Although Klein has said his goal is to take politics out of the research grant-making process, he and Prop. 71s other backers clearly know thats almost impossible. Theyve formed an adjunct organization, the California Research and Cures Coalition, to do their political work, which they describe as "educating opinion leaders, elected officials and policy makers, medical professionals, media and the general public." Of course, it doesnt hurt that the initiative contains wording effectively banning changes in how it operates for at least three years. Ortiz can drop all the bills she wants, but the legislation is unlikely to go anywhere. Klein, surprisingly, has criticized Ortizs legislation. And to make matters worse, the oversight committee and the coalition formed to support its work have shown signs of giving short shrift to the political nominees by not including them in some scheduled meetings. The groups willingness to have closed-door meetings isnt going down well. And, getting phone calls returned isnt easy, either.The best course here is the one that pours oil on troubled waters. Committee appointees might not like having their financial records open to scrutiny but some sort of disclosure is probably in order. Making meetingsor records of meetingsopen to the public might be a safer strategy than shutting the door and letting critics rely on disgruntled or dissatisfied grant applicants for accounts of what goes on. If Prop. 71 comes to be seen, rightly or wrongly, as a private industry boondoggle it wont just hurt the research efforts the measures backers hope to fund, it will give the measures criticsin California and across the nationlegitimate grounds for complaint. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, views and analysis of technologys impact on government and politics.