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Archive for October, 2008

STEM CELLS MAY CURE THE ECONOMY: One Last E-Blast 

 

If I could reach every stem-cell-supportive candidate right now, I would say:

 

Dear Candidate:

 

In these few remaining hours before election, consider a last-minute e-blast about your stem cell research support. Here’s why:

 

It is a terrific way to reach independent voters Voters who self-identify as independents are the strongest supporters of stem cell research, stronger even than Democrats.

 

”Support (for embryonic stem cell research) is higher among Democrats (64 percent) than among Republicans (46 percent), and is highest among the politically important independents (67 percent).*–Peter D. Hart Research Associates, Results for America.

 

Reminding voters of your stem cell support cannot hurt you– and it might help a lot.

 

In virtually every demographic, a majority of voters supports full stem cell research.   Recent polling, for example shows American Catholics support embryonic stem cell research three-to-one.  One national survey sponsored by the National Catholic Reporter shows “77% of American Catholics support stem cell research on excess embryos.” Another 2008 poll, by Belden Russonello & Stewart, found: “By a wide margin, they (Catholic voters)  favor stem cell research with early human embryos (69% support)” –http://www.catholicsforchoice.org/documents/executivesummary.pdf.,

 

Who opposes stem cell research? An increasingly isolated minority of die-hard ideological ultra-conservatives—who will never vote for a progressive anyway… 

 

And if I could ask every candidate to send out ONE LAST E-BLAST, it would focus on one tremendous boost to the economy:

 

Dear Fellow Citizen:

 

We all agree: the economic meltdown is the number one concern of every American.

 

But my opponent fails to realize that healthcare costs are at the roots of the current crisis.

 

Listen to the American Association of Retired Persons, “Health care expenses can be one of the biggest, if not the biggest, causes of bankruptcy among older Americans.”

 

You know the cost of your healthcare is skyrocketing. But take a look at the total costs…

 

***”The medical care costs of people with chronic diseases account for more than 75% of the nation’s $2 trillion medical care costs”. –Department of Health and Human Services, http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/overview.htm 

 

Two trillion dollars? That mountain of debt may well be the root cause of the recession.

 

Consider: Health care costs are now more than all federal income taxes combined.

(To verify that, visit the Internal Revenue Service website, Tax Stats at a Glance: (http://www.irs.gov/taxstats/article/0,,id=102886,00.html):

 

Individual income tax: $1.3 trillion ($1,366,241,000,000)

Corporation income tax: $400 billion ($395,536,000,000)

Add it up, round it off: $1.7 trillion.

 

All the federal income taxes in America combined, ($1.7 trillion dollars) are not as much as our health care costs ($2 trillion)—and why are our medical costs so high?

 

Because people are getting sick, but not getting well: an estimated 100 million Americans suffer a chronic (incurable) illness or disability: that is one out of three citizens!  We are keeping people alive, maintaining them in their misery, but not curing them.

 

Too many of our loved ones suffer disease and disability for which there is no cure—except, perhaps, through stem cell research.

 

How do we lower these impossible medical costs? The answer is huge, and plain.

 

Cure is the best way to lower health care costs.  Remember an earlier great success America had, when our own Jonas Salk invented a way to prevent the crippling disease of polio. If the Salk vaccine had not been developed, today we would be spending an estimated $28 billion each and every year for that one disease.

 

We do not have that cost today, because we backed medical research: overcoming the objections of the same ultra-conservatives (like my opponent) who are against it today.

 

Stem cells and other biomedical advances are a pillar of the new economy: a great way to help cure the financial crisis.

 

One final example: medical care for a paralyzed person may cost three to five million dollars over a lifetime.  But what is there was a cure? Embryonic stem cell therapies to alleviate paralysis are being considered by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) right now. Patients with a spinal cord injury may soon have the chance to walk out of the hospital, instead of being condemned to a lifetime in a wheelchair.

