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Family Ties on Stem Cell

Republican Senate candidate Michael S. Steele has tapped his little sister to answer his Democratic opponent's widely discussed commercial on stem cell research that features actor Michael J. Fox showing overt signs of Parkinson's disease.

In a television ad released yesterday, Monica Turner, a Bethesda doctor, calls Rep. Benjamin L. Cardin's ad "deceptive" and "tasteless," adding that he is "using the victim of a terrible disease to frighten people all for his own political gain."

Turner also says her brother does support stem cell research and "cares deeply for those who suffer from disease."

Putting her hand to her heart -- as Fox does in Cardin's commercial -- she then reveals her credentials: She has multiple sclerosis, and "I know he cares about me."

Stem cell research is considered promising for developing treatments for a range of diseases, including Parkinson's and MS.

The issue has at times proved troublesome for Steele. Back in February, he seemed to compare embryonic research to Nazi experimentation when speaking to a Jewish group in Baltimore. He later apologized and clarified his position: He supports research that does not destroy the embryo. Yet he backed President Bush's veto of legislation to provide federal funding for embryonic research.

In Fox's ad, the actor seems to make a distinction between candidates who support research on adult stem cells and those who "fully" support the research, as he says Cardin does.

Susan O'Brien, an advocate for the research, organized a group of Maryland scientists to speak out yesterday against the Steele campaign's ad. She said it was disingenuous for them to "criticize Ben Cardin for allowing Michael J. Fox to speak up for his disease and then use his sister's disease to their advantage."

Ann E. Marimow

By Phyllis Jordan  |  October 28, 2006; 10:07 AM ET
 
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Comments

The Post editorial on Montgomery County today makes it seem as if the Post is endorsing Ike Leggett because Leggett is a black man.

Posted by: Jo | October 28, 2006 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Haaa haaa haaa ,so Ms. Turner feels that her brother is passionate about life? I hardlt think so as both Michael Steele and Robert Ehrlich will go down in the history books for their torturing and trashing of Marylands enviroment. This includes the many living creatures in that enviroment. I say Mike Steele , you seen the writing on the wall which is why you jumped the Ehrlich ship. I have news for you though , your poor history will follow you wherever. You can say it was all Bob but the truth is Mike backed him up on all of it .
To refresh the Voters minds prior to the November 7th elections. The Ehrlich / Steele andministration reopened Black Bear Hunting in Maryland which had been banned for many many many years. The first bear killed was a nine month old female cub. IN this wake of this change these bear are no forever unsafe as illegal hunting of them is growing. A 17 year old went into a Maryland forest lands park not to long ago this past winter . He entered the Den of a hibernating Mother and her three cubs. The youth shoot the mother in the back of her head ,killing her and he then simply walked away . Sadly her three cubs later died from exposure at their mothers side. Thanks to you Bob Ehrlich and Mike Steele this youth decided to bear hunt illegally. As a further thanks to Bob Ehrlich and Mike Steele Maryland once again allows hunting with the crossbow. A cruel and inhumane way to kill any creature. Oh and lets not forget thanks to Bob Ehrlich and Mike Steele Maryland also no has Sunday hunting. It use to be the animals could at least rest on Sundays ,not any more though.IF your reading this you may say why did BOB and MIKE allows these things. Your answer is simple, they bought and are owned by the NRA. Thosands of Voters spoke their mind against the Bear hunt . Due to this a late night session was held on Capital Hill the night prior to the first hunt. The session concluded that Marylands wanted the hunt halted. Later that night Bob Ehrlich made press statement advising that he was not bound by this vote and that the hunt would go on as planned. It did and early the next morning a shot was fired and a 9 month old female black bear cub fell to the cold ground . Her body dead and lifeless as the hunter celebrated his kill. The real tragedy is that the hunter in this case was an experienced sports writer of hunting articles. He stated that he intentionally wanted a small bear kill to make a small mount of her body. What has our society come to that we have so little respect for life. Maryland Voters , this Republican is smart enough to vote for O'malley and Cardin, I hope you are as well. Ehrlich and Steele will not vote your will unless you line their pockets as the National Rifle Association has . Cordially Yours
ceo4profit@aol.com

Posted by: Randy Breeden | October 28, 2006 9:07 PM | Report abuse

I applaud Republican Senate candidate Michael Steele for his stance in support of stem cell research, but at the same time respecting the dignity of human life by opposing embryonic stem cell research. As a society, we can not support the destruction of human life in order to attempt to save lives. I strongly believe our society will greatly benefit from Michael Steele's leadership.

