I agree with my state senator Chuck Graham on very little. Senator Graham is a committed liberal. He is not a fair weather politician. He is not the least bit accommodating of my values or viewpoints. That’s why I found his discontinuance of opposition against Dr. Bob Onder's nomination to the Life Sciences Research Board troubling. Onder is a board member of Missourians Against Human Cloning, a group founded by various pro-life organizations and leaders to oppose Amendment 2. Senator Graham has been tenacious in supporting Embryonic Stem Cell Rearch and Cloning in every way imaginable. His position of filibustering a MOHELA plan was not helped when MU representatives backed a compromise to get money with restrictions against life science research.
Senator Graham, after all, is part of Missouri’s minority party, and frankly was outgunned and outmaneuvered by Republican strong-handing. Republicans had signaled they would bypass MU and Columbia would lose money, Graham’s Columbia coalition wavered. My major beef with the MOHELA plan is that it uses public money to pave a foundation for cloning research. Senator Graham understood that as well, only he was on the other side of my viewpoint, wanting the money for cloning research. In March, he led a Democratic filibuster. In May, he signaled he would not oppose the plan, largely because Governor Matt Blunt was going to include funding for life science research in next year’s budget. Senator Graham was kind enough to supply me with a copy of Governor Blunt’s letter.
The Governor has signaled what pro-life leaders in Missouri have maintained throughout the Amendment 2 (pro-cloning) debate—that Missouri tax money would soon be used to fund this research that many Missourians consider immoral. The Governor has signaled he is ready to release the money. With Democratic zeal for it and Republican infatuation with the business leaders associated with it, pro-life Missourians have few protectors in Missouri government.