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Thursday, February 07, 2008

Steve Sarvi at Drinking Liberally Event

I had time to briefly get clarifications on some of my questions that I asked his campaign by email earlier.

On Don't Ask, Don't Tell, he indicated he thought the policy was outdated, but when asked about signing onto repeal legislation (so far both 6th District DFL candidates, Oberstar, McCollum and Ellison are signed onto the Military Readiness Enhancement Act), he said he could not commit to that at this time. He did say he would vote in favor of the Employment Non Discrimination Act and legislation that would include gays for hate crimes prosecution.

On stem cell research, he said he believes there are ways to do this without "involving fetuses." This is a misinformed statement. Fetuses are at a different stage of development than embryos. The embryos used for embryonic stem cell research are at an early stage of development known as the blastocyst stage. This is before the cells have differentiated into different types of cells - nerves, skin, heart, muscle, etc. He was asked about stem cell research by two people - myself, and someone else attending the event. If he takes the President Bush position on embryonic stem cell research (opposition to federal funding of this), it does not save embryos. Instead the blastocyst embryos get discarded. I didn't ask him a follow up question about whether he also opposes in vitro fertilization - which is the process that produces these embryos.

When he spoke, he spoke about his experiences serving in the military, and as Mayor of Watertown.

Sarvi was received well by this liberal audience.