Posted by: Cathleen West | October 28, 2006 10:34 PM | Report abuse

The Post editorial says we should vote for Ike Leggett because it is fitting and exciting to vote for a minority. I respectfully disagree. I don't intend to vote for anyone who has a history of taking large contributions from developers and raising taxes. Does the Post think it is fitting and exciting to vote for a white man to lead Frederick or Howard County because those counties are majority white? I am a minority, at least in this country.

Posted by: Ronald Wu | October 29, 2006 3:05 AM | Report abuse

Please excuse the previous post from Robin Ficker. He had an unhappy childhood...and it is still going strong.

Posted by: Keith Annesley | October 29, 2006 10:16 AM | Report abuse

"As a society, we can not support the destruction of human life in order to attempt to save lives."

So surely, you oppose Bush's misguided war, right?

Posted by: Marylander | October 29, 2006 11:47 AM | Report abuse

It's time for politicians to stop exploiting religion to mislead the personal convictions of Marylanders. Be wary of those who claim a moral high ground --- look at what it's done for the GOP leadership in Congress.

Should human ESC be offered one day, as a cure for MS, I can accept Mrs Turners conviction that she would prefer never to be cured from MS through this method (and, that goes for anyone who chooses to do so based on his/her PERSONAL conviction).

But, I DO NOT EVER want Monica Turner nor any Right-wing Republican for that matter, to impose her or their sense of morality, then dictate how you, I or anyone else should be treated, especially those who also suffer from these terrible diseases.

It's arrogant and wrongful for them to do so, otherwise.

ON THE ISSUE OF Human ESCs -- LIFE IS TRANSFORMED, NOT DESTROYED!

Here's the hidden truth. If we continue to accept the status quo, which Steele and his sister favors, then the majority of in vitro fertilized human embryos will continue to be flushed down the toilet. Thousands are destroyed each year because of their ignorance to cures to restore a fuller life for others.

The Republicans must STOP using religion justify their personal convictions in their anti-science agenda!

In fact, using human embryonic stem cells strictly does NOT destroy life or kill embryos. Instead, human embryonic cells continue to live are transformed to give life for potential cures! And one day these cells will renew life to those who suffer Parkinson's Disease and MS Adult stems cells or blood cord adult stems cells has NEVER BEEN proven.

Posted by: Dom (CATHOLIC Biologist, PhD ) | October 29, 2006 5:22 PM | Report abuse

On NBC-TV's Meet the Press on October 29, Maryland Senate candidate Rep. Ben Cardin (D) offered the following statement as part of his justification for voting in favor of the bill (H.R. 810) to fund embryonic stem cell research:

(The complete transcript of the Meet the Press debate between Cardin and Republican Michael Steele is here: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15473528/ )

So, Mr. Cardin (1) said he wants "no cloning," (2) said that he supported the anti-cloning bills that passed, and (3) distinguished this ostensible anti-cloning stance from his support for H.R. 810, on grounds that H.R. 810 would fund research on embryos who already existed and were going to be discarded anyway (as opposed to be creating specifically to be used in research).

The problem with Mr. Cardin's statement is that it is directly contradictory to Mr. Cardin's consistent voting record on human cloning. The issue of human cloning has come up for a vote only twice in Congress. On each occasion, Mr. Cardin voted AGAINST the bill to ban cloning. On each occasion, he first voted for unsuccessful amendments that would have explicitly allowed the creating of human embryos, by cloning, specificially for the purpose of using them in research that will kill them. The specifics of those votes appear again below.

Here are the specifics:

1. Weldon-Stupak Human Cloning Prohibition Act (H.R. 2505)
107th Congress, 1st Session
July 31, 2001
House Roll Call No. 304
Passed: 265-162
Cardin: No

2. Weldon-Stupak Human Cloning Prohibition Act (H.R. 534)
108th Congress, 1st Session
February 27, 2003
House Roll Call No. 39
Passed: 241-155 (see complete tally)
Cardin: No

