NJ For Change

Monday, March 13, 2006

Stem Cell Research In New Jersey

Our former Acting Governor, Richard Codey is pushing again for the state to pay for stem cell research centers in New Jersey. He’s looking for $200 million to start the ball rolling. I think it’s ridiculous.

Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against stem cell research. I just doubt $200 million is going to do the trick. People are researching stem cells all over the world, including elsewhere in the United States. What makes Codey think New Jersey’s investment is going to bring about the big break through? I see this as a $200 million boondoggle.

When the state’s in dire financial straights from spending too much money, you’ve got to be creative in order to get a new spending measure passed. Stem cell research is just the ticket. Who’s going to come out against curing illnesses and creating new jobs? Throw on top of that an opportunity to help the poor and only a cruel heart could say no. At least that's what Codey, now presidernt of the state Senate, is banking on.

Codey’s bill would build two, we can’t get by with just one, stem cell research centers - one for a $150 million in New Brunswick and one for $50 million in Camden. “Codey credited Sen. Wayne Bryant, D-Lawnside, with pushing for money to come to Camden.” Codey said, “he feels support from Assembly Speaker Joe Roberts, D-Camden, will allow the bill to pass this time”.

They can’t fool me, I see right through these deals. Codey’s bill is just another way for politicians to funnel money to their well connected friends. This time it’s under the pretense of helping to find the holy grail of medical cures and bringing jobs to New Jersey. In reality it’s for the construction unions and other political insiders.

Codey compared the research facility to Campbell Soup Co., once a major employer in the area. “A stem-cell research center in Camden could usher in the next generation's equivalent of factories and industry that once drove Camden”, Codey said. Uh huh.

I had relatives who worked for Campbell soup and I can tell you there’s no way their work experience is going to get them a job at a stem cell research facility. Who is Codey trying to fool? Camden needs jobs, but a stem cell research center won’t help the jobless in that poor city and anybody with half a brain knows it.

"If we can cure people at some point and help the economy in the meantime, that's a home run to me," said Codey.

Anyone want to make a bet how this turns out? I'll give you a hint - $200 million is just the begining of this scam, no miracle cures will be found in these centers, the people in Camden will be as poor as ever and a few guys will be laughing all the way to the bank. Any takers?
Blogger WjcW said...

I have to agree with you in that even you if you believe the idea has merit, there is absolutely no excuse for a 50 million 'bribe' to Joe Roberts to ensure passage in the assembly.
First, the citizens of NJ should be allowed the chance to vote on the borrowing as provided by the state constitution, and then it should be moved through the assembly on its merits, and not necessarily on how much pork the assembly leader gets for his home town.

3:44 PM  
Blogger Bob the Corgi said...

Do I not remember that former governor McGreevey took a job with UMDNJ to head the stem cell research project there? This just might be the delivery of promises made.

9:53 AM  
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