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San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura Counties, CA November 2, 2010 Election
Smart Voter Full Biography for John Victor Hager

Candidate for
United States Representative; District 23

This information is provided by the candidate

John Hager was born January 7, 1949, in the small industrial town of Elkhart, Indiana. The youngest of five children, John was taught the importance of family at an early age. When he was two, John's father died. A truck hit the bicycle he was riding home from his job as a janitor at a local factory. Velma Hager had been a homemaker, but went to work part time. John's older siblings did a lot to care for him in those early years.

The Hagers moved to Southern California in 1962. In 1967, John graduated from West Covina High School first in his class. His grades earned him a state scholarship, and he also took various jobs, working as a mill operator in a rubber cement factory, a welder and a punch press operator.

While working part time as a movie theater projectionist, John met his future wife Julie, who worked as a cashier. In 1971, John graduated from USC with high honors and was elected to the Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi honor societies. That fall, he entered the USC law school. Julie and John married on August 5, 1972.

John's first job in the law profession was as a law clerk for a Los Angeles firm specializing in civil jury trials. There he met an Irish immigrant named Tom Dowling who had just started working for the firm as a lawyer. Tom and John have worked together ever since.

In June of 1974, John graduated from law school and passed the bar on his first attempt later that year. He and Tom practiced with the same firm for over 20 years. As a lawyer, John has spent much of his time in court, working to persuade opponents, judges and juries. John's ability to get cases resolved by straight talk and compromise have endeared him to clients and gained the respect of opponents.

John has drafted bills which have become law in California, and has numerous published decisions in the Courts of Appeal and the Supreme Court that are also part of California law. The respected Martindale-Hubbell legal directory has given him the highest rating in both legal ability and ethics for over 20 years. Since 1987, he has been an active member of the prestigious American Board of Trial Advocates comprised of about 5000 of the best lawyers and judges in the nation.

In 1994, John moved with his family to their present home in Santa Barbara. All five of the Hager children have attended Santa Barbara public schools. As the children got older, Julie returned to school at Santa Barbara City College and got her nursing degree. She is a Registered Nurse and works at a local hospice where she helps dying patients and their families.

When John began his law practice in Santa Barbara, six people worked in the office. The firm he started, Hager & Dowling, has grown over the years and now employs 45 people. A number of employees had their first law-profession jobs with the firm and later went to law school and became lawyers. John and his firm supported the United Way for many years. About 5 years ago, John founded the Hager & Dowling Charitable Foundation, which supports entirely local charities. John has volunteered his services to many, including victims of the Tea, Gap and Jesusita wildfires.

Before John began his campaign, he made sure that Julie and the Hager children agreed, and are willing to endure the loss of privacy and the struggles in store. He also has the support of his firm, which is filled with strong professionals who will assure that the firm continues to succeed without John if he is elected.

So why is a successful lawyer and businessman taking the risk of running for Congress as an independent candidate? As John puts it, "I'm running because I share many people's unhappiness with how Congress has run our country, especially our economy, in recent years. But complaints alone change nothing. Somebody needs to act. Somebody needs to step forward and try to correct the shortsightedness and narrow-mindedness that has gripped Congress for too long. Both parties fight each other more than they fight our shared problems. Both parties have overspent and burdened our children with $13 trillion in debt, more than twice what it was 10 years ago.

"Real change in Washington has to come from outside the existing party power structure. I am unafraid of the challenges and hard work necessary to alter the power structure that binds our government today. If you will send me, and independent, to Washington, your decision will not only help our Central Coast, it will change politics in America. You will send a message of voter independence to every elected official. Together we can build tomorrow today."

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Created from information supplied by the candidate: October 14, 2010 10:54
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