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O’Donnell: Scientists are creating ‘mice with human brains’

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Breaking: Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington calls for FEC and criminal investigation into Christine O’Donnell

Delaware Tea Party candidate Christine O’Donnell made a point of telling the audience at a candidate forum Thursday night that her “faith has matured” and that her statements from the late 90’s about AIDS and masturbation should not be taken as representing her current beliefs.

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There may, however, be more serious trouble for O’Donnell on the horizon. In a brief statement posted Friday morning on its Facebook page, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington announced, “CREW calls for FEC and criminal investigation into Christine O’Donnell. Stay tuned, more to come.”

Meanwhile, O’Donnell is being widely mocked for a claim she made just a few years ago that scientists were “cross-breeding humans and animals and coming up with mice with fully functioning human brains.”

During a discussion of the cloning of monkey embryos on Bill O’Reilly’s Fox News program in November 2007, O’Donnell, introduced as a Republican strategist, insisted that “the real point of all of this research is to lead to human cloning.”

When O’Reilly suggested that she was “going the slippery slope” and asked, “If that’s the possibility, that people might be cured, why the objection?” her response was to insist that human cloning was already a reality.

“If we approach this complicated bioethic issue with our heads in the sand, the other end is in the air,” O’Donnell stated. “American scientific companies are cross-breeding humans and animals and coming up with mice with fully functioning human brains. So they’re already into this experiment.”

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O’Donnell’s remarks were reported on Friday morning by Little Green Footballs, a conservative site whose founder announced last year that he had parted ways with the Tea Parties. “That would explain a lot,” LGF’s Charles Johnson commented. “Perhaps O’Donnell is an early, failed experiment that ended up as a human with a fully functioning mouse brain?”

Talking Points Memo quickly picked up the story, suggesting that O’Donnell might have been “misremembering” an account from 2005 of scientists injecting human stem cells into the brains of fetal mice. By Friday evening, O’Donnell’s statements had given rise to a flurry of Pinky and the Brain jokes and had even made it to MSNBC’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann.

“This is the hard-core stuff,” political analyst Howard Fineman commented to Olbermann in a discussion of O’Donnell’s positions. “This is the hundred-proof stuff, and people like Rove don’t like to see it that openly.”

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Although CREW did not offer any details of its call for an investigation of O’Donnell, it seems likely to be related to questions that have been raised about her finances. CREW recently added O’Donnell to its “Crooked Candidates” list, explaining, “Ms. O’Donnell has drawn intense criticism for a multitude of questionable financial issues that most notably include using campaign funds for personal expenses. Her former campaign manager accused her of using campaign donations for rent, among other things. Ms. O’Donnell acknowledged doing so, but said the rent expenditures were justified because her townhouse is also her campaign headquarters. Records show that Ms. O’Donnell has no steady income and earned only $5,800 last year.”

As Raw Story reported on Tuesday:

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She may not be a multi-millionaire, and she may have earned more than the paltry $5,800 she reported to the IRS last year, but Christine O’Donnell is no dummy. Taking lessons from former Alaska governor Sarah Palin — whose endorsement made her a contender to begin with — a conservative office-seeker is employing the “attack the messenger” defense to combat concerns about her private and public financing.

“A Tea Party-backed candidate in today’s Delaware Republican primary for Senate said today that ads attacking her personal financial history are an insult to voters, and said recent polling showing her running strong against the candidate backed by GOP leaders suggests voters are ‘fighting back,’ David S. Morgan reports for Political Hotsheet at CBS News.

Huliq News notes, “After Delaware GOP Congressional candidate Christine O’Donnell was accused of not paying college debts and illegal campaign fundraising, she retorted on CBS’s ‘The Early Show,’ with ‘I’m an average hard-working American. I’m not a multi-millionaire like my opponent.'”

The Political Hotsheet article adds that “there’s been increased scrutiny of O’Donnell’s personal financial history, which her opponents say precludes her from effectively overseeing public finances, and complaints about alleged illegal campaign fundraising.”

This video is from MSNBC’s Countdown, broadcast Sept. 16, 2010.

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