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Fuck These People

How do we get Democrats like this in the General Assembly?

Not Hussein

I don't think "repealed" is the right word. "Recalled," maybe.

Just the facts ma'am

While I find this objectionable personally, let's be clear about what this does. It DOES NOT ban stem cell research in Virginia. It DOES NOT ban all state funding of stem cell research in Virginia. What it does do is ban funding embryonic stem cell research by the Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund and bans any company doing such research from receiving grants from the Fund. That's plenty to be outraged about without making shit up Ben.

For the love of God will you for once just accurately report what it is you're outraged about? Believe me, that's outrageous enough without your inaccuracies.

Second, you should place the blame where it is due: the Conference Committee. It included: Senator Mark R. Herring, Senator Jill Holtzman Vogel, Senator A. Donald McEachin, Delegate John M. O'Bannon, Delegate Samuel A. Nixon, Delegate Mark D. Sickles. By my count, that's 3 Dems and 3 Republicans.

My guess here is that the House R's said "No amendment, no bill," and there was a determination by someone (most likely the Patron, Senator Herring) that getting the bill passed was worth the price paid in the language attached. I don't know enough about what the bill will do to say whether that's a reasonable judgment, but that's at least the calculus that had to come into play.

And finally, whether this language survives sits squarely at the feet of our Governor. There should be enough Dem votes in the House to sustain his amendment striking the language, but this one is on the Governor. In fact, I suspect that these amendments might have been agreed to in Conference with a promise by the Governor that he'll strike them out, though that's conjecture.




Let's also note that the Governor/DNC Chair also signed the Choose Life license plate bill today, which passed both the House and the Democratically-controlled Senate.

Not Larry Sabato

Just the Facts- Explain how banning the only fund that can provide this sort of funding from doing so is not a state ban on stem cell research?

What other fund could this be done through?


NLS, look at the bill again - that language is present in existing code. Mark Herring (the Democratic Senator who introduced the bill) did not add that language to the bill. It's carry-over language that they are not amending.

Benjamin Alex Liversteak

Wow, imagine that! Democrats who don't want to waste taxpayers' dollars on dubious science that the private sector won't touch! No wonder Benjy is upset. Needless to say, embryonic stem cells won't cure much of anything, least of all whatever ails you, Ben.

Oh, and it's embrYOnic, not "embrOYnic." I see that you were well-grounded in science (and spelling) at Robinson High School.

Not Hussein

Dude, you misspelled "Benji." If you're really going to make a lame spelling attack, at least make sure your own words are spelled correctly.



Read the bill again.... number 1 is the part amending the Code, parts 2, 3, and 4 at the bottom of the bill are NOT already part of the code, they're the second, third, and fourth parts of the bill.

It appears from looking at the legislative history that this was added by the House, insisted on, and part of why it went to conference...

And I agree with Not Hussein... If you're going to attack Ben for spelling at least spell correctl yourself....

Just the facts ma'am

Ben, how about, oh, I don't know, one of our fine state universities? Also, to say that something is banned means it's illegal. THAT IS CLEARLY NOT WHAT THIS DOES. If a private company wants to do embryonic stem cell research they are perfectly able to do so without breaking the law, i.e. it's not banned. Again, I actually agree with the outrage, but not the sloppy/dishonest errors in your rhetoric.

Not Larry Sabato

Facts (ironic name)-

I didn't say it was "banned". I said state funds were "banned".

Again, if you know another state funding source where this could be funded from, please say it here. If they ban the only possible source of funds, that is a ban.

Church Hill Dem

Truth be told, there's only a million bucks in there, so whatever kind of research is being funded, it ain't much.

I'll admit this is a stupid provision, though.

Not John S. Mosby

It's clearly Gerry Connolly's fault. It must be, since Ben reported on it.

Mark Sickles

The amendment was insisted upon by the House Republicans and was lobbied for intensively by the Catholic dioceses of Richmond and Arlington, and by the Family Foundation. Sen. Mark Herring and I were very opposed to the amendment, but the underlying bill is an important reform bill that is strongly supported by our research universities and the Northern Virginia Technology Council, even with the amendment. (The bill covers commercialization policies for all kinds of technologies. It is intended to help us recruit and retain faculty and strengthen the ties between business and our universities.)

The stem cell amendment could have been worse, and reportedly some in the Republican Caucus wanted more, i.e., they wanted to ban our universities from drawing down federal or private money for embryonic stem cell research. So, as a result of this amendment, if federal money does flow to Virginia institutions for embryonic stem cell research, that research would not qualify for matching state dollars from the Fund. As someone mentioned above, we are not talking about much money at this point.

