Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Klein's Letter Helps Build CIRM Legacy -- Unfortunately

Whatever the fallout may be from last week's scathing letter about Sen. Deborah Ortiz, California stem cell chair Robert Klein has nailed down one result.

He has it made it more difficult to reach a compromise on Ortiz' sweeping measure to tighten oversight of the California stem cell agency. And if, as a lame duck legislator, she had been inclined to slide back on the measure, that inclination now seems unlikely.

Klein's letter last week called her an "ongoing threat" to the California stem cell agency. The missive, which he signed as head of an advocacy group rather than as chair of the agency, carried a personal, vituperative tone. While it made policy arguments against the measure, SB401, the letter also contained a number of errors and distortions.

Ortiz' office has been silent on the letter. But it is certain that it will harden her resolve to pursue her measure vigorously.

Klein's letter and his previous actions, dating back to his refusal to testify before the state Senate Health Committee in spring of 2005, are helping to create an unfortunate legacy for CIRM. And that is a reputation as an intransigent state bureaucracy that is unresponsive to both public and legislative concerns.

The pity is that sort of fallout was unnecessary. Sphere: Related Content

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