John Hagelin, Nat Goldhaber Win Natural Law Party-Reform Party Coalition Nomination
In an historic week marked by unprecedented political harmony and unity of purpose, the Natural Law Party and Reform Party unanimously nominated John Hagelin and Nat Goldhaber for the U.S. presidential ticket and forged a powerful national coalition at the Natural Law Party-Reform Party Coalition Convention in Alexandria, Virginia, held from August 31 to September 2.
Accepting the presidential nomination on Thursday before a cheering, standing-ovation crowd of 500 delegates and supporters, Hagelin said, "This is the birth of a union that is historically unprecedented--a powerful coalition of America's leading political parties that can credibly challenge the stranglehold of the two parties in our political process."
"I pick up with pride the mantle of responsibility to speak for America's tens upon tens of millions of independent voters who are thirsty for political renewal," he said. "This campaign is about achieving unlimited possibilities for ourselves and for our country. We have an unprecedented opportunity today to improve all areas of our public policy through commonsense solutions that have been ignored by government for purely political reasons."
Nat Goldhaber, who brings to the campaign 20 years' experience as an Internet entrepreneur in Silicon Valley, likewise accepted his vice presidential nomination before the cheering crowd and proposed a new entrepreneurial approach to politics.
"We need a new politics for a new economy," he said. "An entrepreneur is someone who has an idea, generally laughed at by society, that is different from anything that existed before. But his passion is so deep and expansive that he takes hold of society and makes it conform to his idea. Entrepreneurship is not limited to the field of business, and in no area is entrepreneurship more needed today than in the field of politics."
Hagelin and Goldhaber also introduced Doug Friedline, new campaign manager for Hagelin 2000. Friedline is the former campaign manager for Jesse Ventura's successful 1998 bid for Governor of Minnesota. Emphasizing the campaign theme "Anything's Possible," Friedline vowed to bring the Hagelin/ Goldhaber campaign into every home in America and to take the candidates to the White House in November.
Reform Party Leaders Support Hagelin/Goldhaber Ticket
Many top leaders of the Reform Party attended the Convention to support the Hagelin/Goldhaber ticket, including Reform Party Chair Jim Mangia, founding chair Russ Verney, New York Independence Party leader Lenora Fulani, and Reform Party Executive Board members Anne Merkl and Sue Harris DeBauche. Representatives from all the major Reform Party state delegations also attended.
As a first step toward creating a unified Natural Law-Reform platform, the Convention adopted the eight core constitutional principles of the Reform Party platform as part of the Natural Law Party's platform. Both groups pledged to work together to build an increasingly powerful coalition that will give all American citizens a reason to vote in November.
Speakers and Panel Discussions Focus on Knowledge and Action
In addition to the nomination proceedings on Thursday, the Convention featured an impressive schedule of speakers who discussed effective, prevention-oriented solutions to America's most pressing social problems. Friday morning's speakers continued the platform policy discussion, covering topics such as food safety, genetic engineering, the protection of children's health, renewable energy sources and their impact on the economy, natural medicines, and preventive health care.
Friday afternoon shifted the focus of the Convention from knowledge to action. Two panels--one of political activists and one of students--gave passionate presentations about how to inspire the public to get involved. New York Independence Party leader Lenora Fulani kicked off the first panel discussion with a moving account of her personal journey in the Independent political movement, and then leaders of both the Natural Law Party and Reform Party discussed their own experiences in coalition building. The seven students in the second panel, who ranged from high school to post-graduate, electrified the crowd with their powerful, visionary speeches about motivating students to build our political future.
Finally, at Friday night's gala banquet, keynote speaker and bestselling author Neale Donald Walsch ("Conversations with God") brought the crowd to their feet again and again with his exhilarating description of spirituality and politics. "Spirituality IS politics, demonstrated," he said, and urged the Convention participants to take action on every level to bring John Hagelin and Nat Goldhaber to the White House.
The Convention concluded on Saturday with a panel discussion and workshops about successful campaign strategies and approaches to the media, featuring candidates and leaders of both the Reform and Natural Law parties.
On to the White House
John Hagelin and Nat Goldhaber will now begin a two-month national campaign tour to all 50 states, focusing especially on colleges and the student vote. We urge all supporters of the Natural Law Party and Reform Party to get involved and help us build on the powerful momentum of our Coalition Convention. Just visit www.hagelin.org or www.natural-law.org for more information. And don't forget to vote in November!
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