Jonathan Garthwaite

It happens every election cycle without fail. A campaign on one side or the other trots out a starving child, a grieving mother or dying grandmother and exploits the heck out of their personal tragedy in order to elect some smarmy politician who isn’t likely to even give a whoop about them once elected.

Election 2006 is no different. This year’s victim is of his own choosing. Michael J. Fox lent his name, image and voice to the McCaskill for Senate campaign and linked up the Senate election to the efforts to pass Amendment 2 in Missouri which seeks to legalize embryonic stem research and create a back door to dolly-the-sheep type cloning all while masquerading as an anti-cloning measure.

Back in September, the proponents of Amendment 2 were riding high. They had successfully duped the Missouri public into full support of the Amendment. It was a political bait-and-switch put together like a masterpiece.

The citizens of Missouri were being asked if their state constitution “[should] be amended to allow and set limitations on stem cell research, therapies, and cures” and “ban human cloning or attempted cloning.”

Except that in the fine print and legalese, the definition of cloning was modified to actually create a loophole to allow certain types of cloning. The fine print also set in place restrictions on the government and its citizens’ ability to restrict certain types of research.

The result is a restriction on regulations that translates into the advocacy and funding of embryonic stem cell research which most Missourians would oppose if they found out the truth? Should the Amendment pass, it could actually have the effect of forcing the state to fund and conduct embryonic stem-cell research.

Back in September, the proponents of Amendment 2 had polling data showing they were headed to an easy victory. All they had to do was avoid controversy and slide in over the finish line on Election Day.

Except they may have made a fatal error when they put Micheal J. Fox, shaking from his Parkinson’s, on the television.

Fox appeared in a campaign ad where he – shaking from his condition - urged Missouri electorate to vote for the stem-cell measure and Democratic Senate challenger Claire McCaskill against Republican incumbent Jim Talent.

Jonathan Garthwaite

Jonathan Garthwaite is General Manager of