Stem Cell Research at Issue in Race for Lt. Governor
Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi (D) on Monday said electing his opponent Sen. Tom McClintock (R-Thousand Oaks) lieutenant governor would impede stem cell research in California, the Oakland Tribune reports.
The lieutenant governor appoints five members to the Independent Citizens' Oversight Committee, the 29-member body that oversees the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine. California voters in 2004 approved Proposition 71 to create CIRM and provide $3 billion to fund stem cell research over 10 years.
At a press conference in San Francisco, Garamendi said, "When you vote on Nov. 7 for lieutenant governor, the future of stem cell research is in your hands."
ICOC Chair Robert Klein said that if McClintock appoints five members to ICOC, "it will damage the future of stem cell research in California."
Most ICOC members were appointed in late 2004 and will serve six- to eight-year terms. Unless members resign, the lieutenant governor would not appoint new committee members until at least 2010, after the next election for lieutenant governor.
Stan Devereux, a spokesperson for McClintock, said McClintock "strongly supports stem cell research."
McClintock said he opposed Proposition 71 for fiscal reasons.
Devereux said that McClintock supports legislation to increase oversight of CIRM and that he would name "taxpayer watchdogs who will demand accountability" to ICOC if given the opportunity to make appointments (Vesely, Oakland Tribune, 10/31).