I am disappointed that the Governor did not try to strike the amendment, but I was not surprised and respect his personal views. Even if he had tried, there are not 51 votes to strike, made clear by the House floor vote on the amendment.

This is one more reason why we need change in Richmond. Our neighbors in Maryland and North Carolina have no such restrictions and have been very successful in fostering a robust life science industry. I look forward to voting to strike this language some day, especially if new cell lines approved by NIH prove to be instrumental in developing therapies for diabetes, Parkinson's or other debilitating and life threatening diseases.

Ben, to answer your question, universities have their own (limited) research budgets unrelated to this technology transfer money and the angel investor tax credit.

Not John S. Mosby

Thanks Mark, it's a good example of an imperfect bill that required some give and take to get done. Sometimes you have to be pragmatic and give up some things to get some back. Something the ideologues on either side can't fathom.

Terry McAuliffe

Research conducted using stem cells of all types, including genetically matched embryonic stem cells, represents our best hope for curing diseases like Parkinson’s and diabetes. Now that President Obama has lifted the ban on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research, we should do our part to encourage ethically responsible stem cell research at our public universities and state-funded research facilities. As Governor, I will give our scientists the tools they need to cure diseases that devastate our families.


Once again, when it comes to deciding on which candidate has the experience to lead on such a critical issue, the proof is in the pudding.

In 2007, Brian Moran introduced HB2857 to protect Stem Cell Research at our colleges and universities. "[W]e have a moral obligation to do all we can to seek cures to chronic and debilitating illness. We cannot let a minority opinion hold progress hostage on this issue. It truly is a matter of life or death," he said.

Today, his Healthy Virginia perpetuates his resolve to "fight for stem cell research and other forms of research that hold the promise of cures to debilitating illnesses".

Tom Paine

Ben is the official "Chicken Little" as well as the chief Quisling" of the DEmocratic Party of Virginia

useful science

The belief that embryonic stem cell research is useful is about as scientifically sound as global warming.

Why liberals want to throw money at projects that do not produce results is beyond me. (of course it is not their money)

Adult stem cells have proven to be the best opportunity why not just face it and move on.

Rtwng Extrmst

Research to possibly cure diseases at what cost?! Killing one innocent, defenseless human to possibly save another is NEVER a price we should pay!

"Second, you should place the blame where it is due... ...Senator Mark R. Herring, Senator Jill Holtzman Vogel, Senator A. Donald McEachin, Delegate John M. O'Bannon, Delegate Samuel A. Nixon, Delegate Mark D. Sickles."

Thank you Senators mentioned above. Whether with good intentions or not, you have helped make it more likely that some will be saved from torturous death and worse, being created solely for that purpose and in order to line the pockets of those willing to do it.

"Let's also note that the Governor/DNC Chair also signed the Choose Life license plate bill today, which passed both the House and the Democratically-controlled Senate"

Great news! I will go to the DMV site now and register for one!

Sen. Sickles (emphasis on the first syllable): "Our neighbors in Maryland and North Carolina have no such restrictions and have been very successful in fostering a robust life science industry."

"life science"? More accurately, death science when you consider that embryonic stem cell research requires the killing of a human life in order to create a stem cell.

Mr. McAuliffe:

"Now that President Obama has lifted the ban on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research, we should do our part to encourage ethically responsible stem cell research "

I agree, stressing "ethically responsible". Unfortunately our President has taken the most unethical of stances in opening up this type of research. What's more in his rush to kill more innocent human beings, he's willing that our government should fund the killing of one human in order to create a stem cell, while being unwilling to do the same in order to create another human being by human cloning research. I fail to see any great consistency in his ethical stance here. Of course, he's the same man that voted multiple times in favor of infanticide in the IL Senate. Now there's ethics for you!


How is Sickles going to say he's disapointed the Governor didn't try to amend this part out when he was in the Conf. committee that accepted it?

Mark Sickles

Not hard, 7:33. It is an important bill and the amendment could have been far worse. Lots of votes for the bill and conference report were by people who didn't like this language. It is the art of the possible.

Church Hill Dem

Big props to Mark Sickles for taking on a cutting edge and controversial issue like a rational person and actually getting something done.

Tom Paine

The rationality of arguments on this site is almost as rational as that of Red State.

Doug in Salem

Finally! A stem cell application in which we can all believe:


Alas, it does not say "embryonic" stem cells. :(

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