 

We must consider our families: shall we develop a new industry bringing good-paying jobs to the community, while working to heal our suffering loved ones? Or not?

 

On November 4th, our country will decide: choosing between leaders who can grasp the shining promise of the future, or those who are inextricably tied to the failures of the past.

 

That decision is in your hands.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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HELP MICHIGAN TODAY—And Skip a Lot of Fighting Later On!

 

Folks: Last night I went to a fundraiser for a California Senator, a strong friend of stem cell research. At the end of his remarks, he opened the floor for questions—and naturally I brought up Michigan!

 

What does California have to do with the wolverine state?

 

Because every stem cell supporter in America should be helping in the Michigan fight. The good folks back there are standing up for everyone, taking on the Religious Right, in an all-out battle for freedom for cure research.

 

If the anti-research forces can be defeated in Michigan, in a state held up as a right-to-life model, stem cell research ceases to be a controversy. That is hugely important; we will soon have a President who supports our research, and we want the only question to be—how many billions should be invested—NOT if we should do it or not because of the artificial controversy.

 

The opposition knows this too. They are billing their anti-research struggle as a last stand, and you cannot believe how much money and time they are willing to devote to try and keep the nation’s most restrictive anti-science policies in place.

 

I went back there for a week, volunteering to help in the Michigan campaign, and it was a joy. Great folks, friendly and cheerful, despite not getting much sleep in recent history.  They are doing everything right; everybody is working hard, and intelligently.

 

But against them is one of the fiercest political forces on earth. The Catholic Church is the largest single property-owner on Earth, and they know how to use their wealth for political effect.

 

 If you are a Catholic in Michigan right now, you have been hammered relentlessly. Statements have been made from Rome that supporters of the research should be excommunicated, literally damned to Hell for all eternity. Your family would have been inundated with propaganda, not only weekly bulletins and preachments from the altar, but expensive professional slick commercials, multi-media stuff, including at least two major mailings. Two twelve-minute DVDs have been made, packaged and shipped to every Catholic family in Michigan—504,000 households. That’s 1,008,000 DVDs alone. Wouldn’t it be great if we had the money to send out that level of communication?

 

And on TV? The Michigan Catholic Conference is funding some of the cruelest and most dishonest advertisements ever made.

 

You might think lying would be frowned on, in an ad paid for by a church, but no, the prohibition against fibbing seems to have been set aside.

 

The lies in the ads are too many to fully recount: here are just a few: charges of new taxes (a flat lie, there is not a nickel in government money in Proposal 2), threats of cloning (illegal now, and it will still illegal after the law passes), ludicrous allegations of cow-human monstrosities (one ad features an actor in a cow suit!), and on and on and on.

 

Unfortunately, the ads are working. With the avalanche of lies being hurled at Proposal 2, people apparently are thinking, well, maybe some of this stuff is true—and every week a new ad is built around yet another lie.

 

Our support was high: 50% in favor of loosening some of the cruelest anti-research restrictions, 32% against. But after the media blitz paid for by the Michigan Catholic Conference, our numbers are way down—46 in favor/43 against. That is way too close.

 

The battle must be won.

 

But it cannot be successful if the opposition’s lies go unanswered.

 

The campaign needs a few bucks from people like you and I. If you already agree, go to www.CureMichigan.com, and chip in a few more bucks.  (I will do so again, right now—hang on, back in a minute—okay, back, I just contributed another $25. If you know my wife, do not tell her. Like everybody else, we are pinching our pennies right now…)

 

If you are not quite convinced, please read the following update—and then go to http://www.CureMichigan.com.

 

 

SUMMARY – Michigan voters support eSCR.  Pro- messages are more compelling than anti-, and additional resources will solidify victory by assuring a proper level of closing communication.

 

HISTORIC SUPPORT / PUBLIC OPINION

For years in Michigan public opinion research has showed Michigan voters strongly supporting embryonic stem cell research (ESCR). CureMichigan collected 600,000 petition signatures in only 15 weeks, which proved historic as they collected more signatures in less-time than any other previous effort in Michigan political history.

 

The good news is while every independent statewide poll to-date has showed the effort leading.  Something we all know from experience is that positive cure messages prove more convincing than even the opposition’s strongest anti-cure argument against ESCR.

 

WELL-FUNDED OPPOSITION

The Religious-Right has publicly declared Michigan as the “last stand” against ESCR.  They have so far invested over $7,000,000 in a misleading, deceptive television campaign.  The Michigan Catholic Conference has invested over $5 million, alone, with $2.2 million coming in just the past week.  Shamefully, their latest ad invokes racism by blatantly linking stem cell research to the Tuskegee Experiments from the 1940s.  You can watch their ads at www.2goes2far.com.

 

The unfortunate news is that we know this deception confuses voters and instills fear of medical research.

 

WHY MICHIGAN MATTERS

Winning in Michigan this November is critically important.

·         Should Michigan win, the “pro-cure” die is cast, but,

·         Should Michigan lose, the Religious-Right will be empowered.  They will take their despicable tactics and prey on other voters in other states.  They will argue the tide has turned because even Michigan, a political “Blue State”, will have said “no” to ESCR.

 

DONOR MATCH

If you act today, your contribution will be matched by a very generous donor as CureMichigan seeks to bolster paid communication over the final days to solidify support amidst a flurry of deception by the Religious Right.

   

More information on the campaign, and the lives it touches, can be found at CureMichigan.com.

 

 

The facts about embryonic stem cell research in Michigan

 

The current law

 

§         Michigan law makes it a felony to use new embryonic stem cells — meaning embryonic stem cells that are leftover from fertility treatment — for research into cures to serious diseases and injuries.

§         Under the current law, a researcher who uses new embryonic stem cells to find cures in Michigan can be fined up to $10 million and imprisoned up to 10 years.

§         Michigan is one of five states with the most severe restrictions on embryonic stem cell research, along with Arkansas, North Dakota, South Dakota and Louisiana.

 

 

Full text of the ballot proposal

 

INITIATIVE PETITION – AMENDMENT TO THE CONSTITUTION

A Proposal to Amend the Constitution of the State of Michigan by adding a new Article I, Section 27 as follows:

Article I, Section 27.(1) Nothing in this section shall alter Michigan’s current prohibition on human cloning.

(2) To ensure that Michigan citizens have access to stem cell therapies and cures, and to ensure that physicians and researchers can conduct the most promising forms of medical research in this state, and that all such research is conducted safely and ethically, any research permitted under federal law on human embryos may be conducted in Michigan, subject to the requirements of  federal law and only the following additional limitations and requirements:

(a) No stem cells may be taken from a human embryo more than fourteen days after cell division begins; provided, however, that time during which an embryo is frozen does not count against this fourteen day limit.

(b) The human embryos were created for the purpose of fertility treatment  and, with voluntary and informed consent, documented in writing, the  person seeking fertility treatment chose to donate the embryos for research; and

(i) the embryos were in excess of the clinical need of the  person seeking the fertility treatment and would
otherwise be discarded unless they are used for  research; or

(ii) the embryos were not suitable for implantation and  would otherwise be discarded unless they are used for  research.

(c) No person may, for valuable consideration, purchase or sell human embryos for stem cell research or stem cell therapies and cures.

(d) All stem cell research and all stem cell therapies and cures must be conducted and provided in accordance with state and local laws of general applicability, including but not limited to laws concerning scientific and  medical practices and patient safety and privacy, to the extent that any  such laws do not:

(i) prevent, restrict, obstruct, or discourage any stem cell research or stem cell therapies and cures that are  permitted by the provisions of this section; or

(ii) create disincentives for any person to engage in or otherwise associate with such research or therapies or  cures.

(3) Any provision of this section held unconstitutional shall be severable from the remaining portions of this section.

 

FOLKS, SEND A COUPLE BUCKS RIGHT NOW TO WWW.CUREMICHIGAN.COM

 

Thanks,

 

Don C. Reed

 

P.S. On our last day in Michigan, Gloria and I treated ourselves to a trip to the magnificent Detroit Zoo, one of the most beautiful in the world. Gloria loved  the polar bear swimming underwater, but for me the highlight was three wolverines, powerful, small, agile, fearsome—but nearly extinct in the wild.

 

The wolverine is the symbol of courage and ferocity, but it can well be wiped off the face of the earth if it does not receive a little wisdom and caring from humanity.

 

Like stem cell research in Michigan.

 

http://www.CureMichigan.com

 

 

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MICHIGAN MIRACLE? Stem Cell Stalwarts Fight Uphill Battle 

 

“Let us so bear ourselves, that if the British Empire last for a thousand years, men will still say: this was their finest hour.”—Winston Churchhill

 

 

In World War Two, when Nazi bombs were falling on England, the citizens came together like never before. Far from breaking their spirit, the attacks strengthened their resolve.

 

Similarly, in Michigan today, a common purpose has united men and women from every walk of life. Not separated by artificial labels like Republican and Democrat, church-go’er and not, male and female, young and old, Michiganders are mounting a non-partisan effort to throw off the cruelest anti-research laws in the nation.

 

Current law?  If you are trying to find a cure for cancer and you make a stem cell line, you can go to jail for ten years, and be fined a million dollars. This is nonsense, and it is time for change.

 

The state of Michigan is fighting for the right to turn medical trash into treasure, to use blastocysts that would otherwise be thrown away to give hope to suffering people, so that every American family can have the right to the best medicine science can provide.

 

Here is how it works. When a childless couple goes to the In Vitro Fertility (IVF) clinic, to try to have a baby, fifteen or twenty microscopic blastocysts  are made—microscopic unions of sperm and egg. The best ones are put inside the woman, implanted in her womb, to help her and her husband achieve their dream. But what about the other 12-15 blastocysts?

 

Under current law, they must be thrown away, given to some other couple, and be stored in frozen nitrogen (at an expense) forever. But they cannot be used for research which might save lives or ease suffering. That’s correct— a blastocyst which can legally be tossed in the dump, cannot be donated to the quest for cure.

 

Would it not be better to allow these microscopic dots of tissue to be used to help bring about relief for suffering people? Remember, it is biologically impossible for these cells to ever become a child unless they are implanted in a woman’s womb. No mother, no baby: that is a simple fact of life.

 

A lot of good people have worked years to overturn those laws.

 

Why? “Everybody knows someone with a terrible condition, who cannot be cured right now,” said Sophie Eichner of Michigan for Stem Cell Research and Cures, “like my husband, who has cancer and diabetes, and my mother, who has rheumatoid arthritis.”

 

People like Sophie mounted a campaign, and put Proposal 2 on the ballot. As an initiative, Proposal 2 needed 380, 000 signatures to qualify for consideration; but the men and women fighting for Proposal 2 gathered more than half a million individual signatures.

 

Now it must be voted on, decided by Michigan.

 

It is an uphill battle.

 

The Religious Right likes to brag about their domination of Michigan, taking pride in the very restrictions on research that we hope to overturn– and they have virtually unlimited resources.

 

Among the enemies of research is (unfortunately) the Catholic Church, the single largest property owner in the world. In addition to attacks from the pulpit, the Michigan Catholic Conference has spent vast amounts of money on their seemingly endless campaign. For example, one of their widely-distributed propaganda messages was a professionally-done 12 minute anti-stemcell DVD. This was sent to every Catholic family in Michigan—think of the cost of 503,000 DVD’s plus postage for that single mailing—not to mention the television ads.

 

Fortunately, Catholics can be independent. My wife Gloria is Catholic, as are my children Desiree and Roman, and they are among the 72% of American Catholics who support embryonic stem cell research.

 

Unfortunately, we are up against people who are willing to lie.

 

These are supposed to be champions of morality. Certainly they praise themselves enough, implying that only non-virtuous folks could disagree with their views.

 

To me, when the  Good Book says, “Thou shalt not bear false witness”, that means no lying—the opposition tossed that commandment out the window.

 

Three examples:

 

Lie Number One: the opposition knows perfectly well Proposal 2 is not about money for research: not a nickel, not a dollar, not a cent.

 

But the opposition runs expensive TV ads showing an actor shoveling mountains of money, saying Michigan can’t afford to spend millions on stem cell research—even though Proposal 2 asks for no money at all.

 

Lie number Two:  The opposition pretends the bill is about cloning, using the fear of this horror movie fantasy in more professionally-made TV ads, with an announcer intoning like the voice of doom, while the video shows a bunch of buildings with labels like “Crop Clones” on them. I have no idea where they got these companies, or if they exist at all— (a Google search reveals no company by that name) or maybe the company (assuming it has an existence) has something to do with cloning plants, increasing farm crops they way gardeners do when they cut a slip from a plant—but the clear implication is that there is a business trying to clone people, which is completely false. 

 

If the opposition was seriously worried about cloning, all they would have to do is to read the first sentence of the bill itself: here it is.

 

“Article I   Section 27. (1) Nothing in this section shall alter Michigan’s current prohibition on human cloning.”

 

How much clearer can words get? There is no possible excuse of misunderstanding here; the opposition seems to hope Michiganders will not read the bill for themselves.

 

Lie number three is the cruelest deception of all—that we don’t need embryonic stem cell research– because adult stem cell research is already bringing cures to 70 (or 58 or 100 or whatever number they are using today) of diseases.

 

This is the one that angers me the most. Adult stem cell research is valuable, no one says it isn’t. I am in favor of stem cell research from many sources. Where it works, it should be used.

 

But talk to people who have Parkinson’s, spinal cord injury, cancer, Alzheimer’s, Lou Gehrig’s disease and more—all conditions presently incurable—and ask them if there is a cure.

 

My son is paralyzed. If there was a cure, I would sell my house to make it happen for him. There is no cure yet, but the best hope I have is embryonic stem cells.

 

Adult stem cells to me are like bandaids: they are useful for minor repairs of the body, all through life. I am glad they exist. My sister Barbara, who has cancer and leukemia, was given our younger brother David’s adult stem cells, and they helped—for a while. But then the cancer came back. There is no cure.

 

No serious scientific or medical body pretends adult stem cells are an acceptable substitute for embryonic stem cell research.

 

They may even be less valuable than we think.

 

Here is a small piece of an article which just came out. It is about the adult stem cell research which the opposition tries to say is just as good as embryonic.

 

  
http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/health/1500ap_stem_cell_study.html

Last updated October 7, 2008 10:59 p.m. PT

University: Stem-cell study used falsified data

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

MINNEAPOLIS — The University of Minnesota has concluded that falsified data were used in a 2001 article published by one of its researchers on adult stem cells. The school is asking that the article be retracted.

The conclusion follows an 18-month investigation into research published by stem-cell expert Dr. Catherine Verfaillie. The investigation clears Verfaillie of misconduct but points to a former graduate student, Dr. Morayma Reyes, who is now an assistant professor at the University of Washington.

The university blames Verfaillie for “inadequate training and oversight,” and says it has asked for a retraction of the published article, which appeared in the journal Blood.

Reyes said it was an honest error and there was no intent to deceive.

The study was one of a series that Verfaillie published, suggesting that adult stem cells could be used as an alternative to embryonic stem cells in medical research….” (emphasis added.)—end of quote.

Dr. Katherine Verfaille is a decent and honorable person. She never said her research should replace embryonic stem cell research—she always said both adult and embryonic forms should advance side by side– but those who oppose embryonic stem cell research tried to use her work as an excuse to stop it.

The truth is being heard at last. But facts alone cannot prevail. It takes people brave enough to stand up and speak, sometimes at great cost to themselves.

