eight-seat jet, sometimes riding a bus instead.

He doesn't sleep much (two hours last Sunday night), and he realizes if he keeps up this frantic pace, scooting from city to city, smiling and shaking hands and trying to get his word out, he's going to die.

"I'm trying to pace myself so that I can survive until at least Nov. 7. Then I'll collapse," says Hagelin, who got a little relaxation time by campaigning only in Tampa and St. Petersburg last Monday and Tuesday.

Meet John Hagelin, presidential candidate.

Meet John Hagelin, quantum physicist.

Meet John Hagelin, a man who's practiced Transcendental Meditation every day for almost 30 years. "I take about a half hour a day to exercise my body and about 20 minutes a day to exercise my mind," he says.

It all started as he lay in a hospital bed. He was 17 and in a body cast, recovering from a serious motorcycle accident. Hagelin's doctor recommended meditation to ease the pain. Now he uses it for mental clarity....

Hagelin, who was on the ballot in 1992 and 1996 as well, isn't going to drop out. He's too busy trying to convince people that he's right and a vote for him isn't wasted. His message is simple - at least, he says it's simple.

"My campaign is about what works," says Hagelin, 46. "It's about the most up-to-date and effective solutions for problems. It's all common sense." ...

Hagelin, a Fairfield native, supports research on energy efficiency and storage. He wants to eliminate PACs and soft money. He favors preventive health care and safety locks for guns. Hagelin also supports school vouchers and a flat tax with an exemption for families that earn less than $34,000. To prevent the Middle East situation from becoming a war, he says he would spend less time on paperwork and more time working to reduce people's tension.

Once the race is complete, he plans to found a university of world peace. He says he has raised $6 million of the $30 million necessary to build the privately funded school. But that's for after the race. For now, Hagelin has hired the same campaign manager that helped Jessie Ventura come from nowhere to get elected governor in Minnesota....

Hagelin, who says he's been most successful with voters younger than 25, raised $4.5 million so far and plans to spend a good deal of money on advertising before election day. He attempted to gain three parties' nomination for 2000: the Natural Law Party, the Green Party and the Reform Party. Nader received the Green nomination and Buchanan took the Reform's nod.

Hagelin is on the ballot in 44 states; 37 on the Natural Law Party's ticket, six on the Reform Party and the Independent Party in New York. His campaign is strongest in California, Washington, Ohio, Florida and New York. He hopes his campaign and the campaigns of other third-party candidates will get a message across that people are not happy with the state of government.

Frankye Brooks, of St. Petersburg, a Hagelin supporter, says she's never followed a candidate until Hagelin and his message for a government rooted in spirituality came along.

"He's got the wisdom and insight of Lincoln, the intelligence of Einstein and the charisma of John Kennedy," she says. "He's everything the country needs wrapped into one."