Sunday, March 29, 2009

Prieto Dismayed by Bee Editorial on CIRM

Francisco Prieto is a Sacramento area physician who serves on the board of directors of the California stem cell agency.

Today he took on his hometown newspaper, The Bee, in connection with its editorial on March 18 deploring the election of two vice chairmen to the board of directors.

In an op-ed piece in the newspaper, Prieto said he was surprised to see it endorsing a Republican from Southern California (Duane Roth) for any statewide position.

Prieto wrote,
"Given The Bee's more usual political inclinations, it seems odd that you would suggest one candidate is superior simply because he is sufficiently well off to decline the salary this position normally carries. No employer has the right to insist an employee work for nothing, and that certainly includes the state of California. It was outrageous to imply that the superior candidate for any position must be the one wealthy enough to forgo a salary.

"Does The Bee really believe that those Californians – most of us – who need our salaries to support our families do not have the right to participate on California boards and commissions? That is a remarkably elitist and anti-democratic point of view.

"I was taken aback by your closing lines: 'the ICOC(the CIRM board) is neither independent, nor a group of citizens …' I can understand questioning our motives and integrity – that comes with the territory. But isn't revoking our citizenship a bit harsh?"
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