"Knowledge will forever govern ignorance

 and a people who mean to be their own governors

 must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives."

Friday, May 26, 2006

Demagoging Stem Cell Research In New Jersey

Democrats in Trenton have been pushing for the state to spend hundreds of millions to build three stem cell research centers in New Jersey. Chanice on New Jersey for Charge pointed out back in March the absurdity of building not one, not two, but three new research centers. “The state is flat broke, but the folks in Trenton continue to spend with abandon … one for a $150 million in New Brunswick and one for $50 million in Camden … and an additional $50 million for a stem cell research facility in, you’ll never guess, Newark.

Chanice had the issue nailed. Democrats were not proposing this money for medical research, but were using this “wedge issue” as a “cover for funneling money to the powerful friends of politicians.” The $250 million would go to building contractors and union jobs in three party strongholds, not for research scientist and medical breakthroughs.

It never seems to dawn on Democrats that someone could favor stem cell research, but oppose building three separate facilities which would require redundant support departments and personnel to run them. Especially now with New Jersey facing a multi-billion dollar budget gap and huge tax increases. State lawmakers should be looking to maximize major taxpayer investments, not spreading tax dollars around on pork barrel projects.

When Republican state Senator, Tom Kean took such a stand, political opponents ridiculed him. Well, guess what? State Senate President and former Governor, Dick Codey now agrees with Tom Kean. The state at this point can’t afford the pending $325 million or the $250 million stem cell research bills. Flip-floppers? Hardly, it’s a matter of recognizing that New Jersey is broke and that piling on more state debt is not fiscally prudent.

During a news conference at a stem cell research center in Piscataway, Codey said it would be too hard to sell the proposed $325 million borrowing package to voters while the state is in such bad fiscal shape.
Yes, you read that right, Codey held his news conference at a stem cell research center in Piscataway. Or more precisely, at a state of New Jersey owned stem research center at Rutgers University. Listening to all the talk you’d never know stem cell research, including embryonic, is currently legal, funded by the federal government and taking place right here in the Garden State. Of course if more people were aware of the facts, Democrats couldn’t demagogue the issue.



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