“I have to object to this line: 'None of the current members are independent. The ballot measure that created the agency required board members to be appointed from various constituencies.'
“I think I am absolutely independent, and I think the same applies at the very least to most if not all of my fellow patient advocates, and probably to the biotech representatives as well – remember that they all must come from companies that are not involved in stem cell research. Although I supported the proposition, I was not involved directly in the campaign in any way, and I did not meet Bob Klein (the first chairman of the stem cell board) or any of my fellow board members until the day I was sworn in at our first meeting.
“The Prop. 71 language I believe specifies that advocates must have a record of advocating for people with the disease or diseases they represent, and not that they belong to or work for any specific organization. Checking my binder, it refers to 'groups' but does not specify those – for example, it refers to 'representative of a California regional, state or national HIV/AIDS disease advocacy group.' I’m not sure how you would define 'independent' but I certainly don’t think it means 'disinterested.'”