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Romney invests personal fortune in embryonic stem cell research; casinos, and Sudanese oil partners

As I’ve observed before, with this election cycle’s crop of GOP candidates, when general election time arrives, it’s going to be difficult to employ the traditional Republican strategy of claiming that the Democratic rival is a “flip flopper.”

A leading example is Mitt Romney. First the former MA Governor was for stem cell research and now he’s against it. Yet despite his new found moral opposition, as the Washington Post reports today, Romney continues to invest his personal fortune, managed via a “blind trust,” in a company that is a leader in embryonic stem cell research. He also invests in other “morally sound” ventures such as casinos and an oil company that does business with the Sudanese.

Romney disclosed yesterday that his blind trusts earned between $17 million and $69 million in income in the past 18 months. One of his trusts owned between $100,000 and $250,000 in stock in the biotechnology and drug company Novo Nordisk, which describes itself on its Web site as an “active partner in national and international cooperative projects involving stem cells.” Many religious conservatives, whose votes Romney is courting, oppose the scientific use of embryonic stem cells because the cells often come from aborted fetuses.

Romney’s trusts also recently unloaded numerous stocks — valued at between $150,000 and $1,165,000 — in casino operators MGM Mirage, Harrah’s and Boyd Gaming. Many Christian conservatives — as well as leaders of Romney’s Mormon faith — morally oppose gambling.

The Romney trusts reported owning and then selling stock worth between $100,001 and $250,000 in the Schlumberger global oil services company, which was identified as doing business with the Sudanese government by members of Congress pushing legislation to end the genocide in Sudan’s Darfur region.


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