 

People like Joe Schwarz, Republican, former Member of Congress. Joe sacrificed his political career to advance stem cell research. In Michigan, people in government are often afraid to speak out against the powerful “right to life” special interest group. If Joe had kept quiet about supporting stem cells, he would very likely have won his race. But Joe Schwarz showed the content of his character, as Martin Luther King said, and spoke out strong for stem cell research. The Religious Right targeted him, and defeated him—but he will be proven right. Michigan and America are richer for the integrity of public servants like Joe Schwarz.

 

Stem cell research can never belong to one political party. It is above the petty partisanship which so often dims our hopes.

 

Rick Johnson, another Republican, powerful leader, former speaker of the house, is a Cure Michigan board member.

 

Democratic champions definitely stand tall. People like Governor Jennifer Granholm, Senator Gretchen Whitmer, Representative Andrew Meissner and other Wolverine State legislators have fought in the trenches for years on our behalf.

 

Some folks hold no public office, but exercise influence by the power of their voice: people like Danny Heumann. who has been fighting to ease stem cell restrictions since 2004. Paralyzed in body but never in spirit, Danny is a motivational speaker, with so much energy the wheels of his chair almost seem to turn themselves. He is everywhere nowadays, and the next month will see him working to exhaustion and beyond, towards the great goal of freedom to research cure.

 

We have outstanding leaders, people like Mark Burton, chair of the Committee to pass Proposal 2, to allow responsible embryonic stem cell research in the state of Michigan. Mark is a charismatic young leader, vibrant, vocal—he speaks clearly, putting into words the hopes and dreams of millions—and every strength he can bring to the table is needed right now.

 

Behind the scenes folks make things happen: people like Amber Shinn, communications director for the effort. You may not see her in the papers, but you will see her work, bringing people together. When I called her to tell me a little about what she does, a question for this article, her first thought was for others, and she said: “Don’t forget to mention Laura DePotter, The Rossman Group, Minda Nyquist, Chris DeWitt, Erica Barrera, Kelly Dancsok”—and a bunch more.

 

Right now, Michigan is the center of the stem cell universe.

 

People are standing up everywhere, some everybody knows, like former President Bill Clinton, who is in Michigan, right now, as this is written.  How fitting, that the first President to   authorize embryonic stem cell research (his permission was overturned by President Bush, who replaced it with his own very limited version) Bill Clinton should come to Michigan to help the struggle.

 

And if the former President of the United States is coming here, so is the man who has done more than any other human on earth to advance stem cell research—Bob Klein. I think of him as the six billion dollar man, because that is how much his leadership persuaded California to invest in stem cell research: three billion and three billion in interest. He runs his company, a real estate endeavor, does his job as the chair of the Independent Citizens Oversight Committee for the California stem cell program, and supports stem cell research in other states as well. He barely has time to breathe. But he is making time to come to Michigan to help raise funds for the effort. It means a day on the plane each ways but when there is fighting to be done for stem cells, Bob Klein is there. 

 

He will shake hands with A. Alfred Taubman,  who made the Michigan campaign possible. Like Klein, Taubman has put his fortune on the line for biomedical research in general and stem cell research in particular. Without his vision and kindness, there would no money to try and match the outrageous distortions of the opposition.

 

Both men should put their hands together in a round of applause for the almost unbelievable accomplishments of Marcia Baum, Mary Smyka, Sophie Eichner of Michigan Citizens for Stem Cell Research and Cures. In the past year, these folks made 170 visits and presentations on stem cell research to churches and social clubs—in the next 30 days they will do 100 more—that’s more than three a day!

 

Scientists like Sean Morrison, Doug Engel, and Jack Mosher are not sitting back and hoping for the best—they are raising their voices on behalf of the research they know is good and wholesome.  Morrison in particular has set an example every scientist should emulate. He knows if we the people do not understand what he is doing, we will not support him, and the research will stop.

