HELP MICHIGAN TODAY—And Skip a Lot of Fighting Later On!


Folks: Last night I went to a fundraiser for a California Senator, a strong friend of stem cell research. At the end of his remarks, he opened the floor for questions—and naturally I brought up Michigan!


What does California have to do with the wolverine state?


Because every stem cell supporter in America should be helping in the Michigan fight. The good folks back there are standing up for everyone, taking on the Religious Right, in an all-out battle for freedom for cure research.


If the anti-research forces can be defeated in Michigan, in a state held up as a right-to-life model, stem cell research ceases to be a controversy. That is hugely important; we will soon have a President who supports our research, and we want the only question to be—how many billions should be invested—NOT if we should do it or not because of the artificial controversy.


The opposition knows this too. They are billing their anti-research struggle as a last stand, and you cannot believe how much money and time they are willing to devote to try and keep the nation’s most restrictive anti-science policies in place.


I went back there for a week, volunteering to help in the Michigan campaign, and it was a joy. Great folks, friendly and cheerful, despite not getting much sleep in recent history.  They are doing everything right; everybody is working hard, and intelligently.


But against them is one of the fiercest political forces on earth. The Catholic Church is the largest single property-owner on Earth, and they know how to use their wealth for political effect.


 If you are a Catholic in Michigan right now, you have been hammered relentlessly. Statements have been made from Rome that supporters of the research should be excommunicated, literally damned to Hell for all eternity. Your family would have been inundated with propaganda, not only weekly bulletins and preachments from the altar, but expensive professional slick commercials, multi-media stuff, including at least two major mailings. Two twelve-minute DVDs have been made, packaged and shipped to every Catholic family in Michigan—504,000 households. That’s 1,008,000 DVDs alone. Wouldn’t it be great if we had the money to send out that level of communication?


And on TV? The Michigan Catholic Conference is funding some of the cruelest and most dishonest advertisements ever made.


You might think lying would be frowned on, in an ad paid for by a church, but no, the prohibition against fibbing seems to have been set aside.


The lies in the ads are too many to fully recount: here are just a few: charges of new taxes (a flat lie, there is not a nickel in government money in Proposal 2), threats of cloning (illegal now, and it will still illegal after the law passes), ludicrous allegations of cow-human monstrosities (one ad features an actor in a cow suit!), and on and on and on.


Unfortunately, the ads are working. With the avalanche of lies being hurled at Proposal 2, people apparently are thinking, well, maybe some of this stuff is true—and every week a new ad is built around yet another lie.


Our support was high: 50% in favor of loosening some of the cruelest anti-research restrictions, 32% against. But after the media blitz paid for by the Michigan Catholic Conference, our numbers are way down—46 in favor/43 against. That is way too close.


The battle must be won.


But it cannot be successful if the opposition’s lies go unanswered.


The campaign needs a few bucks from people like you and I. If you already agree, go to, and chip in a few more bucks.  (I will do so again, right now—hang on, back in a minute—okay, back, I just contributed another $25. If you know my wife, do not tell her. Like everybody else, we are pinching our pennies right now…)


If you are not quite convinced, please read the following update—and then go to



SUMMARY – Michigan voters support eSCR.  Pro- messages are more compelling than anti-, and additional resources will solidify victory by assuring a proper level of closing communication.



For years in Michigan public opinion research has showed Michigan voters strongly supporting embryonic stem cell research (ESCR). CureMichigan collected 600,000 petition signatures in only 15 weeks, which proved historic as they collected more signatures in less-time than any other previous effort in Michigan political history.


The good news is while every independent statewide poll to-date has showed the effort leading.  Something we all know from experience is that positive cure messages prove more convincing than even the opposition’s strongest anti-cure argument against ESCR.



The Religious-Right has publicly declared Michigan as the “last stand” against ESCR.  They have so far invested over $7,000,000 in a misleading, deceptive television campaign.  The Michigan Catholic Conference has invested over $5 million, alone, with $2.2 million coming in just the past week.  Shamefully, their latest ad invokes racism by blatantly linking stem cell research to the Tuskegee Experiments from the 1940s.  You can watch their ads at


The unfortunate news is that we know this deception confuses voters and instills fear of medical research.



Winning in Michigan this November is critically important.

·         Should Michigan win, the “pro-cure” die is cast, but,

·         Should Michigan lose, the Religious-Right will be empowered.  They will take their despicable tactics and prey on other voters in other states.  They will argue the tide has turned because even Michigan, a political “Blue State”, will have said “no” to ESCR.



If you act today, your contribution will be matched by a very generous donor as CureMichigan seeks to bolster paid communication over the final days to solidify support amidst a flurry of deception by the Religious Right.


More information on the campaign, and the lives it touches, can be found at



The facts about embryonic stem cell research in Michigan


The current law


§         Michigan law makes it a felony to use new embryonic stem cells — meaning embryonic stem cells that are leftover from fertility treatment — for research into cures to serious diseases and injuries.

§         Under the current law, a researcher who uses new embryonic stem cells to find cures in Michigan can be fined up to $10 million and imprisoned up to 10 years.

§         Michigan is one of five states with the most severe restrictions on embryonic stem cell research, along with Arkansas, North Dakota, South Dakota and Louisiana.



Full text of the ballot proposal



A Proposal to Amend the Constitution of the State of Michigan by adding a new Article I, Section 27 as follows:

Article I, Section 27.(1) Nothing in this section shall alter Michigan’s current prohibition on human cloning.

(2) To ensure that Michigan citizens have access to stem cell therapies and cures, and to ensure that physicians and researchers can conduct the most promising forms of medical research in this state, and that all such research is conducted safely and ethically, any research permitted under federal law on human embryos may be conducted in Michigan, subject to the requirements of  federal law and only the following additional limitations and requirements:

(a) No stem cells may be taken from a human embryo more than fourteen days after cell division begins; provided, however, that time during which an embryo is frozen does not count against this fourteen day limit.

(b) The human embryos were created for the purpose of fertility treatment  and, with voluntary and informed consent, documented in writing, the  person seeking fertility treatment chose to donate the embryos for research; and

(i) the embryos were in excess of the clinical need of the  person seeking the fertility treatment and would
otherwise be discarded unless they are used for  research; or

(ii) the embryos were not suitable for implantation and  would otherwise be discarded unless they are used for  research.

(c) No person may, for valuable consideration, purchase or sell human embryos for stem cell research or stem cell therapies and cures.

(d) All stem cell research and all stem cell therapies and cures must be conducted and provided in accordance with state and local laws of general applicability, including but not limited to laws concerning scientific and  medical practices and patient safety and privacy, to the extent that any  such laws do not:

(i) prevent, restrict, obstruct, or discourage any stem cell research or stem cell therapies and cures that are  permitted by the provisions of this section; or

(ii) create disincentives for any person to engage in or otherwise associate with such research or therapies or  cures.

(3) Any provision of this section held unconstitutional shall be severable from the remaining portions of this section.






Don C. Reed


P.S. On our last day in Michigan, Gloria and I treated ourselves to a trip to the magnificent Detroit Zoo, one of the most beautiful in the world. Gloria loved  the polar bear swimming underwater, but for me the highlight was three wolverines, powerful, small, agile, fearsome—but nearly extinct in the wild.


The wolverine is the symbol of courage and ferocity, but it can well be wiped off the face of the earth if it does not receive a little wisdom and caring from humanity.


Like stem cell research in Michigan.

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