On Meet the Press, Mr. Cardin also offered an incoherent explanation of why he voted against S. 2754, the Alternative Pluripotent Stem Cell Therapies Enhancement Act, on July 18, 2006. S. 2754 was a bill to encourage NIH to support research on ways to develop pluripotent stem cells without creating or harming human embryos. ("Pluripotent" refers to the capacity, possessed by embryonic stem cells, to develop into nearly any type of body tissue.) S. 2754 was an entirely separate bill from H.R. 810; if both bills had been enacted, they would not have conflicted with each other, because they each authorized a different line of research. S. 2754 passed the Senate 100-0 -- with support, obviously, from Maryland Senators Mikulski and Sarbanes. All 100 senators thought that would be a good thing to be able to obtain pluripotent stem cells without creating human embryos. The majority of House members agreed -- the vote on S. 2754 was 273-154 -- but because of the procedural situation, a two-thirds vote was required. Thus, the opposition of Mr. Cardin and a minority of other House members, mostly Democrats, killed the bill. Mr. Cardin apparently wanted to fund ONLY stem cell research that requires the destruction of human embryos.

The roll call on S. 2754 appears here:
http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2006/roll380.xml

Douglas Johnson
Legislative Director
National Right to Life Committee
Washington, D.C.
202-626-8820
www.nrlc.org

Posted by: Douglas Johnson | October 30, 2006 9:23 AM | Report abuse

You know your campaign reeks of desperation when you accuse your opponent of exploiting others' illnesses for political gain and then you pimp your own sister's illness. But family has to help each other out, right? Just like Steele tried to help Baby sis out of her marriage to convicted rapist Mike Tyson, even though he was not licensed to practice family law in MD.

Posted by: Silver Spring | October 30, 2006 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Here's an accurate basis as to why Ben Cardin voted against GOP-sponsored bills (S-2754, S-3504) -- both bills offered nothing, other than provide occasions (ammo) for rightwing idealogues to one day decieve, distract and distort Marylanders from the truths for potential cures for those who suffer disease through embryonic stem cell research.

Marylanders should be tired of the manipulative behaviors of right-wing idealogues who've done nothing in Congress other than abuse the public trust with bills that act to resolve nothing "new" in the end.

==============================

Article::

"Don't be Distracted by Decoys" (such as false prophets: ie the Global warming skeptics, anti-science and anti-cure Senators Rick Santorum and James Inhofe)


~snips>

"...An overwhelming 72% of the AMERICAN PEOPLE would like to see such research progress with federal funding, and 70% want the Senate to finally take up and vote on the issue. 41 NOBEL Laureates, virtually every major medical and scientific professional association, major research universities and institutions, and affected patient advocacy organization ALL support H.R. 810. ..."

"... S. 2754, a so-called "alternative" stem cell bill, and S. 3504, a bill to ban "fetal farming." Neither of these bills would have any real impact. As has been pointed out by NIH officials and other scientists, there is nothing included in S. 2754, the "alternative" bill, which cannot already be accomplished without this legislation. And S. 3504 would simply ban activity that no scientist is doing or wants to do, these practices occur only in science fiction, not in real life. H.R. 810 is the one bill in the package that offers promise to millions of Americans. By lifting the arbitrary ban on which stem cell lines can be federally funded, the bill truly helps research move ahead to end the suffering of patients and their families. ..."

http://ga1.org/bnaibrith/alert-description.tcl?alert_id=2234084

Posted by: Dom (Catholic Biologist, Phd) | October 30, 2006 10:53 PM | Report abuse

Here's an accurate basis as to why Ben Cardin voted against GOP-sponsored bills (S-2754, S-3504) -- both bills offered nothing, other than provide occasions (ammo) for rightwing idealogues to one day decieve, distract and distort Marylanders from the truths for potential cures for those who suffer disease through embryonic stem cell research.

Marylanders should be tired of the manipulative behaviors of right-wing idealogues who've done nothing in Congress other than abuse the public trust with bills that act to resolve nothing "new" in the end.

==============================

Article::

"Don't be Distracted by Decoys" (such as false prophets: ie the Global warming skeptics, anti-science and anti-cure Senators Rick Santorum and James Inhofe)


~snips>

"...An overwhelming 72% of the AMERICAN PEOPLE would like to see such research progress with federal funding, and 70% want the Senate to finally take up and vote on the issue. 41 NOBEL Laureates, virtually every major medical and scientific professional association, major research universities and institutions, and affected patient advocacy organization ALL support H.R. 810. ..."