 

People are coming together. Every friend of cure research—regardless of party, religion, or whatever– is working toward the same goal.

 

I just have to be a part of it. Which is why, Sunday morning, bright and early, I am heading out to the Wolverine State.

 

Thanks to the Cure Michigan campaign, my wife Gloria’s and my plane fare and hotel room will be covered, and for one week I will get to do what I like most in the world—fighting for stem cell research in a battle when everything is on the line. I will be doing chores, helping in small ways, writing, talking, phonebanking, whatever. Like I told one person, I want to do the chores they would do if they had the time, which they do not.

 

You can help too.

 

Tired of divisive politics? Want to work across party lines? Help us in Michigan.

 

Go to the campaign website. Consider volunteering your time, if you live near enough to the state. Write a letter to the editor. Send a couple bucks if you can.

 

Help Michigan succeed. A victory here will not only free up some of the best universities in the world to work for cures, but also send a message to the nation that embryonic stem cell research cannot be suppressed any more.

 

If Michigan wins, everybody wins.

 

www.curemichigan.com

 

P.S. and a special “shout out” to—

 

John Simon-Our go to man!  jsimon@tmo.blackberry.net

 

Rick Johnson-VP Board of CureMichigan rjohn@fraserlawfirm.com

 

Mark Burton(Burton Consulting, Campaign everyman) burton2@mac.com

 

Jill Alper (media) jalper@deweysquare.com

 

Mark Mellman(media) mmellman@mellmangroup.com

 

Joe Slade White(media) jsw@jswco.com

 

Chris DeWitt (Press) cdewitt@acd.net

 

Mark Pischea(Rossman Group/external media) mpischea@rossmangroup.com

 

Kelly Rossman(Rossman Group/external media) krossman@rossmangroup.com

 

Amber Shinn(Everywoman!/ Endorsements) amber.shinn@gmail.com

 

Cheryl Bergman(Fundraising/Gov. Granholm) cherylbergman@yahoo.com

 

Heather Ricketts (Fundraising) heather.ricketts@gmail.com

 

Carrie Jones(Fundraising point person) carriejonesmi@yahoo.com

 

Kris Caswell (Fundraising/Sen. Levin) kriscaswell@gmail.com

  

Karen DeMott( Fundraising/Budget) karen.demott@gmail.com

   

Laura DePotter (Intern extraordinaire) depotte5@gmail.com

   

Mary Anne Servian (media) bridgeviewconsulting@comcast.net

 

Traci Riehl(fundraising) traciriehl@comcast.

 

Brett DiResta (Research) bcdiresta@aol.com

 

Something as wonderful as stem cell research advocacy does not happen by itself!

 

 

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BE EVERYWHERE: Vicki Englund, and Thirty Days to Remake the World

 

 

The most important race? Presidential. Obama must win, or everything you and I care about is at risk. This is a lot more involved here than just the sheer joy of having a friend instead of an obstacle in the White House.

 

The most important state? Michigan: Proposition 2 must pass, or we tell the Religious Right it is okay to keep research in the Dark Ages.

 

The most important Congressional/Senate (state or national) race–? Your call. Right now, I know of more than 100 races where there is a strong stem cell candidate America needs to support.

 

Like Vicki Englund.

 

Vicki is a friend of mine, and a friend of yours, because she supports stem cell research with all her heart. 

 

Here is a personal letter from her to you, written specifically for this column.

 

Vicki Englund

Democratic Nominee

Missouri’s 85th House District

September 11, 2008

 

I am a proponent of stem-cell research for three very specific reasons.  First, I believe that science and technology should be used to better the lives of everyone.  There have been so many advances in science over the last fifty years that have benefited those with life-threatening diseases.  We need to be vigilant and strive to find cures for even more people.

 

Second, Missouri has many universities and medical centers that provide a place for such cutting-edge research to take place.  We have a wealth of knowledge and professionals who are ready and able to take up this challenge.  In addition, the people of Missouri’s 85th District support stem-cell research.

