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Thread: Right-to-Life/Americans for Prosperity Wants Stop to Stem Cell Institute Construction

  1. #1

    Right-to-Life/Americans for Prosperity Wants Stop to Stem Cell Institute Construction

    I just received this "Media Advisory" issued from Bogota, New Jersey (where the Mayor of the that city is the head of the Americans for Prosperity in NJ):

    They are holding a news conference in front of the New Brunswick stem cell facility to protest the use of state funds to continue construction of the structure. They will have speakers and activists from both organizations, calling on the state to stop construction at 1pm Monday November 11, 2007. The news conference will be held on Little Albany Street, New Brunswick, NJ.

    If there is a counter-demonstration, I will post it here.

  2. #2
    I don't get these people, if they wanted a prosperous NJ they would support funding stem cell research.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim
    I don't get these people, if they wanted a prosperous NJ they would support funding stem cell research.

    I have faith in New Jersey's common sense and care for people. I just got a email from a young mother with a 3-year old who was asking whether there was any stem cell treatment. My heart breaks not only for all those that I have met but the millions that I have not met and will die because of the stupidity of a few.


  4. #4

    New stem cell labs now in question
    After defeat of more funding, Corzine weighs options, says little
    Thursday, November 15, 2007
    Star-Ledger Staff

    Gov. Jon Corzine may shelve construction of four of the five stem cell research labs lawmakers authorized last year, according to a senior administration official.

    With the state's stem cell ambitions cooled by last week's defeat of a $450 million bond question to fund the research, Corzine himself would only say he is "reviewing" the lab construction program the Legislature approved separately.

    Under legislation passed last year, the state is authorized to borrow up to $270 million to build five stem cell research labs across the state.

    The centerpiece, a $150 million Stem Cell Institute of New Jersey in New Brunswick, is still on track to move forward. But Corzine is considering suspending plans to build four smaller labs in Newark, Camden, Belleville and Allendale, said the administration source.

    Corzine is also exploring the prospect of using the $120 million earmarked for the construction of the smaller labs to fund the research that was to have been paid for by last week's defeated referendum, according to the senior official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because no final decision has been made.

    "I will review the overall structure and see what kind of recommendations we should be making," Corzine said in an interview late Tuesday evening. "I'm going to review this very carefully."

    Critics of the project say that since voters rejected the plans to raise funds for stem cell research, any stem cell labs the state builds could end up standing empty -- much like a $110 million cancer center in Newark that lacks operating funds.

    "I'm very aware of the cancer institute building," Corzine said.

    Senate President Richard Codey (D-Essex), a leading supporter of the stem cell program, said he would support either option, and suggested Corzine might be able to redirect the construction funds to research through an executive order.

    "I would support both ideas," said Codey. "But first, we really have to go and show that we could bring in some private money for the center."

  5. #5

    N.J. panel delays vote on two stem cell labs
    Another setback for medical research efforts
    Wednesday, November 14, 2007
    Star-Ledger Staff

    The drive to build a statewide stem cell research network stumbled again when the state Economic Development Authority postponed a vote on funding for proposed labs in Newark and Camden yesterday.

    Proposals to authorize $3.7 million in preliminary expenditures for the two labs were held from consideration yesterday at the monthly EDA meeting. The delay marks the latest setback for the state's stem cell medical research efforts.

    Last week voters rejected a bal lot proposal to borrow $450 million to bankroll a 10-year program of stem cell research grants. Following the defeat, state lawmakers canceled a special budget panel session last Thursday, where they were scheduled to consider authorizing $26 million in financing for five proposed stem cell research labs.

    Caren Franzini , EDA executive director, said the stem cell propos als were only pulled from yesterday's agenda because the final de tails of the projects had not been resolved.

    "We still had some work to do," she said after the meeting in Camden. She declined to discuss prospects for the stem cell construction program in general, referring questions to Gov. Jon Corzine's office.

    Anthony Coley, a spokesman for the governor, said Corzine "maintains his staunch support for stem cell research and the hope it may hold for thousands of individuals.

    "How the state will fund stem cell research so that top scientists can be recruited -- and assured of long-term support --while taking fiscal constraints into account will be our challenge going forward," Coley said.

    Steve Lonegan, who led a campaign to defeat last week's bond proposal, said the EDA should permanently scrap the construction plans.


  6. #6

    Groups: N.J. should stop stem cell work

    StoryChat Post Comment
    Tuesday, November 13, 2007

    Gannett State Bureau

    Opponents of publicly funded embryonic stem cell research called on Gov. Jon S. Corzine to stop borrowing money to build research facilities after voters last week rejected a referendum to fund the science to be conducted there.

