She Who All Women Should Vote For
From the AP 9/11/08
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — When Sarah Palin was mayor of Wasilla, the city billed sexual assault victims and their insurance companies for the cost of rape kits and forensic examinations.
Palin had been in office for four years when the practice of charging rape victims got the attention of state lawmakers in 2000, who passed a bill to stop the practice.
Former Democratic Rep. Eric Croft, who sponsored that bill, said he was disappointed that simply asking the Wasilla police department to stop didn't work. Croft said he doubts she was unaware of the practice.
Maria Comella, a McCain-Palin campaign spokeswoman, said Palin "does not believe, nor has she ever believed, that rape victims should have to pay for an evidence-gathering test." To suggest otherwise, she said, is a "misrepresentation of her commitment to supporting victims and bringing violent criminals to justice."
As governor, Palin has worked in a variety of ways to tackle the problem of sexual assault and rape, including making domestic violence a priority of her administration, Comella said. Alaska routinely has the nation's highest rate of sexual assault.
In four years of being the mayor of a town of 7,000-ish, she never ever once heard that rape victims were being charged for sexual assault exams?
Lawmakers became involved in 2000 when reports began coming in that police departments were charging sexual assault victims for the kits and the forensic exams, which cost from $300 to $1,200 at the time. The kit, a package of sample containers, swabs and other medical supplies, is used to collect evidence from women after they are attacked.
Then-Gov. Tony Knowles said Thursday that Wasilla was unique in the state in charging rape victims for the cost of doing the law enforcement necessary for solving the crime. The bill passed the Legislature over the objections of Wasilla police chief Charlie Fannon, who said it would require the city to come up with more money to cover the costs of buying the rape kits and doing the exams.
According to the Boston Herald,
Fannon was appointed to his position by Palin after her dismissal of the previous police chief. He said it would cost Wasilla $5,000 to $14,000 a year if the city had to foot the bill for rape exams.
"In the past we’ve charged the cost of exams to the victims’ insurance company when possible," Fannon told the newspaper. "I just don’t want to see any more burden put on the taxpayer."
For a town of 7,000-ish people, Wasilla saved from 71 cents to $2 per taxpayer by charging victims of this horrible crime for their own rape examination.
That's fiscal responsibility alright.
Let's say we give Palin the benefit of the doubt and she didn't know. It went on for four years in her city before the governor had to step in and stop the practice. Do you feel any better about her ability to govern when you hear that.
I know it's difficult for some men to understand how horrible rape is to a woman, but let me say that I would almost but not quite rather die than be raped. I was assaulted once by a man who made it clear he was going to rape me. Had he not been drunk and my knee not made quick direct contact to his groin, he would have. To this day I can still remember the horror of that. If it had actually happened, I cannot even begin to imagine what I would have done had the police presented me with a bill for the evaluation necessary for the criminal investigation.
By the way, I've searched quite a bit and I can find no evidence that this police chief was fired for this unspeakable decision.
According to the Huffington Post (yes I know some say you can't believe everything you read there, but they link to town documents supporting their assertions) Sarah Palin was directly involved with this issue. I'll leave you to read the article and judge for yourself.