Stem Cell Research Major Issue After Veto
President Bush's veto of legislation to expand federal funding of stem cell research "has had the unintended consequence of drawing state money into the contentious field," such as in California where Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) announced a $150 million loan to the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, the New York Times reports.
"Within hours" of the president's veto, the "issue sprang to the forefront of some crucial political campaigns," with many Republican moderates seeking "to distinguish their positions from their president's," the Times reports.
According to the Times, Schwarzenegger's "support for stem cell research has helped position him as a centrist" in a state "dominated by Democrats." Meanwhile, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Phil Angelides "tried to one-up him by taking credit for the loan," the Times reports.
The $150 million loan will provide more money than any other state has allocated for stem cell research (Rudoren, New York Times, 7/25).
Schwarzenegger's "metamorphosis on stem cell financing" would be "easier to stomach" if he had required CIRM to "strengthen some of its internal policies" in exchange for the $150 million loan, a Sacramento Bee editorial states. However, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Phil Angelides "has been similarly silent about the institute's weak conflict-of-interest rules," the Bee states, adding that it appears California's "two leading gubernatorial candidates endorse a blank-check policy" (Sacramento Bee, 7/24).
KQED's "The California Report" on Friday reported on Schwarzenegger's authorization of the loan. The segment includes comments from Robert Klein, chair of the Independent Citizens' Oversight Committee, which administers CIRM; and Adam Mendelson, a spokesperson for Schwarzenegger (Myers, "The California Report," KQED, 7/21).
The complete segment is available online in RealPlayer.