Thursday, October 10, 2019

Full Text: Critics on Economic Impact Report on California Stem Cell Agency

Here is the full text of the email responses of stem cell agency critics to the report on the economic impact of the agency over the last 15 years.

State Sen. John Moorlach, R-Costa Mesa, who responded directly to questions from the California Stem Cell Report (CSCR):

CSCR: "Does the USC study bring something to light that is new to you?"
Moorlach: This study does not bring to light anything new. Doling out $3 billion to any entity or entities would generate the same economic metrics. The study is a shell.
"CIRM did not produce or sell anything of substance. It was not a stadium that created jobs around it, like restaurants, bars, and hotels.
"CIRM spent $3 billion and it's costing the taxpayers that much, plus $800 million-plus in interest."
CSCR: "Does it lead you to modify your thinking about the California stem cell program?"
Moorlach: "The new report has not modified my thoughts on CIRM. It was a boondoggle when it started and it still is. It's held up by emotional appeals, sustained by empty promises, and now rationalizing to extend its existence."
CSCR: "What is your overall view of the agency at this point?"
Moorlach: "Stem cell research is important, but best left to the private sector. This was style drift and extremely expensive, including the necessity to raise taxes with Propositions 30 and 55."
From Marc Joffe, senior policy analyst with the Reason Foundation:
"I oppose the use of state general obligation bonding authority for any purpose other than building well-conceived civil infrastructure projects. The fact that spending bond proceeds generates economic activity is not surprising and not a reason to support a new bond in 2020. Similar studies have been released in support of the ill-conceived high-speed rail project: we might not get a usable system that takes many passengers out of their cars, but at least we created a lot of jobs in the Central Valley! This is not a persuasive argument for imposing more debt on our children, who already have the challenge of paying for Baby Boomer retirements."
"Also, for what it’s worth, I don’t oppose the existence of CIRM. If it can be financed privately, that would be wonderful. I just don’t think it should be imposing burdens of future taxpayers."
From Joe Rodota, who worked for Republican Gov. Pete Wilson and Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
"This sentence (from the study) caught my attention 
"The estimates in the report are based on the economic stimulus created by CIRM funding and by the co-funding that researchers and companies were required to provide for clinical and late-stage preclinical projects. The estimates also include:
"Investments in CIRM-supported projects from private funders such as equity investments, public offerings and mergers and acquisitions, 
"Our (Rodota's) proposal, as outlined here, includes this language:
"In exchange for the funds they receive, companies would tender to the University of California shares of their common stock, with an estimated value as determined by the most recent outside valuation or price set by investors. These shares would become part of the UC endowment -- and the University of California be free to sell or leverage these shares, or acquire additional shares, as it sees fit.

"Under our proposal, in exchange for providing funding to private companies engaged in developing stem-cell therapies, the University of California would receive shares, alongside any shares sold to private investors. Although the report categorizes equity sold to private investors as part of the 'economic stimulus created by CIRM funding,' that equity is held by private investors, not the University of California."

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