 

Third, and most important, I have an aunt with multiple sclerosis.  Diagnosed in her early forties, my aunt was surprised to learn of her illness, as she had always been athletic and had three young children at home.  Her disease has progressed quickly over the past twelve years, rendering her unable to care for herself.  I saw first-hand how this disease affected not only the mobility and independence of my aunt, but how it tore apart her family as well.  Medical bills and her inability to work broke up her immediate family and they struggle to get by even today.

 

Missouri can be the leader in the research for life-saving cures.  Our state government has been dominated by stem-cell research opponents.  We are undergoing a change in Missouri and it is predicted that Democrats will win many of the statewide races, and will most likely take back control of the House.  My district has been clearly identified as one of the most important legislative races in Missouri this year.  We cannot take back the House without winning my seat.

 

It is this emphasis on the 85th District that has given us great momentum.  In these final weeks our push for victory will be strong.  We still, however, need to keep our momentum going and need more financial contributions.  Support from the life-saving cures community would put us over the top.  Please consider supporting us at http://www.vickienglund.com.  Together, we can make a difference.

 

Vicki Englund

 

 

P.S. Below are some of the folks who are endorsing Vicki.

 

IMPORTANT: Go to http://www.vickienglund.com  and send her a couple bucks– I know, I know, everybody is hitting you up for money– but this is important, and this is a friend. I will do it, and trust me, I can’t afford it either. If my wife knew I was going to contribute anything, she would be furious. So if you see Gloria, please do not mention to her that I am going to go to www.vickienglund.com and send her a stem cell nickel–for me, that’s $25. I know, big spender, huh? But that much I can do, and that much I will. Please help?

 

P.S. Again:  If it matters, Vicki is hugely supported by her party, winning her primary by 66%– she is a solid all around leader, respected by those who know her, and deserving of our support.

 

Endorsements:

AFL-CIO COPE

AFSCME Council 72

US Congressman Russ Carnahan

Greater St. Louis CWA City Council

House Democratic Campaign Committee

Senator Harry Kennedy

Laborer’s Local 110

Missouri ERA Political Action Committee

Missouri Labor

Missouri State U.A.W. CAP Council

Missouri Votes Conservation

Missouri Women’s Coalition

Missouri National Education Association (MNEA)

NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri

National Women’s Political Caucus

Oakville Democratic Organization

Planned Parenthood

Progressive Democrats of Lemay

Sierra Club

South County Labor

St. Louis Labor Council

Representative Rachel Storch

Representative Pat Yaeger

Representative Jake Zimmerman

Tesson Ferry Democratic Organization

UFCW Local 655

Women’s Campaign Forum

Supporters:

Aerospace Lodge 837

Arch Leadership PAC

Asbestos Workers

Branch 343 National Association of Letter Carriers

CWA District 6

Representative Margaret Donnelly

Electrical Workers

Mike Evans:  http://mike4missouri.blogspot.com/

First Missouri Credit Union

Gas Workers Local 5-6

Heat & Frost Insulators & Asbestos Workers Local #1

IBEW Local #1439

Representative Sam Komo

MO Association of Insurance & Financial Advisors

MO Rental Dealers Association

National Electrical Contractors Association

Oakville Democratic Organization

Operating Engineers Local 101

Representative Sam Page

Pipe Fitters Local 533

Pipe Fitters Voluntary Fund

Plasterers & Cement Masons

Progressive Democrats of Lemay

Missouri Progressive Vote Coalition

Missouri Realtors PAC

Representative Jeff Roorda

Senator Jeff Smith

Sprinkler Fitters LU 314

St. Louis Association of Realtors

Steve Stenger for County Council

Supporters of Health Research & Treatments

Teamsters 245 PAF

Teamsters Local Union #541

Tesson Ferry Democratic Organization

Representative Tom Villa

Representative Mike Vogt

 

 

Best,

 

Don C. Reed

Co-chair, Californians for Cures

http://www.stemcellbattles.com

 

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