WASHINGTON - July 12 - In an effort to wage a national campaign against extremist elected officials who have been holding up stem cell research, a bipartisan team of industry leading grassroots mobilizers, political consultants, and private sector stem cell research supporters today officially launched StemPAC. StemPac, anchored by its namesake web site StemPac.com , is a 527 organization that will unite and mobilize pro-stem cell research activists and millions of Americans who are clamoring for the United States to take a leadership role in stem cell research.
StemPac will hold accountable any elected or appointed official who holds up the promise of stem cell research based on their own personal ideology or outright ignorance, explained John Hlinko, a leader of the effort, and VP at the political consulting firm Grassroots Enterprise. The will of the majority has been ignored, hope for millions with debilitating illnesses has been needlessly delayed, and this promising industry of the future is being gradually outsourced to other nations with each passing day. Its time to fight back.
In coming weeks, StemPAC plans to aggressively work on behalf of pro-stem cell legislation being considered right now in the U.S. Senate (H.R. 810 specifically, without amendment see www.StemPAC.com for details). Thereafter, it plans to go on the offense, fighting for stem cell funding on the federal level, and for more sensible regulations and legislation in the states as well.
Although StemPac officially launches today, its website has been live since late May. In the mere six weeks since StemPac.com went live it has already become one of the highest trafficked websites in support of stem cell research, has spurred thousands of letters to President Bush and members of Congress, and collected hundreds of stories from real life Americans with Cancer, Alzheimers, Parkinsons, spinal cord injuries, and other conditions for which stem cell research holds promise (see www.StemPAC.com for stories, sortable by state and city).
The StemPaC Team
The StemPAC team is headed by John Hlinko, who helped lead MoveOn.org in its early days, and who founded and led DraftWesleyClark.com, a shoestring effort that engaged tens of thousands of supporters, gained national media attention, and raised nearly $2 million in pledges for a Wesley Clark candidacy.
National Democratic strategist and award-winning media consultant Bud Jackson (www.jacksongroupmedia.com ) has also been retained as a Stem Pac team member. Jackson will produce paid media on behalf of StemPac, including television advertising targeting stem cell research opponents.
The rest of the core team includes:
Kevin McCann: Founder of the Fair Deal for Newfoundland campaign
Allyson Kapin: Online marketing specialist, who has worked with a range of national activist organizations
Sabrina Cohen: Associate Director of the Genetics Policy Institute
The core team is being assisted by a range of advisors, including:
Scientists, such as Evan Snyder of the Burnhan Institute;
Grassroots visionaries, including Markos Moulitsas Zuniga, the founder of DailyKos.com;
Longtime political professionals, such as Bill Romjue;
Patient advocates, including Frank L. Cocozzelli.