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'Crisis Management' PR Firm's Advice to Stem Cell Agency Laundered Through Law Firm to Avoid Scrutiny
Date:2/7/2008

news media. In addition to concern over articles about the Australian investigation, CIRM also was facing negative publicity regarding conflict of interest problems with some of its board members. One suggestion that remained in the documents concerned a query from Sabin Russell of the San Francisco Chronicle. "I agree Alan [Trounson] should send the e-mail and enthuse that he is looking forward to meeting Sabin and having a productive relationship," Smith wrote.

"I don't begrudge CIRM public relations advice. Clearly they need it," said Simpson. "They just shouldn't wrap it up in legal mumbo-jumbo so the public doesn't know what it's paying for. PR advice is not legal advice and trying to pretend differently is just plain wrong."

Harrison said Rubenstein remains a consultant, and in that capacity, provides advice to Remcho in connection with its representation of CIRM. He said CIRM and Rubenstein are negotiating a contract for the PR firm's future services.

Proposition 71, passed by 59 percent of Californians in 2004, created the stem cell institute. FTCR's Stem Cell Oversight and Accountability Project is working to ensure that California's landmark stem cell research program offers accessible and affordable cures and treatments to the taxpayers who have funded it. The program will sell $3 billion in bonds over a decade to fund stem cell research. Financing charges mean the project, the largest source of stem cell research funding in the world, will cost California taxpayers $6 billion.

The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights is California's leading non-profit and non-partisan consumer watchdog group. For more information visit us on the web at: http://www.ConsumerWatchdog.org.


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SOURCE Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights
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