Human Exceptionalism

The CIRM Follies Continue

What an expensive joke the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine has become. Conflicts of interest are rife, leading to a Little Hoover Commission investigation. Management meltdowns have mixed with an incredible sense of entitlement and hubris. Hundreds of millions that were promised to go directly to research instead were diverted to help pay for some of the most expensive buildings money could buy. And then, as a reward for such a job well done, the CIRM head honcho, Robert Klein, demanded a $500 K salary per year, at at time when California can’t even pay basic bills. Well, he is down to part time now–at $150 K per year when the state has a $42 billion dollar deficit.

Now, it turns out that California’s ludicrous mismanagement may make the constitutional right of the CIRM to borrow $300 million each year difficult, because there is not a concomitant right to force others to lend. This is leading to a potential change of strategy for going ever deeper into debt to pay for high end salaries and money that keeps being poured into the pork trough. From the story:

The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine next month will weigh a contingency financing plan that could include bond anticipation notes and a private placement with major philanthropic backers.

The move, which would have to be approved by the state stem cell bond committee and Treasurer Bill Lockyer, comes against the backdrop of a financial markets meltdown that has clipped access to capital for companies and government agencies alike.

It also comes after Bob Klein, who has not taken a salary as the chairman of CIRM’s oversight board, was awarded a $150,000 salary for a half-time position. That, and a salary for CIRM’s vice chairman–a position currently unfilled–could become tricky to justify as the agency’s funding evaporates.

Living off of borrowed money until the crash: That’s pretty emblematic of what is happening in the entire country, isn’t it? Disgusting.

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