In the latest news release by Republican congressional candidate Ray Meier, Meier claims that he supports "more aggressively fund scientific research."
That claim caught my attention, because we in the 24th district have a higher than average number of college and university campuses, and funding for scientific research is a significant force in the local economy.
So, it would be great if Ray Meier were telling the truth, and supported full funding for scientific research. But, the sad fact is that Ray Meier isn't telling the truth. Ray Meier does not support full funding for scientific research.
Let's take stem cell research, for example. Ray Meier knows very well that a strong majority of people in our district are strong supporters of stem cell research, so he tries to obscure his position as much as he can, but the fact is that Ray Meier has joined with George W. Bush to oppose full funding for stem cell research.
Why does Ray Meier oppose full funding for scientific research into stem cell therapies? He opposes funding the scientific research because the Religious Right, made up of radical preachers like Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, have said that they don't approve.
The first step in Ray Meier's approach to providing funding for scientific research is to ask for the approval of America's own religious fundamentalist leaders first. If these right wing extremists don't give their okay, then Ray Meier thinks that the research shouldn't get any funding at all.
That's not the American way of doing things. That's how they do things in countries like Iran, where the Council of Clerics has the power to approve which kinds of scientific research are in accordance with the teachings of the Koran. That's how the Europeans did things back in the Dark Ages, when the Church forced Galileo to stop looking through his telescope because, as everyone knew, the Sun revolved around the Earth.
Ray Meier's approach to science would take our district and our nation backwards to a time when knowledge was feared, and when medicine was based on superstition, powerless to help people suffering from disease. Ray Meier's approach to science would dry up the federal funds that come to our district to support research that makes our lives longer and more healthy.
Ray Meier won't level with us. He says one thing, and then does another. Talking out of both sides of his mouth, he says he'll be aggressive in funding scientific research, but then pledges to oppose funding scientific research.
This is about more than just funding for science. It's about trust. As the issue of stem cell research proves, Ray Meier thinks that it's okay to be dishonest in what he says to the voters of the 24th district. If Ray Meier will lie to us about that issue, how can we believe anything that he says.
So, let me close this article with a mnemonic device, a simple rhyme that will help you remember why Ray Meier's dishonesty about funding scientific research is important:
Ray Meier is a liar.
Say that three times, and you'll never forget it. If you're a voter in New York's 24th congressional district, you never should forget it.