Friday, August 12, 2011

California Stem Cell Achievements: The Perspective from Robert Klein

The former chairman of the $3 billion California stem cell agency -- Robert Klein -- last week fired off an email touting the accomplishments of his tenure in a statement that had many of the earmarks of an election campaign document.

The 3,770-word missive was emailed under the auspices of Americans for Cures, Klein's stem cell lobbying group which has the same address as his Palo Alto real estate investment banking firm. Presumably the email went to a national audience.

Americans for Cures said in an introduction to the statement that Klein is now preparing "for the next installment of this magnificent effort," which could well be another statewide bond election seeking additional billions for stem cell research. Klein directed the 2004 ballot campaign that created CIRM.

CIRM will run out of cash in about 2017. It relies on borrowed money – state bonds – for its operations and grants. Interest costs double the real expenses of the program, making what appears to be a $20 million grant actually cost around $40 million.

Another stem cell bond measure is not likely to be attempted until 2014 or later. California's current financial crisis makes it unlikely that a bond measure would win voter approval any time soon.

In his statement, Klein soft-peddled the state's current economic downturn, declaring that California was under "maximum financial stress" also in 2004. (Editors note: Unemployment in California was 6 percent just before the Proposition 71 election that created CIRM. In contrast, joblessness stood at 12.1 percent in June of this year.)

Titled "Bob Klein's last words as chair of the stem cell board," the document clearly reflects Klein's view of the California stem cell world. Almost needless to say is that there are other, more measured perspectives.

Here is the email from Americans for Cures and Klein.Statement by Robert Klein, Aug. 4, 2011, on his term as chairman of the California stem cell agency

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous9:06 AM

    Klein preparing for "...magnificent effort."?



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