Sunday, July 13, 2008

Patient Advocate Reed Praises Kuehl, Says Sometimes People Go Too Far

Patient advocate Don Reed, who has probably attended more meetings of the California stem cell agency than any of its directors or even its staffers, reacted this weekend to the blistering attack on the author of legislation he fervently opposes.

Reed (see photo) is vice president of Americans for Cures, which fired off the personal comments on the national and influential political blog, Daily Kos. While Reed said that he is proud of the group, he added:

"Sometimes in the heat of battle, people go too far with hurtful words."

Here is the text of what he sent the California Stem Cell Report.
"A negatively slanted editorial on Senate Bill 1565 (Kuehl, Runner) was recently printed in the weblog Daily Kos. It was written by some of the staff at Americans for Cures, a group with which I am proud to be associated. They are my friends and co-workers.

"But I want it clearly understood I had no part in the writing of that particular article.

"I have not yet been able to read the entire piece, just bits and pieces of it. But as the co-directors of our group have publicly apologized for it, apparently it went over the edge. Sometimes in the heat of battle, people go too far with hurtful words. I have stuck my own foot in my mouth too many times to criticize anyone.

"I do strongly oppose SB 1565. Anyone wanting my opinions need only go to my website,, or just Google me. My writing is signed, either with my name, Don C. Reed, or as Diverdonreed, for blogs which require a pseudonym.

"But my differences with Senator Sheila Kuehl are professional, not personal. She has earned the right to be treated with affection and respect.

"Ironically, last week I had a very positive conversation with Senator Sheila Kuehl’s legislative aides, Lark Park and Peter Hansel. We argued about the bill, of course. To me the bill is a serious mistake: a threat to the California stem cell program.

"I had two reasons for the visit.

"One reason was of course to see if there were any loopholes possible, especially in the price-control part of the bill. Ms. Park and Peter Hansel said the Senator had offered to make a change. The stem cell board may or may not agree that the answer is enough to gain their support, but it was a genuine attempt, a serious proposal. (Other serious objections remain, and I am still in opposition to the bill.)

"But there was a second reason for the visit, a personal one, something I had hoped to tell the Senator herself, but that was a long shot at budget crisis time.The Senator is “termed out”, that California mistake of a law that says lobbyists may remain in Sacramento forever, but the people’s representatives can only stay a while.

"But her efforts on behalf of all Californians will live on after her term in office. It is to be hoped she will continue her work to bring decent and affordable healthcare to everyone, perhaps on a national or international level. I would love to see her be U.N. Ambassador for international health programs, or a similar position.

"Sheila Kuehl is an exemplary human being. She makes the world a brighter place."
(After Reed sent us this item, we sent him a copy of the piece on Daily Kos, which has removed the item. If you would like to receive a copy of it, please email a request to us at

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