Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Torres Says He Needs Salary From CIRM

IRVINE, Ca. -- Art Torres, chairman of the California state Democratic Party, says he will need a salary if he is to serve as vice chairman of the $3 billion California stem cell agency.

In an item by Shane Goldmacher for Capitol Alert, the online service of The Sacramento Bee, Torres was quoted as saying:
"'I do need a salary because I am not a wealthy person,' he said, adding that 'what that compensation should be is up to the board.'"
The vice chair is eligible for as much as $332,000 annually.

Goldmacher also reported:
"He (Torres) touted his connections - he was first elected to the Assembly in 1974 - as beneficial for promoting the mission of the stem-cell agency.

"'That's over 34 years of relationships and experience that is important to communicate the needs of this mission,' he said.

"Torres is also building upon those connections to win the vice-chairmanship. (Lt. Gov. John) Garamendi's nomination letter states that Assembly Speaker Karen Bass, Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi have all endorsed Torres for the post.

"Torres appears to have some support on the board, as well.

"'I'm keeping an open mind, but (Torres) is well-qualified for this position,' said David Serrano Sewell, who fills the patient advocate slot for multiple sclerosis on the stem-cell panel. 'He has the legislative, business and volunteer experience. Just as important he has the relationships with legislators in Sacramento and Washington D.C., built over 20 years, that will greatly benefit our mission.'"

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