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O'Reilly accuses Stowers of KCMO of promoting Amendment 2 for the money they'll make

Reported by Chrish - October 31, 2006 -

As promised, Bill O'Reilly followed up his sly insinuations of last week with an interview of St. Louis' KFTK radio host Jamie Allman, who supports O'Reilly's charge that Jim and Virginia Stowers are promoting Amendment #2 in Missouri (allowing embryonic stem cell research) so that they can make more money - "billions!"

But the Stowers have already endowed the institute that bears their name with billions because they have more money than they or their children could ever need. Could O'Reilly be undermining the issue by smearing the benefactors because the US Senate candidate vowing to support the research is Democrat Claire McCaskill?

The expansion of the research is a contentious issue nationwide and the Senate race in Missouri is close. Opponents of the research claim that the amendment legalizes cloning human beings; supporters say the Amendment is necessary because the issue is brought before voters every two years by far-right anti-abortion activists. Stowers wants to expand their presence in Kansas City and their scientists want to be able to drop anchor and stop worrying about the upheaval a ban on their research would cause.

O'Reilly suggested last week that SIMR founders Jim and Virginia Stowers stand to make a lot of money if the amendment passes and that anticipation of profit was the motivation behind their funding of a massive statewide information campaign (to the tune of $28 million, per O'Reilly.) He elaborated on that theme today and left the distinct impression that the Stowers are in it for the money. His talking points were nearly word for word identical to those of Missori Right to Life, a religion-based anti-abortion group.

Allman professed at first that he wouldn't question the motivation of the Stowers, who told O'Reilly they "were just doin' this because we believe in the cause" and who, as cancer survivors, have the best interests of the citizens of Missouri at heart. He does, however, question the motivation of The Stowers Institute, their not-for-profit medical research institute; BioMed Valley Discoveries Inc. ("a for-profit corporation formed to patent, develop and market discoveries made at Stowers and other institutions"), and American Century Investments, the mutual-funds investment company founded by Jim Stowers and the source of their considerable fortune. Allman erroneously asserts that ACI is an "adjacent" company owned by The Stowers Institute and also connected to BioMed Valley; O'Reilly, who was supposedly researching this very issue over the weekend, did not correct him.

Allman, who resigned last year from his position as the chief spokesman for St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke says that the Stowers are essentially "raping and raiding" the "sacred" Missouri Constitution for a quick investment buck. It was also not disclosed by O'Reilly that Allman's almost lateral career move was to the right-wing line-up at FOX News Radio, where he hosts a morning show.

Allman dramatically declared that passage of Amendment 2 will get rid of that "nagging public input and oversight" and shut off debate on the issue. Not noted was the fact that 2 years ago Missourians cheerfully did exactly that, passing an amendment to ban same-sex marriage.

O'Reilly seems more upset that people are not aware of the Stowers finances and their companies' potential earnings, seeming to believe that if only people knew that the research and development of medical breakthroughs might lead to people making (gasp!) money they would find the whole thing dirty and vote against it. Should the amendment pass, the "BioMed Valley" (a la Silicon Valley) would bring an enormous amount of money and scientists into Missouri, and high-level politicians and universities and prestigious research facilities are excited at the prospect.

But O'Reilly can't get over the thought of the Stowers personally pocketing billions from this. When Allman began to talk about a front-page story on the Stowers and their establishment of their Institute, O'Reilly dismissed it as a "sob-story from a left-wing newspaper." Allman thinks politicians have abdicated their responsibility to moderate critical moral and ethical issues, but O'Reilly insists that "the truth" is what's suffering here.

His continuing insinuation that the Stowers are in it for the money is patently offensive. They embody the ethic "to whom much is given much is expected." Watch his jealous rantings here: