October 29, 2004 09:05 AM

A California measure that will help determine the future of medical research in that state has turned into a political tug-of-war between Mad Max and the Terminator.

Actor-director Mel Gibson and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger seem to be at odds regarding the state’s $3 billion bond measure, Proposition 71. The controversial measure would make $300 million available each year for a decade to help fund stem-cell research in the state, the Associated Press reports.

At issue is the cloning of human embryos, which, under Prop 71, would be used in the research. Gibson has recorded a 60-second ad for the “No on 71” campaign that will be used in the days before the measure is voted on.

The Passion of the Christ director told Good Morning America that he had called Gov. Schwarzenegger on Wednesday night to discuss the issue, but that the governor had cut Gibson short and promised to call him back at a later time.

“Well, Arnold, I’m still waiting for your call,” Gibson said on the morning show Thursday.

Schwarzenegger said the two men did discuss the subject for several minutes on the phone during which time he outlined his position on the matter. But, the governor added, he had to break off the conversation to deliver a speech. Schwarzenegger said he later left a message for Gibson on his phone, but Gibson “hasn’t returned my call,” the governor said.

Gibson has said he supports the use of adult stem cells, but that he has an “ethical problem” with the cloning of human embryos, AP reports. “Why do I, as a taxpayer, have to fund something I believe is unethical?” he asked.

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