Stem cell chairman apologizes; must make choice

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To his credit Bob Klein, chairman of the California stem cell agency,  has apologized to Sen. Sheila Kuehl for an unseemly personal attack from his advocacy group over the Kuehl sponsored legislation, SB 1565. But that welcome apology is not enough.

Klein said he was on vacation and knew nothing about the attack article, which was published last week on the national political blog Daily Kos by Americans for Cures. In a statement to the California Stem Cell Report, Klein said he returned early from vacation to deal with the furor caused by the article. He wrote:

"I wanted to make sure you knew right away that I was completely unaware of the blog entry. I have requested that the Daily Kos entry associated with Americans for Cures be deleted from the site because it did not receive clearance from senior members of the organization, and it did not properly reflect the organization’s views on Senator Kuehl."

Before Klein’s statement was released  Friday an apology came from Americans for Cures Co-executive Directors Amy Daly and Constance McKee with word that the article had been deleted from the Daily Kos.

The apologies are welcome.  However, so long as Klein remains chairman of the state stem cell agency, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, and president of the advocacy group, Americans for Cures, the situation remains a train wreck waiting to happen.

I’ve said that because he apparently doesn’t want to give up his advocacy role, he should quit as state stem cell chairman.  I’d settle for his severing all ties with Americans for Cures.

Insisting on wearing both hats in untenable.  It damages the credibility of both CIRM and Americans for Cures. Klein needs to realize his dual roles seriously undermine the dedicated staff of both organizations.

Make a choice, Bob.

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