The agency has billed the one-hour, public program in San Diego as a "patient advocate event." Reporter Bradley Fikes of the San Diego Union-Tribune discussed the event in an article this morning that was headlined:
"Should Californians give more money for stem cell research?"In addition to being sponsored by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), as the agency is formally known, the event is backed by UC San Diego, which has received $177 million from the agency.
Fikes said the event is the first in a series that is "is partly meant as a way to persuade voters to further support the institute with more funding."
"Jonathan Thomas, CIRM’s chairman, said the San Diego event and others like it in other parts of the state are meant to update patients and all Californians about how their money has been spent, and to hear from the public."Robert Klein, the multimillionaire real estate investment banker who led the 2004 ballot campaign that created the $3 billion agency, said last month that he expects that a public opinion poll this fall will show strong support for adding $5 billion to the effort. It is scheduled to run out of cash for new awards in June 2020 and perhaps sooner.
The 2004 campaign cost $34 million. Klein has not publicly discussed his plans to raise money for the ballot effort.
The agency has yet to finance a commercially available stem cell therapy.