Supporters of Ballot Measure To Fund Stem Cell Research Expected To Launch Advertising Campaign in Support of Measure
Supporters of Proposition 71, a measure on the Nov. 2 statewide ballot that would issue state bonds to raise an average of $295 million annually over 10 years to promote stem cell research, this month are expected to launch television advertisements featuring celebrities, well-known scientists and patients to help "shift polls in their favor," the Wall Street Journal reports (Regalado, Wall Street Journal, 9/17). The measure would provide funds for 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 have said that with interest, the measure would cost a total of $6 billion (California Healthline, 9/15).
At least one ad will feature Paul Berg, a Nobel Prize winner in chemistry from Stanford University, and representatives of actor Michael J. Fox, who has Parkinson's disease, said he will appear in an ad. Actor Christopher Reeve, who has endorsed Proposition 71, also might appear in the ads, according to the Journal.
Fiona Hutton, a spokesperson for Californians for Stem Cell Research and Cures, declined to comment on the ads' timing or content, the Journal reports.
"It's going to be 'The lame shall walk, and the blind shall see,'" Wayne Johnson -- campaign consultant for the group Doctors, Patients and Taxpayers for Fiscal Responsibility, which has raised $150,000 in opposition to the proposition -- said (Wall Street Journal, 9/17).
Summaries of two recent editorials addressing Proposition 71 are provided below.
Contra Costa Times: Proposition 71 "is an investment that has the potential to bring high returns," including new jobs and treatments for diseases including Alzheimer's, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's, diabetes and cancer, a Times editorial states. The editorial states that the measure "could make California the center of stem cell research" and "urge[s] a yes vote" on it (Contra Costa Times, 9/17).
- San Jose Mercury News: Proposition 71 "should be unnecessary" because President Bush and Democratic Presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry (Mass.) "should be stumbling all over themselves to issue a Kennedyesque challenge to the nation" regarding stem cell research, a Mercury News editorial states. California voters "should acknowledge the promise of stem cell research and contribute to one of society's great medical advances," the editorial concludes (San Jose Mercury News, 9/15).