"... S. 2754, a so-called "alternative" stem cell bill, and S. 3504, a bill to ban "fetal farming." Neither of these bills would have any real impact. As has been pointed out by NIH officials and other scientists, there is nothing included in S. 2754, the "alternative" bill, which cannot already be accomplished without this legislation. And S. 3504 would simply ban activity that no scientist is doing or wants to do, these practices occur only in science fiction, not in real life. H.R. 810 is the one bill in the package that offers promise to millions of Americans. By lifting the arbitrary ban on which stem cell lines can be federally funded, the bill truly helps research move ahead to end the suffering of patients and their families. ..."

http://ga1.org/bnaibrith/alert-description.tcl?alert_id=2234084

Posted by: Dom (Catholic Biologist, Phd) | October 30, 2006 10:54 PM | Report abuse

Embryonic stem cell research offers no promise for curing anything but leftist guilt for backing abortion.

And no Catholic would suggest otherwise.

Posted by: Rufus | November 1, 2006 10:14 AM | Report abuse

In reply to Dom (CATHOLIC Biologist, PhD ): You wave your credentials and your religion as if it means something and then you deny both with your comment.

1. You state, "ON THE ISSUE OF Human ESCs -- LIFE IS TRANSFORMED, NOT DESTROYED!" and "using human embryonic stem cells strictly does NOT destroy life or kill embryos"

This is not true on 2 accounts:
First, LIFE IS DESTROYED in the use of ESC's (Embryonic Stem Cells). The biological definition of an embryo is a human being in the 2nd stage of development. This is a biological fact not a religious position. Embryonic Stem Cell Research (SCR) requires the killing a human embryo. Never has an embryo survived having stem cells removed. If you disagree with Biology, I ask you when do you believe life begins? Are you one of those biologists who redefine scientific terms in order to bend science to your purpose?

Second, Embryonic Stem Cell Research (SCR) has yet to produce a treatment in animals or humans despite over 25 years of research. Dr. David Prentice. PhD, of the Center for Clinical Ethics at Georgetown University found that the only thing that embryonic stem cells have produced is tumors. LIFE IS NOT TRANSFORMED.

Posted by: JCatCWS | November 5, 2006 10:29 PM | Report abuse

In reply to Dom (CATHOLIC Biologist, PhD ):
2. You state, "It's time for politicians to stop exploiting religion to mislead the personal convictions of Marylanders."

Embryonic SCR is more than a religious issue, it is a citizen's issue!

It is so important for everyone to differentiate between the 2 kinds of stem cell research (SCR). To say, I am for stem cell research, is extremely vague as there is a huge difference between Embryonic SCR and Adult SCR.

Embryonic SCR is SCR on stem cells taken from an embryo. Adult SCR is SCR on everything else, including the umbilical cord, the nose, eyelid, bone marrow, etc.

Embryonic SCR kills a human being, has serious rejection problems, has found no treatments during 25 years spending BILLION$s, giving investors no return on their money, causing the bio-tech industry to go over taxpayers money by heavily supporting candidates who are for Embryonic SCR in hopes that they will push for government funding.

Adult SCR does not kill, has no rejection problems, has 72 treatments to date (including Parkinson's) helping thousands of patients, giving investors a return on their money.

Posted by: JCatCWS | November 5, 2006 10:37 PM | Report abuse

In reply to Dom (CATHOLIC Biologist, PhD ):
3. You state that being against Embryonic SCR is Mrs. Turners "PERSONAL conviction" and "I DO NOT EVER want Monica Turner nor any Right-wing Republican for that matter, to impose her or their sense of morality, then dictate how you, I or anyone else should be treated, especially those who also suffer from these terrible diseases."

First, true freedom is never the freedom to kill a human being. This is a fact not a "PERSONAL conviction" or a "Right-wing Republican" point of view.

The biological facts are that an embryo is a unique biological unit, not part of the mother's or father's biological unit. An embryo is a human being as science defines it to be "a human being in the 2nd stage of development." A human embryo is not a duck or a plant. Humans can only produce humans. No other animal can produce a human. It is a scientific fact that a unique DNA exists at the moment of fertilization. There are no two human beings alike due to unique DNA's. The formula for fingerprints exists in the human DNA. These are all scientific facts. You deny your own science when you deny them.

Second, what gives you the right to propose taking away one human being's right to live for the well-being of another human being? The Declaration of Independence states: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.' In that order.... life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. These are the unalienable rights. According to the American Heritage Dictionary: unalienable - Not to be separated, given away, or taken away; inalienable. In our pursuit of happiness, or comfort, we cannot take away someone else's right to live.

