Thursday, April 24, 2008

Klein's Private Group Plans Expanded National Stem Cell Push

Americans for Cures, the private stem cell activist group tied to the chairman of California's governmental stem cell agency, is embarking on a new, 50-state strategy to beef up efforts to "pass pro-cures legislation and defeat anti-cures legislation."

The advocacy group, which says that it does not perform lobbying, says it is setting up affiliates in each state and wants to hear from persons who want to help out (write

Complete details for the national effort are being worked out, but Americans for Cures plans to create a Web page for each state affiliate (here is a sample) along with a rundown on the status of research and that state's laws. The affiliate would be "a single point of contact in each state, and may be one person or a group. That point will be the ‘network hub' for stem cell advocacy, to keep us informed, and to organize in the affiliate state," the co-directors of the group, Amy Daly and Constance McKee, said in an email to their supporters.

The group is also planning a "Students for Cures" group and a "Veterans for Cures" group.

The chairman of CIRM, Robert Klein, is also president of Americans for Cures, which operates out of the offices of his real estate investment banking firm. It is unusual for a top state official to lead a group that solicits possibly tax-deductible contributions and attempts to influence government policy and legislation in the same area as his agency. More than one critic has called on him to resign from one of the posts.

(On a slightly different subject, Americans for Cures' new website has some videos involving persons with a variety of ailments. We watched the Alzheimers segment. It was quite powerful.) Sphere: Related Content

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