Wednesday, November 07, 2007

NJ Voters Reject Public Stem Cell Funding

Despite last-minute radio ads using stem cell mascot Michael J. Fox, the voters of New Jersey rejected by 53-47% a proposal to borrow $450 million to provide grants for research. Hopefully, this sends a message around the nation that even in a blue state like New Jersey, voters do not want public money going toward unproven research.

If stem cell research indeed is a miracle cure-all for numerous diseases, then private companies would surely pour money into it.

It will be curious to see the reaction to this vote. The New York Times labeled it a stunning defeat for Governor Jon Corzine.

Other issues were also on the ballot.
A proposal to dedicate a full penny of the seven-cents-per-dollar state sales tax to property tax relief also was defeated, by a similar margin - 635,202 opposed to 562,712 in favor.

Two other questions were approved by the voters on Tuesday:

- Question No.3, which authorizes the state to borrow $200 million to buy land for recreation and conservation, preserve farmland, acquire flood-prone land in the Delaware, Passaic and Raritan river basins and fund historic preservation projects. It passed by a margin of 54 percent to 46 percent.

- Question No. 4, changes the language in the state constitution describing people who do not have the right to vote. It would replace the phrase "idiot or insane person" with "person who has been adjudicated by a court of competent jurisdiction to lack the capacity to understand the act of voting." Voters approved that measure 60 percent to 40 percent.
By passing Question No. 4, New Jerseyans will now only be allowed to call public officials idiots.

I'm not sure how to take these results, as I voted with the majority on all four questions.

Has the public become knuckle-dragging, right-wing reactionaries like myself or have my views become more mainstream?

UPDATE: James Joyner has a look at other ballot measures defeated nationwide.

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