Third, if you believe that the ends justify the means then you are a citizen of the wrong country. That is a basic Communist philosophy not American. In America we stand up for the most helpless, the most in need. We don't discriminate against sex, race, religion, only residence in the womb and the most defenseless of all, the embryo.

Posted by: JCatCWS | November 5, 2006 10:39 PM | Report abuse

In reply to Dom (CATHOLIC Biologist, PhD ):
As far as your "hidden truth" on "thousands" of "in vitro fertilized human embryos" "destroyed each year because of their ignorance to cures to restore a fuller life for others." You should familiarize yourself with the RAND-SART survey of all US fertilization clinics as to the legal status of current frozen embryos. Each frozen embryo is owned by his/her parents, not a fertility clinic. There are over 400,000 frozen embryos in storage, where 88.2% were being reserved for future family building for those who created them. These parents are quite upset with the attitude that their embryos are going to be destroyed anyway so why not experiment with them.

The RAND-SART survey also shows that 2.3% or 9,200 frozen embryos will be placed with another family for adoption. Over a million couples presently hope to adopt. Recently I had the privilege of playing with a snowflake child, the name given an adopted frozen embryo implanted in her new mother's womb, and born a beautiful child. For any couple having a hard time conceiving why not have the bond of carrying and birthing a frozen embryo?

The survey then shows 2.8% of the embryos will be donated for research and 4.4% are undecided. The remaining 2.2% or 8,800 frozen embryos to be destroyed cannot be legally used for research against the parent's wishes. It is the parent's decision that must be adhered to. The fertility clinic has no legal voice in the matter. www.rand.org/pubs/research_briefs/RB9038/index1.html

Posted by: JCatCWS | November 5, 2006 10:40 PM | Report abuse

In reply to Dom (CATHOLIC Biologist, PhD ):
Your ending statement, "And one day these cells (ESC) will renew life to those who suffer Parkinson's Disease and MS. Adult stems cells or blood cord adult stems cells has NEVER BEEN proven" is 180 degrees from current reality.

Embryonic SCR is failed research that has seen nothing but tumors in more than 25 years of research and billions of dollars. Adult SCR has 72 cures/treatments including help for those with Parkinson's Disease and MS. www.stemcellresearch.org

Embryonic Stem Cells do transform into nearly all of the 210 cells in the human body but they only do it in the ideal conditions of the womb growing through the early stages of a human being- NEVER in the lab - NEVER helping another human being or research animal! - NEVER - NOT EVEN ONCE! The "potential" is way off.

Your biggest omission of the facts is that adult stem cells are taken from the same person they will heal; so there are no rejection problems. Treatments for any of the diseases that are hopefuls for Embryonic SCR requires cloning in order to obtain cells that would not be rejected!

What did you say your degree is in? Oh yes, Biology. You wouldn't be part of the bio-tech industry now would you!

The fact that billions of dollars have been spent on Embryonic (SCR) during the last 25 years explains why investors who have received no return on their money would want to go after our tax dollars! No wonder press releases by the bio-tech industry credit Embryonic SCR with the successes of Adult SCR by not differentiating between the 2 types of SCR.

The bio-tech industry tries to differentiate between therapeutic and reproductive cloning by using the term SCNT, somatic cell nuclear transfer, when referring to therapeutic cloning as if a different process is used for reproductive cloning. In actuality, it is the same bio-tech process. The real difference: therapeutic purposely destroys the embryo for research as reproductive nurtures it to live.

Amendment2 bans reproductive cloning by making it illegal to implant a cloned embryo in the womb. But in the remaining 2,000 words not on the ballot, Amendment2 makes it legal to create clones that must be destroyed after 14 days.

Also, if MO funds any disease research, MO will be forced to give equal MO tax $ to the cloners. No amendment should guarantee funds to an industry!
www.nocloning.org

The bio-tech industry is trying to take the American voter for a ride through deception and name calling.

By the way, Dom (CATHOLIC Biologist, PhD ), you deceive yourself when you call yourself Catholic and then propose that which is against Catholic teaching. Sorry, it is such an obvious contradiction of logic that I couldn't help but mention it.

Posted by: JCatCWS | November 5, 2006 10:50 PM | Report abuse

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