Stem Cell Measure Aims High, but Can We Afford It?
California voters are about to be bombarded by $20 million in advertising for Proposition 71. The initiative would authorize $3 billion in bonds over the next 10 years to make the state a global center for stem cell research, putting it in competition with Singapore, Israel, South Korea and Britain. Michael J. Fox will be part of a campaign sponsored by Bill Gates of Microsoft, along with venture capitalists and bio-tech pioneers, whose goal is to treat--and even eliminate--some of human kind's most terrible diseases. The Bush administration has put severe limits on stem cell research; others call it playing God with human life, and playing fast and loose with California's already desperate financial condition. Warren Olney hears from proponents and opponents of Prop 71, including state Senator Tom McClintock and state Treasurer Phil Angelides.