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Human Exceptionalism

Life and dignity with Wesley J. Smith.

“Stem Cell Switcheroo:” New Jersey Pols/Big Biotech Think Voters be Damned



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New Jersey voters told New Jersey politicians to stuff going deeply into debt to pay Big Biotech hundreds of millions for human cloning and embryonic stem cell research. But it may not matter much, since the politicians are intent on doing whatever they please any way. A column by Paul Mulshine in the (New Jersey) Star Ledger, lays it all out:
It turns out that the Democrats pulled a fast one on you voters. You might have thought that by voting no on the ballot question you were opposing a pork-laden plan to build stem-cell facilities not just in New Brunswick but in four other towns all over the state. Conversely, if you voted yes, you no doubt thought you were granting your approval for that wonderful and high-minded project.

Either way, I'll bet you were surprised when the governor said at a press conference on Wednesday that construction would be going ahead anyway. Wasn't the vote Tuesday a simple, yes-or-no question on whether the stem-cell institute should be built? Nope. When you read the fine print on that ballot measure, you find that it was not designed to raise money for the construction. The borrowing was for the institute's operating expenses over the next 10 years.

The $270 million for construction is slated to come out of a different bonding measure, one that you never got to vote on. The Corzine administration plans to pay for the buildings with so-called "contract debt," debt cleverly structured in such a way that it does not need voter approval.

Elections are supposed to matter. But apparently when voters' wishes interfere with human cloning, the arrogant politicians who sleep with Big Biotech think, "Voters be damned!"



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