A group involved in last year’s effort to defeat a Constitutional amendment involving stem cell research is making known its feelings over the wording of an initiative proposal to limit certain forms of that research. Jaci Winship of Missourians Against Human Cloning says the final wording on the ballot question proposed by the group Cures Without Cloning is misleading and confusing, and she blames Secretary of State Robin Carnahan for that.
"She has a long history of abusing her office by writing politically-motivated, inaccurate and grossly misleading ballot questions," says Winship. "However," continues Winship, "The ballot question she recently certified for the Missouri Cures Against Cloning initiative, goes beyond anything she has ever done before. This reaches a new low."
Winship also accuses Carnahan of selling herself for $25,000 – the amount of contribution dollars received from what Winship calls a "pro-human cloning group."
Ryan Hobart with the Secretary of State’s office flatly rejects any suggestion Carnahan has been "bought." "That is a false statement," says Hobart. "Our obligation is to Missouri voters, not to one interest group or another."
The Secretary of State’s Office has released a statement reiterating its position regarding elections and ballot initiatives. It reads: "It is our legal obligation to make sure that Missouri voters always have a fair, accurate, and concise summary of what they are voting on – regardless of the issue. The summary statement for the petition to limit stem cell research is fair, accurate, and reflects how the constitution would be changed by this initiative if it got on the ballot and was passed."
The petition sponsor, Cures Without Cloning, has until Monday to decide whether to launch legal action challenging the wording. It would do so in Cole County Circuit Court in Jefferson City.