California Embryonic Stem Cell Research Money Spent on Legal Fees

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 9, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

California Embryonic Stem Cell Research Money Spent on Legal Fees Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
December 9, 2005

Sacramento, CA ( — Taxpayer and pro-life groups that oppose Proposition 71 have been successful in holding off grants for embryonic stem cell research and human cloning because of their lawsuits against the measure. They have also forced the stem cell panel to spend a quarter of its money on legal bills.

Last November, California voters approved the measure to spend $6 billion on the grisly research, with $300 million annually going to projects and researchers.

Instead of paying to destroy human embryos for their stem cells, the panel has spent about $200,000 on legal bills and owes the state of California another $240,000 for its legal services through the state attorney general’s office.

Robert Klein, the real estate magnate who runs the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, complained Tuesday, "I don’t think the voters who so clearly supported this initiative realize that not a dime has been spent on the science and trying to get new cures to people who need them."

Opponents of the research, which has yet to cure a single patient, says CIRM is filled with conflict of interest violations and other legal problems that have made in unaccountable to California residents.

Dana Cody, one of the attorneys seeking to overturn Proposition 71 on behalf of a taxpayer’s group, told the media, "We’ll take this all the way up the chain if we have to."

"This is a taxpayer issue and Bob Klein managing to have access to taxpayer money that he isn’t entitled to, no matter how Bob Klein spins it," Cody said.

Cody said the committee should be held accountable for how it spends the billions it will receive, but said Proposition 71 allowed for no governmental control or monitoring. She also points out that many of the CIRM members are those whose firms or universities will benefit from the grants.

On Tuesday, a judge set a February hearing to begin trials on the lawsuits.