The six-year term of Bob Klein, the first chairman of Proposition 71's California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, ended last December. He's still there, however, as the Independent Citizens Oversight Committee struggles to find a replacement.
No wonder. Klein himself wrote the stem cell research initiative that voters approved in 2004. Surprise, surprise, he tailored the initiative so only someone with his background in stem cell research advocacy and experience in bond financing could become board chair.
Further, Klein set up a dueling, unworkable co-CEO structure between the board chair and the agency president, who should be in charge of the day-to-day activities of the institute in funding scientific research – with the board and chair in an oversight role.
Instead, the board chair is involved in day-to-day operations and management.
How can the board chair in such a role possibly do independent evaluation of the agency's activities?
Now comes a letter from Klein and two other board members suggesting that a new board chair should get a $400,000 salary (Klein gets $150,000). The three say anything over $150,000 would come from private donations, not taxpayer funds.
Nonsense. It's all public money.
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