By Kent Larsen
Huntsman Says Demos More Supportive
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- Saying he will support whatever political party will
provide more cancer funding, LDS billionaire Jon Huntsman told the Deseret
News in an article published Sunday that Democrats seem to be more sensitive
to the issue. Huntsman's comments came despite a life-long commitment to the
Republican party and its principles. He says he has become a "one-issue man."
Cancer has become the one issue for Huntsman. His mother died of breast
cancer at age 58 and his father died from prostate cancer at age 79.
Huntsman himself has survived both mouth cancer and prostate cancer. These
experiences have led him to put $225 million into establishing the Huntsman
Cancer Institute at the University of Utah. The Institute will soon expand
with the addition of a new 6-story hospital next to its current building.
The Deseret News' article says Huntsman is disappointed with the Republican
reaction to his center and to cancer funding. "[Cancer centers] need the
support of our U.S. senators. And we've had no support. I've had nine United
States senators who are all Democrats come to the Huntsman Cancer Institute,
including [Senate minority leader] Tom Daschle. Nine of them. I've had two
Republicans," Huntsman said.
But Utah's two Senators, both Republican and LDS Church members like
Huntsman, claim to be supportive of cancer funding. Senator Orrin Hatch's
representative, Heather Barney, told the Deseret News, "Sen. Hatch has been
a great supporter of cancer research in the past and will continue to be so.
The Republicans have a commitment to double cancer research monies over the
next five years."
Senator Bob Bennett claims, "I'm doing what I can for the Huntsman Cancer
Institute, the University of Utah and for cancer research elsewhere. . . .
I'm personally committed to doubling the National Institute of Health
appropriation over five years -- and the National Cancer Institute gets its
money from the NIH. Some Republican (senators) say that's too much; I
understand that." He adds that he is supporting a bill, now before the
Senate, that would provide $3 million to the Huntsman Cancer Institute and
to the University of Utah.
Huntsman to support Democrats?
Deseret News 17Dec00 T2
By Bob Bernick Jr. and Lucinda Dillon: Deseret News staff writers
He says GOP doesn't spend enough on anti-cancer fight