Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Crist Flip Flops On Stem Cell Research

It was only a matter of time before we saw Charlie Crist flip-flopped on a position. On January 24, 2007, Crist was on-record supporting spending $20 million on stem cell harvesting from embryos.

"I think it's important, and we talked about it during the campaign, because of the promise it has for maybe the curing . . . of many diseases and maladies that exist for a lot of our citizens," Crist said.

The bill (HB 555), filed by Rep. Franklin Sands, D-Weston, would require the state to spend at least $20 million a year for 10 years on grants to researchers doing studies using several types of stem cells, including adult stem cells, amniotic stem cells and embryonic stem cells, the most controversial type.

Crist backed the Sands' bill. Then he let out this bomb shell.

But at a seminar sponsored by the Associated Press today, Crist said he would recommend $20 million for research on existing stem cell lines, not on new ones cultivated from human embryos. He made it clear that he had received strong signals that the Republican-led Legislature, particularly the more conservative House, would not accept anything else.

"I'm pragmatic,'' he said. "I want to be respectful of concerns that (lawmakers) might have, but I also want to make progress."

Charlie had a chanfe of heart on January 31. The Governor stood firm and resolute an entire 7 days. That must be a record.

Update: Congressman Ron Klein responds to Charlie Crist's stem cell plan.

“I appreciate the fact that Governor Crist is amenable to putting grant money up for adult stem cell research, however this does not address the important issue of funding much needed embryonic stem cell research. Last year in the Florida State Senate a majority of Senators voted to approve ethical guidelines for this research and Senator Ken Pruitt indicated he would take this issue up.

“It is time for the Governor and the state legislature to think big, and pass an embryonic stem cell research bill this year. Just weeks ago the United States House or Representatives passed a Federal Stem Cell Research Bill with my support. It is my hope the State Legislature will join this effort as we fight to discover cures for our most common diseases and afflictions.”


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