New Jersey Gov Spends $150,000 to Back Embryonic Stem Cell Research Vote

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 30, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

New Jersey Gov Spends $150,000 to Back Embryonic Stem Cell Research Vote Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
October 30,

Trenton, NJ ( — New Jersey Gov. John Corzine signed a bill that lets residents of the state vote on whether or not they want the state to borrow $450 million to fund stem cell research grants over the next 10 years. Not content to let voters decided on their own, the governor is spending $150,000 of his own money to persuade them to back it.

Corzine spokeswoman Lilo Stainton said Tuesday that he is donating the money to New Jersey for Hope, a political action committee designed to secure passage of the ballot proposition.

Stainton also said Corzine will spearhead fundraisers for the political group, which is hoping to influence the November 6 ballot question.

Corzine says the state should borrow the funds, despite a tenuous fiscal situation there, because it needs to attract top scientists.

But pro-life groups are strongly opposing the vote because the ballot measure, if approved, will force residents to pay for embryonic stem cell research with their tax dollars. The research requires the destruction of days-old unborn children for their stem cells.

New Jersey Right to Life also filed a lawsuit against the ballot proposal because it fails to disclose that the money will also pay for human cloning.

They also say the proposal does not tell voters that the bonds will be paid through higher local property taxes if sales tax revenues are insufficient.

Last week, the state appeals court ruled against the challenge, but Right to Life may take their lawsuit to the state Supreme Court.

"We obviously disagree and believe legislative sponsors did the voters a great disservice," Marie Tasy, executive director of New Jersey Right to Life, said at the time.

Should voters be able to vote on the measure, a new Rutgers-Eagleton poll found 57 percent of New Jersey residents support it while 36 percent oppose it.

Related web sites:
New Jersey Right to Life –