Schwarzenegger Ballot Mailer Does Not Include His Position on Stem Cell Measure
A 12-page mailer urging about five million state voters to "follow ... the lead of" Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) on the "most important" measures on the statewide Nov. 2 ballot "notably" does not take a position on a bond measure to fund stem cell research, the Los Angeles Times reports. Proposition 71 would raise an average of $295 million annually for 10 years to promote stem cell research through the issue of state bonds (Morain, Los Angeles Times, 10/15). The funds would go to a new stem cell research center at a University of California campus, as well as grants and loans for laboratory projects at other colleges. State analysts say the measure would cost a total of $6 billion, including interest (California Healthline, 9/20).
The California Republican Party is paying $2 million to mail the guides principally to registered Republican voters. However, Schwarzenegger spokesperson Rob Stutzman said some guides would be sent to voters registered as independents or Democrats.
According to the Times, no previous governor "has launched so extensive an effort to influence an election" and although the mailer "could have significant impact," it will arrive as "voters' mailboxes become filled with political pieces."
The Times reports that the "governor's stand differs from that of the" Republican Party on the stem cell issue and two other nonhealth-related propositions. Republicans oppose Proposition 71, according to the Times.
Schwarzenegger "still could announce a position" on Proposition 71, but "the absence of an endorsement in the mailer would limit the impact of any future move," the Times reports. Schwarzenegger spokesperson Rob Stutzman said, "There are compelling arguments for [Proposition 71] and against it." Stutzman added that the governor's final position on the initiative "is to be determined" (Los Angeles Times, 10/15).
A version of the mailer, which includes the governor's positions on other health care-related ballot measures, is available online.
In addition, more information about Proposition 71 is available online.