Sen. Murkowski's stance on stem cell research off base

Posted: Wednesday, June 30, 2004

We have always been under the impression that we put the people in power that we do because they know what they believe, they have strong ideological compasses, and they will fight for what is in the best interests of their constituents. Time after time, Sen. Lisa Murkowski has flip-flopped on key issues and, more egregiously, has co-sponsored legislation that hinders the progress and development of new medical treatments for Alaska's ill and elderly.

With the passing of President Ronald Reagan, the issue of stem cell research is once again at the forefront of American and Alaskan politics. This type of research is likely to lead to the biggest revolution in medical history and is key to the curing of such ailments as Alzheimer's, diabetes and heart disease. It is about a collection of undifferentiated cells in a Petri dish with no fingers, no toes, no feeling and no pain. Both Nancy and Ron Reagan fully support it, and we wonder why Senator Murkowski is opposed to it.

On June 4 of this year, Sen. Ted Stevens, along with 57 others, in a bipartisan effort, sent a letter to President George W. Bush urging him to push his support of stem cell research even further.

Remarkably enough, Sen. Murkowski did not sign this letter, citing lack of information on the topic. We don't buy it, considering she co-sponsored a bill in January 2003 that would have placed severe restrictions on the funding of such research. Is she lying now or was she acting out of ignorance then?

John and Peggy Toppenberg

Soldotna



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