In and outs of the political campaigns, focusing on Michigan and Lansing, Tim Skubick will report regularly throughout the primary and then general election campaigns.
Monday, June 23, 2008
This will be expensive
The TV and radio stations around the state can hear a giant ca-ching as a potential $20 million battle over legalization of embryonic stem cell research begins to unfold soon. In this corner, the bi-partisan coalition hoping to wipe out the current state ban on that research. And in that corner, Michigan Right to Life hoping to keep it. Former democratic candidate for governor Larry Owen, who heads the pro-research effort, discloses his budget will top $10 million. Michigan RTL with help from the Michigan Catholic Conference and others will likely see that $10 mil and raise it to who knows how much? Owen and company need about 350,000 petition signatures to get it on the ballot. He claims they have 400,000 right now with more coming in by the filing deadline of July 7th. The anti-embryonic folks have assumed all along that the question would get to the ballot, and they've fashioned a message to defeat it. "This permits human cloning," contends Right to Life lobbyist Ed Rivet. Owen dismisses that as "grossly dishonest." Owen will also argue that using embryos that are now being "tossed in the trash" will help cure diseases and save lives. Rivet in his ads will argue this research will destroy human life. The stem cell issue starts out with strong public support, but the other side has not begun to fight. Rivet reminds anyone who will listen that when there was a push to legalize assisted suicide, it also had widespread support, but when they counted the votes, it was defeated. The TV and radio stations will be more than happy to provide the paid airtime to see if history will repeat itself.