Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Romney Officially Irrelevant

In one of the week's least surprising moves, the state Legislature has overridden Governor Romney's veto of the stem cell research bill. Not only that, but Romney could only manage two votes against the override in the Senate and neither chamber considered any of his proposed amendments. That the Governor had no effect on the outcome of the most publicized act of the Legislative session shows that he has become completely peripheral to the process of governing in Massachusetts.

I've said it before, and I'll repeat it here. You can't claim that you want jobs in Massachusetts, but just not those kind of jobs. I'm not a scientist, so I can't speak to whether somatic cell nuclear transfer creates a viable human embryo and on some level, I'm not really interested in the ethical questions surrounding this research. All that I know is that this research is going on and is going to happen somewhere, and I want it to happen in Massachusetts. We don't have coal mines or oil fields here, and what factories that haven't already moved to cheaper states are just as likely to move to China as to stick around. What we do have are excellent universities, hospitals and biotechnology firms. Stem cell research -- or any medical research -- is a perfect fit here and it's unfair to handcuff Bay State firms while California and now Connecticut are ready to throw money at researchers to lure them to their states.