The Roman Catholic World

August 24, 2010

UPDATE  Aug. 24, 2010 – 11:30pm:  Rick Scott has been declared the winner in the Florida Republican gubernatorial primary.

Rick Scott’s Gubernatorial Campaign Spokeswoman Speaks to Marielena Montesino de Stuart

The Jackson Lab has a dark past in Eugenics, and a dark present in “workshops” and “resources” for Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research.

by Marielena Montesino de Stuart

The Jackson Lab deal in Collier County stands as another example of governmental massive expansion, and its power to maneuver public funds into the corporate sector.  As such, there is tremendous concern over the Collier County Board of Commissioners’s decision  on July 27th to continue pursuing The Jackson Lab deal, without the public’s vote– and in spite of the Productivity Committee’s negative report about the Jackson Lab proposal.  A public poll shows  84% are against any public funding of the biomedical research facility’s  move to Ave Maria, Florida.

Many see The Jackson Lab deal as an example of government run by bureaucrats who care more about their schemes than the will of the people.  The Jackson Lab has a dark past in Eugenics, and a dark present in “workshops” and “resources” for Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research.

His Excellency, Bishop Frank J. Dewane of the Catholic Diocese of Venice in Florida has expressed serious concerns over The Jackson Lab’s move to Ave Maria.   In June 2008 the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops approved  a 2,000-word policy statement calling embryonic stem-cell research “gravely immoral.”   Yet, Tom Monaghan and Nicholas J. Healy, Jr., Chancellor and President of Ave Maria University, respectively, have both welcomed The Jackson Lab’s proposed move to Ave Maria, after the university was touted as  “unabashedly Catholic.”

RICK SCOTT - Florida Gubernatorial Race - 2010

In comes Republican millionaire, Rick Scott, who is running for governor of Florida, as a “jobs creator and conservative outsider.”  Scott’s campaign spokeswoman, Jennifer Baker, spoke with me on Monday regarding Mr. Scott’s stance on The Jackson Lab proposal—a stance which was described as previously… somewhat unclear in a piece published by the Naples Daily News on Sunday night at 10:19pm EST, after Scott’s visit to Naples.

The following is an excerpt of Ms. Baker’s statement:

“This was the first time he [Rick Scott] was asked [about The Jackson Lab proposal].  His comments last night speak to what he thinks about the Jackson lab deal.  This has not been a major issue in the campaign, so we do not talk about it every day.  The Naples Daily News quote, I think, very clearly articulates his position on the deal. I think that Rick’s statement is very clear as to where he stands on the issue. It’s very clear what he thinks about the deal.”

I asked Ms. Baker how Rick Scott feels about the fact that Collier County citizens are not being given the right to vote on the Jackson lab proposal.  Ms. Baker responded that Rick Scott was on an airplane and could not be reached for specific comments.

The Naples Daily News wrote:

The Jackson Labs deal doesn’t look to be the answer, he [Rick Scott] said on Sunday night… [Rick Scott] finished his sentence saying it looked to be a bad deal for taxpayers. 

Regarding similar deals across the state, including  U.S. Sugar and the Tri-Rail project, Scott began on Sunday as he had throughout the campaign:

“Spend capital where you’re going to get a return on investment.”  “Would  we do this with our own money?” he asked the crowd.

“The way I look at all these projects is that there is not a good return, so I wouldn’t support it.”

Scott also doesn’t support the use of stimulus money, on which Jackson Labs is contingent.

In addition, the following statement appeared today on Rick Scott’s campaign website:

August 24, 2010 by Campaign Staff

Scott Applauds Court’s Decision To Halt Funding Of Embryonic Stem-Cell Research

Fort Lauderdale, FL – A Federal judge today issued a temporary ban on the Obama Administration’s executive order aimed at the expansion of federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research.

“We applaud the court’s decision to halt the Obama Administration’s attempt to expand federal funding of embryonic stem-cell research, this is a good result for those on side of life,” said Scott campaign spokesman Jennifer Baker. “Voters should consider that just a few years ago, Bill McCollum went on the record saying this kind of destruction of life is ‘a pro-life position.’ We look forward to taking on Alex Sink as she tries to push Obama’s liberal pro-abortion agenda on Florida.”

Rick Scott has stated that he wants to be held accountable.  Should he win, his wish is our command.

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You may read Marielena Montesino de Stuart’s observations and opinions through RenewAmerica, USAToday, Poynter Online, Spero News, The New Liturgical Movement-Poland, The Naples Daily News, Les Femmes-The Truth, Culture War Notes,  ProLife Blogs, The Wanderer, etc.   

TOPICS FOR DISCUSSION:  Ave Maria University + The Jackson Laboratory + Workshops and Resources for Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research + Eugenics + Margaret Sanger + Tom Monaghan + Tom Golisano +  Nick Healy + Nicholas J. Healy Jr., President of AMU + Barron Collier Companies + The Ave Maria Stewardship Community District + Bishop Frank J. Dewane.


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