    After a plan to borrow $450 million over 10 years for stem cell research was defeated at the polls, Corzine and legislative leaders said they were going ahead with plans of a separate, previously approved measure to borrow $270 million to build five stem cell research facilities throughout the state.

    Saying the defeat could be attributed to low turnout and a call to get the state's finances in order -- not moral objections to stem cell research -- Corzine said last week that research could be funded in the budget, through private sources or by placing another borrowing question before voters.

    On Monday, Leaders of New Jersey Right to Life and Americans for Prosperity, which campaigned against the $450 million ballot question, called Corzine's decision an insult to voters at a news conference held next to the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, where the state is building the $150 million Stem Cell Institute of New Jersey.

    "It's kind of silly to say we're going to build buildings and hope later that the voters will approve the spending to put people in the buildings," said Steve Lonegan, executive director of the anti-tax group Americans for Prosperity. "In fact, it's an outright insult to the taxpayers of this state. If we build it, they will come. Well, they tried to build it and guess what? They're not coming."

  7. #7
    The New Jersey Stem Cell Research bond was the first be defeated in 17 years. Perhaps Steve Lonigan (who heads the misnnamed "American for Prosperity" group that opposed the stem cell research bond) should stop chortling and consider that the voters of New Jersey passed a bond that they strongly opposed, to borrow $200 million to purchase land to preserve open spaces in New Jersey. The open space bond just increases property values (and taxes) in the state by reducing the amount of land that could be developed. In addition, the voters decided not to permanently allocated a portion of the sales taxes to offset property taxes. Together, these two votes tell me that a majority of New Jersey voters weren't that worried about their property taxes.

    Anybody with a little honesty and half a brain could easily do a spreadsheet of the bond costs and come to the conclusion that New Jersey voters did not vote against borrowing of money or increasing property taxes. That is why the vote against the stem cell research bond is so very strange. The answer is that three strong forces combined to press the people of New Jersey to vote against the stem cell research bond: the Catholic Church, the Right-to-Life, and the Americans-for-Prosperity group. it was not a mandate against stem cells, borrowing money, or property taxes.


    Stem-cell spending / Message clear
    Published: Wednesday, November 14, 2007

    The state's Joint Budget Oversight Committee was smart to cancel its meeting last week to consider borrowing $26 million for construction of five stem-cell labs.

    The meeting was scheduled just two days after voters rejected a $450 million bond for stem-cell grants, the first time voters defeated a state bond issue since 1990. So to have plunged ahead with borrowing $26 million for stem-cell research that had previously been authorized without voter approval would have been the height of arrogance - and political stupidity.

    The voters' message wasn't quite so clear, however, to some in the Statehouse. Gov. Jon S. Corzine was talking about allocating smaller amounts from the state budget to keep the program going, and both he and Senate President Richard J. Codey said they didn't expect the vote to curtail work on building the five stem-cell labs.

    To their credit, Corzine and Codey also were talking about reaching out to the private sector for money. And that's where state efforts should focus. Stem-cell research is a valuable, promising area of scientific research. It could do much good. But it's something that the private sector or the federal government should fund - not cash-strapped New Jersey, which is facing a $3.5 billion budget deficit and which has passed innumerable tax hikes over the past several years.

    And yes, there could be economic benefits to attracting stem-cell researchers to the state. But New Jersey, which hosts a thriving pharmaceutical industry, will always be attractive for this kind of research. Even BioNJ - an independent trade association representing 250 of the state's biotech and pharmaceutical companies - said the bond defeat shouldn't discourage companies from continuing their investment in stem-cell research here.

    Now, back to that $26 million for construction of stem-cell research facilities. The money comes from some $270 million of unused borrowing capacity. That borrowing was never approved by voters because it was backed by tobacco-settlement money -the kind of loophole that has kept so much debt from being subject to public approval. During the legislative process, what was to be one facility in New Brunswick blossomed into a more expensive, pork-barrel plan to build four more facilities in Camden, Allendale, Newark and Belleville.


    State officials ought to reconsider construction of these facilities. All or part of that $270 million can be used for other, more pressing purposes - such as bridge repairs. At the very least, they ought to consider scaling back this plan to a single facility in New Brunswick.

    The vice chairman of the Joint Budget Oversight Committee, Assemblyman Louis Greenwald, D-Camden, said the meeting last week to borrow the $26 million was canceled in order to determine what voters were trying to say.


  8. #8
    I just saw Corzine on CN8 with Steve Adubato and he made it pretty clear he is committed to going forward with Stem Cell funding.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim
    I just saw Corzine on CN8 with Steve Adubato and he made it pretty clear he is committed to going forward with Stem Cell funding.
    Jim, I agree. It is great to have a governor like him. Wise.

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