Re "Tobacco tax? Yes, but not this one," Column, May 27
In his article opposing Proposition 29, Michael Hiltzik makes a number of misleading statements about Proposition 71, the voter-approved measure funding stem-cell research.
No ads for Proposition 71 promised miraculous cures. They promised good science, and that is what is being funded, with more than 62 promising therapies for 40 different diseases on their way to clinical trials.
The stem-cell agency has conflict-of-interest rules as strict as any government agency. We undergo state-mandated audits to ensure we follow all rules and regulations, and the most recent one, completed just this month, praised the agency for its performance.
As for being "an unwieldy bureaucracy," just 6% of the money we get goes to pay for staff; 94% goes to fund research here in California, creating new jobs, generating income for the state and, most important, helping find treatments for deadly diseases.
Trounson is president of the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine; Thomas is chairman of the institute's board.
If Proposition 29 passes, the only ones who have to pay the tax hike will be those who want to. Don't buy cigarettes, pay no tax.
I do agree that this should not be decided by voters as a proposition. I vote for representatives who share my views, and I do not want to have them come back to me to ask what they should do.
This is my feeling on most propositions.
Allen F. Dziuk
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