Thursday, September 14, 2006

FTCR: Hein Should Resign from Stem Cell Panel

One of the members of the Citizens Financial Accountability Oversight Committee for the California stem cell agency, which meets today for the first time, is not qualified and was appointed as a "political payoff," a watchdog group said today.

The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumers Rights of Santa Monica, Ca., said in a press release that the appointment of John Hein by Democratic Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez "smacks of cronyism and the pay-to-play culture that dominates California politics."

John M. Simpson, stem cell project director for the foundation, noted that Prop. 71 requires members of the oversight committee to have "medical backgrounds and knowledge of relevant financial matters."

Hein was a longtime lobbyist for the California Teachers Association and now heads the political and policy consulting firm of HC&A of Sacramento, Ca. Hein was also a key negotiator in the education deal with Gov. Schwarzenegger that collapsed a few years back.

Calling on Hein to resign, Simpson said the CTA, a politically influential union in California, has been a longtime backer of the Nunez and contributed $12,800 to Nunez in election cycle preceding Hein's appointment.

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