Wednesday, June 08, 2005

The Bee: State Bond Counsel Says No SCA13 Problem

California's bond counsel says the proposed stem cell ballot measure will not interfere with the ability of the state to issue stem cell research bonds, contrary to the position taken by CIRM.

The Sacramento Bee Wednesday disclosed the existence of the memo from Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe. The Bee said in an editorial, "(Sen. Deborah) Ortiz has worked to amend her measure so it would have no possible impact on the issuance of stem cell bonds. The state's bond counsel - Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe - confirmed that point Tuesday when it issued a memo stating: 'Nothing in the proposed Section 9(a) interferes with the ability of the state to issue tax-exempt bonds.'"

The piece also discussed the opposition of Democratic senators, Sens. Jackie Speier, D-Hillsborough, and Joe Dunn, D-Santa Ana, to SCA13. Dunn is reportedly seeking to have the measure removed from the Senate floor and sent to the Judiciary committee he chairs. The measure has already been through three Senate committees.

The Bee said, "Dunn and Speier have built their reputations on consumer protection, accessible health care and open government. But Monday, they blatantly pandered to stem cell czar Robert Klein II, who orchestrated a lobbying campaign Monday against Sen. Deborah Ortiz, D-Sacramento, and her SCA 13 measure.

"Ortiz's measure, among other things, would guard against public funds going to companies that secretly set up consulting and stock deals with scientists who recommend the funding.

"This is not just an abstract concern.

"As Dunn knows, the energy giant Enron secretly paid researchers at Harvard to churn out reports extolling the deregulation scheme that California ultimately adopted. Those conflicts came to light only after California became mired in an energy crisis Enron helped create."

Dunn has been heavily involved into looking to energy issues related to the California electricity crisis of a few years back.

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