An update on Dennis Kucinich (D-Greenpeace), Congress’s leading opponent of genetically enhanced foods, comes to us courtesy of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, which profiled the nutty Presidential hopeful on Sunday.

In June, Kucinich gave a speech entitled “Spirit and Stardust” at a conference on “the alchemy of peacebuilding.” He argued:

Spirit merges with matter to sanctify the universe. Matter transcends to return to spirit. The interchangeability of matter and spirit means the starlit magic of the outermost life of our universe becomes the soul-light magic of the innermost life of our self. The energy of the stars becomes us. We become the energy of the stars…Our vision of interconnectedness resonates with new networks of world citizens in nongovernmental organizations linking from numberless centers of energy, expressing the emergence of a new organic whole.

Right.

Last year Kucinich spoke at an event hosted by the Institute for Cooperation in Space. The Institute’s president, who had earlier arranged to have LSD guru Timothy Leary’s cremated remains blasted off into space in 1997, is now working for Kucinich. She says she’s “doing everything I can because I think he is the only chance we have got to enter into a new paradigm, or otherwise we are all going to die.”

Another “close friend and advisor” of Kucinich, Chris Griscom, runs an institute described as an “enchanting center for spiritual healing and multi-incarnational exploration.” Kucinich has Shirley MacLaine to thank for introducing him to Griscom. (Click here to hear MacLaine interviewing Griscom.) It seems that Griscom taught the starlet how to communicate with trees. And oh yes, MacLaine is the godmother of Kucinich’s daughter.

So forget risk assessments and hard science. The nation’s policy on genetically enhanced foods is, in part, in the hands of a guy whose advisors talk to trees and explore “multi-incarnational” dimensions.

Perhaps the worst of it is that Kucinich claims to represent regular people. “I started in the ward clubs of Cleveland, and I don’t forget that. My politics come from the neighborhoods of the city.” The same city, we might add, that went bankrupt during his tenure as mayor. Perhaps the Ohioans from his district should show some “starlit magic” by sending this wacko looking for a new job next November.

Note: This article has been corrected to reflect the fact that Mr. Kucinich had not yet declared himself a candidate for the Presidency on the date of its publication. That declaration was made on October 13, 2003.