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Saturday, July 22, 2006

Mark Kennedy Votes AGAINST Embryonic Stem Cell Research

Mark Kennedy opposes federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. While he supports adult and cord blood stem cell research, when most people talk about stem cell research, they commonly are thinking of embryonic stem cell research. I got a press release from the DSCC today which discussed Mark Kennedy's voting record on this issue, and pointed out that when Mark Kennedy's congressional office issued a press release on the topic a few months ago, the release suggested that Kennedy supports stem cell research.

Press Release-Kennedy Lauds Minnesota Advances in Stem Cell Research

05/17/2006

Washington, D.C. - Congressman Mark Kennedy spoke on the Floor of the House of Representatives today, to congratulate the University of Minnesota and BioE for their promising research in adult stem cells. The following is the text of his speech:

"Mr. Speaker, stem cell researchers at the University of Minnesota and BioE, a company in my home state, have reported that they have successfully differentiated cord blood stem cells into lung cells.

"This potential breakthrough would extend the promise of stem cell research to the treatment of many respiratory conditions. And, just this past February, researchers at the University of Minnesota discovered the potential application of cord blood stem cells in nerve tissue regeneration.

"This research reinforces the importance of the Stem Cell Therapeutic and Research Act we passed last year, and why we must fully fund the stem cell research it authorized.

"This research out of my home state of Minnesota reminds us that stem cell research that respects life is already being used to provide astonishing miracles for devastating diseases."

Since coming to Congress, Kennedy has supported research to find cures for diseases by more than doubling medical research funding, including adult stem cells.


DSCC pounces on Mark Kennedy today:

For Immediate Release

July 21, 2006

Contact: Phil Singer, 202-485-3123

ob·fus·cate (bf-skt, b-fskt)
tr.v. ob·fus·cat·ed, ob·fus·cat·ing, ob·fus·cates

To make so confused or opaque as to be difficult to perceive or understand: "A great effort was made... to obscure or obfuscate the truth" (Robert Conquest).
To render indistinct or dim; darken: The fog obfuscated the shore.

THE MARK KENNEDY TO ENGLISH DICTIONARY.

Today's Word: Oppose.

Today's Case: Stem Cell Research

Suppose you are a politician who is against something most folks are for. Well, you could tell everybody about it. That would be the right thing to do. But suppose you are the kind of politician who will say anything to get votes. What do you do? Well, you do what Mark Kennedy does: you pretend to be for something while you vote against it, and then issue statements designed to obscure your position in order to trick people into voting for you.

Today's case in point: stem cell research. Last year, Mr. Kennedy voted against --that means opposed-- HR-810, which would allow about-to-be-destroyed stem cells to be used in research for life saving cures for diseases ranging from Diabetes and Alzheimer's. This is President Bush's position, by the way. You remember President Bush, don't you? He's the guy Kennedy votes with all the time, but leaves out of his speeches because he has, well, job approval issues.

So this week the nameless guy Kennedy leaves out of his speeches issued the first veto of his Presidency, on HR-810, that pesky stem cell bill. And what did Mark Kennedy do? Of course, he voted to sustain that veto. That means opposed, too.

That's what Kennedy did. Not once, but twice. Not just last year, but this week.

But you'd never know it from listening to him.

After he voted to sustain what's-his-name's veto of the stem cell bill, Kennedy called stem cell research "a great scientific advancement." And he didn't stop there. "We need to ensure," Kennedy intoned, "that we continue to explore this ground-breaking field for curing diseases in a way that is consistent with our values as a society." [Mark Kennedy Press Release, 7/19/06]

It's a pattern. Here's Mr. Kennedy on the floor of the House Representatives on May 17 of this year:

"Mr. Speaker, stem cell researchers at the University of Minnesota and BioE, a company in my home state, have reported that they have successfully differentiated cord blood stem cells into lung cells.

"This potential breakthrough would extend the promise of stem cell research to the treatment of many respiratory conditions. And, just this past February, researchers at the University of Minnesota discovered the potential application of cord blood stem cells in nerve tissue regeneration."

Sounds great.

Problem is, Mr. Kennedy is against stem cell research.

He just hopes you don't figure that out.

###


Mark Kennedy isn't opposed to all stem cell research - but he is opposed to embryonic stem cell research. He does not oppose the type of stem cell research that his press release describes. His press release is misleading because it doesn't mention his opposition to embryonic stem cell research.

My question is whether Mark Kennedy is consistant, and also opposes In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). His votes against stem cell research doesn't save any embryos. The embryos are still destroyed. His votes just don't allow these embryos to be used in research.

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