Proposition 29 was strikingly similar in concept to Proposition 71, which created the benighted California Institute for Regenerative Medicine in 2004. Proposition 29 would tax cigarettes. Proposition 71 borrowed money. Both were designed to use the money thereby obtained to establish a quasi state agency to fund special research projects, 29 against cancer and 71 to pay for embryonic stem cell and human cloning research. Proposition 71 passed easily. But now, Proposition 29 has failed.
I take the doom of 29 as a very good sign that California voters will refuse to renew the CIRM in 2014. If they won’t tax smokers to pay for cancer research, I doubt they will vote to go even deeper in debt to pay for stem cell research. Particularly since 71 passed on outrageous stem cell hype, and as a way to “get Bush,” who is happily in retirement–having written a biography, Decision Points, that sold some 3 million books. Did I mention that he mentioned me? Oh, yes, I guess I did. Page 111.