Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Mayor Sarah Palin Let Wasilla To Refuse To Pay For Forensic Exams

Sarah Palin allowed the police in Wasilla, Alaska to put the financial burden for forensic exams onto rape victims until an Alaska state law stepped in and forced her town's police force to do the right thing.

From the May 23, 2000 Frontiersman:

ANCHORAGE - Gov. Tony Knowles recently signed legislation protecting victims of sexual assault from being billed for tests to collect evidence of the crime, but one local police chief said the new law will further burden taxpayers. [...]

While the Alaska State Troopers and most municipal police agencies have covered the cost of exams, which cost between $300 to $1,200 apiece, the Wasilla police department does charge the victims of sexual assault for the tests.

Wasilla Police Chief Charlie Fannon does not agree with the new legislation, saying the law will require the city and communities to come up with more funds to cover the costs of the forensic exams. [...] According to Fannon, the new law will cost the Wasilla Police Department approximately $5,000 to $14,000 a year to collect evidence for sexual assault cases. [...]

The new bill would also make law enforcement agencies that are investigating a sexual assault responsible for the costs of testing victims for sexually transmitted diseases and emergency contraception.

Sarah Palin was mayor of Wasilla from 1996 to 2002, which she used at the RNC as evidence of her qualification to be VP and she ranked that qualification as having more responsibility than a community organizer. Since her work as mayor demonstrates her qualifications by her own admission, her actions as mayor can also demonstrate her lack of qualifications.

Palin found the $15 million needed to build a new hockey rink in Wasilla, but that taxpayer burden was for a worthier cause apparently than paying to collect forensic evidence of sexual assaults.

Even though Palin is not quoted in this article her tacit support for putting rape victims in debt for evidence collection is clear. She allowed this practice to continue until Alaska state law forbid it. She claims to be a reformer, but this apparently wasn't a policy in need of reform.

Soon after she became mayor she fired then Police Chief Irl Stambaugh. This means she could have fired Police Chief Charlie Fannon if she believed that his policy of making rape victims pay for forensic exams was wrong.

Through charging rape victims for forensic exams, Palin proved herself to be callous toward rape victims and callous toward catching all rapists.

Ignoring the physical and emotional distress of rape victims when proposing laws related to abortion fits perfectly with Palin's record of callousness. But callousness is always easier to defend when you use God to justify it.

Palin's a self-described pit bull and she proved that claim by being willing to have her town take a bite out of those raped there while she was mayor.

Palin cannot claim that not fighting her town's policy was about the money or fiscal responsibility. According to Palin, the invasion of Iraq was a "task that is from God." The implication is that belief must therefore justify spending billions of taxpayer dollars.

Charging rape victims for their own forensic exams either goes directly against Palin's Christian beliefs -- and how those beliefs should impact government actions -- or Palin believes that God is ambivalent at best when it comes to rape.

Since some rapists also go on to murder later victims, God -- as characterized by Palin's choices -- becomes ambivalent about murder as well. And that undermines the entire premise of the religious pro-lifers effort to outlaw abortion.

I'll repeat a question for Palin, which a judge asked the mother of a gang rapist when the rapist's mother explained that abortion was against her religion, "And rape isn't?"

Alaska's record on rape is bad.

Since 1976, Alaska has ranked in the top five states in the nation for the highest rate of reported rape per capita. In 1993, Alaska ranked 1st in the nation: highest per capita incidence of rape.

Alaska has 6 times the national average of reported child sexual assault. 1 in 4 girls before the age of 12 and 1 in 6 boys before the age of 18 nationally will be sexually assaulted. [...]

Alaska's rape rate is 2.2 times the national average overall.

If Palin isn't a competent part of the solution, she is part of this problem and is undeserving of my vote.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 12:07 AM   0 comments links to this post


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