Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Klein letter about Ortiz being underplayed by California newspapers?

Of the article
"Institute's chairman raps senator for bill; Klein's letter draws reaction over politics," (Terri Somers, San Diego Union-Tribune, page C1 (8 June 06))
, one notes that other major papers in California, including the Los Angeles Times and the San Francisco Chronicle, never mentioned the story, or the issues raised by CIRM chairman Klein maintaining a lobbying organization [Americans for Stem Cell Therapies
and Cures] while serving as the head of a state agency, the subject matter of which he is lobbying, both within California and outside of California.

Somers had quoted CIRM board member Jeff Sheehy:

"The larger question here is the appropriateness of the chair of a
state agency, especially a man who has been very insistent on having
operational responsibilities of the institute, having his own political action
committee. It just doesn't seem appropriate to me."

"I feel like I've been lied to, like there's been a bait and

Somers also noted: The existence of the organization took Sheehy and the public
advocacy groups by surprise. They said they thought Klein had relinquished all stem
cell advocacy positions outside the stem cell institute's board.

To the extent that Klein is promoting embryonic stem cell research, in other states and with the federal government, he is potentially undermining the patent positions sought by California-funded researchers. For example, if Klein helps New Jersey obtain funding, and New Jersey researchers get relevant patents, such patents might undercut the research position of California workers. In the area of federal funding, one has had patent litigations between different federal Bayh-Dole patentees. One can envision patent litigations between grant recipients in different states. A signpost along the road is the challenge raised by WARF to CIRM concerning the Thomson patents.

***Other commentary by the Los Angeles Times (June 17, 06)-->

FEMA did mismanage Katrina relief, but it's wrong to blame victims for spending irresponsibly.


It's easy, and necessary, to criticize FEMA's across-the-board incompetence in responding to the largest displacement of Americans since the Civil War. [IPBiz: don't know about large displacements of civilians during the Civil War, but what about Americans of Japanese ancestry during World War II? Korematsu?] But obsessing about the spending habits of refugees comes perilously close to blaming the victim.


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