The non-profit corporation, Michigan Citizens for Stem Cell Research and Cures, puts itself out as an organization dedicated to the education of Michiganders on the pros and cons of various types of stem cell research. On its website, MCSCRC makes this public statement about itself:
Michigan Citizens for Stem Cell Research & Cures (MCSCRC) was created with the long-term goal of educating citizens about stem cell research. We will present the facts necessary so each individual can form her/his own opinion about stem cell research. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization MCSCRC does not and cannot express support for any piece of legislation or political petition related to stem cell research. [Our emphasis.]
MCSCRC’s status as a 501(c)(3) organization under the tax code is no small thing. That means the donations people make to it are tax deductible. If it becomes involved in political campaigns, it loses that status –- and donors lose their tax deductions. So MCSCRC must keep its nose clean in this regard. Indeed, its corporate by-laws prohibit the organization from engaging in propaganda and political campaigns. Thus, the good folks at MCSCRC present themselves as earnest people sincerely trying to provide all the information Michigan voters need to make decisions on pending legislation and ballot initiatives concerning stem cell research.
Striking a disinterested posture vis-à-vis any particular proposed law is a good way for MCSCRC to gain the public’s trust as an objective voice on the issues underlying that law. Of course, that trust is abused if, in fact, MCSCRC is not disinterested in the passage of a law –- let's say, the Cure Michigan ballot initiative to end restrictions on harvesting stem cells from embryonic human beings -– and wants to surreptitiously persuade voters to support it. And that, unfortunately, is the case with MCSCRC. Its pose as an honest broker in the embryonic stem cell debate is a fraud.
Cure Michigan, the sponsor of the initiative that will now likely appear on ballot this November, is entirely funded by Stem Cell Research B.Q.C. In turn, Stem Cell Research is a non-profit corporation controlled by MCSCRC. Under Stem Cell Research’s by-laws MCSCRC appoints its board of directors and upon its dissolution (probably after the November election) all of its assets go to MCSCRC. Furthermore, Marcia Baum, the executive director of MCSCRC, is also the spokesman for Stem Cell Research and Cure Michigan. Therefore, the person operating the allegedly disinterested educational group is also actively advocating the passage of a law that the educational group cannot lawfully express support for.
So despite the propaganda to the contrary, Cure Michigan is not a grassroots effort. It is the creature of Stem Cell Research, which in turn is the creature of MCSCRC. So little wonder that MCSCRC’s “education” of voters on stem cell research just happens to support the claims of the Cure Michigan ballot initiative. That is why MCSCRC is a fraud. Its mission to publicly provide disinterested and objective information on stem cell research is anything but that. With this sort of falsity in the very bones of MCSCRC/Stem Cell Research/Cure Michigan, let’s not be shocked if falsehood substitutes for fact in the campaign for the Cure Michigan ballot initiative (or that Big Sister is one of its leaders).