Day Five - Laffey spokeswoman reveals Mayor's hypocrisy. Candidate's financial disclosure form shows Laffey personally profited from embryonic stem cell research.
Steve Laffey continues to refuse to tell the people of Rhode Island where he stands on embryonic stem cell research, but his spokesperson, Nachama Soloveichik broke the campaign's silence during an interview yesterday on the Arlene Violet Show. Ms. Soloveichik announced that Mr. Laffey opposed federal funding for embryonic stem cell research - funding that members of the scientific community have called critically important in the fight to improve treatment for and potentially cure diseases such as cancer, heart disease and multiple sclerosis.
While Mr. Laffey apparently does not want Rhode Islanders to benefit from this research, a 2005 public financial disclosure form reveals that he invested as much as $1,001 in Geron Corporation, a biopharmaceutical company that develops and commercializes cell-based therapies derived from its human embryonic stem cell platform (Geron Corporation Website, www.geron.com). Mr. Laffey reportedly earned a profit of as much as $5,000 in capital gains from the company (Office of the Secretary of the Senate, Personal Financial Disclosure of Stephen Laffey, October 5, 2005).
"Once again, Mr. Laffey has put his own personal interests above those of the people of Rhode Island," said U.S. Senator Lincoln Chafee. "I suggest he explain to Rhode Islanders suffering from diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's why he believes it is proper to personally profit by embryonic stem cell research, but will not encourage the federal government to give funding to scientists at the forefront of this groundbreaking research."
Chafee continued: "This is just another chapter in the continuing saga of Mr. Laffey's hypocrisy. In Cranston, Mayor Laffey raised taxes, but now supports the Club for Growth's strict no tax agenda. On immigration, Laffey welcomed illegal immigrants into Cranston as workers, saying your struggle is my struggle.' Now, he is deeming them aliens' and calling for their deportation. Yesterday, Laffey's campaign told Rhode Islanders that he opposed embryonic stem cell research, yet he has profited off such studies.
"Laffey has said he is from the party of Lincoln, Roosevelt, and Reagan. Even Nancy Reagan supports the legislation I have cosponsored and Mr. Laffey opposes. It is becoming more and more obvious that Laffey is ideologically aligned with Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, and Alan Keyes.
"Once again, Rhode Islanders need to watch what Mr. Laffey does, not what he says."