it’s official: Palin is evil

by Violet Blue on September 11, 2008

From McClatchy, Washington Bureau: Under Palin, Wasilla charged rape victims for exam. Snip:

Two state leaders lashed out at the public record of Gov. Sarah Palin on Wednesday as witnesses in a new “Alaska Mythbusters” forum coordinated by supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.

Speaking to a teleconference audience of reporters around the nation, former Gov. Tony Knowles and current Ketchikan Mayor Bob Weinstein — both Democrats — accused Palin of misleading the public in her new role as the vice presidential running mate of Arizona Sen. John McCain.

While some of their complaints have already been aired, Knowles broke new ground while answering a reporter’s question on whether Wasilla forced rape victims to pay for their own forensic tests when Palin was mayor.

True, Knowles said.

Eight years ago, complaints about charging rape victims for medical exams in Wasilla prompted the Alaska Legislature to pass a bill — signed into law by Knowles — that banned the practice statewide.

“There was one town in Alaska that was charging victims for this, and that was Wasilla,” Knowles said. (…read more.)

Update 09.17: I did a little more digging around on this topic after reading one of the comments: Jenny Demilo commented, “Under Sarah Palin’s administration, Wasilla cut funds that had previously paid for the medical exams and began charging victims or their health insurers the $500 to $1200 fees. Sarah Palin had a direct role in this and there for knowledge that and no plausible deniability about the issue. This is confirmed by the Wasilla budget documents available online To all you doubting Thomas types you might want to check out Jacob Alperin-Sheriffs piece.

Well, guess what? Jenny also said, “Think about that, its not a medical test. Its forensic evidence collection. Insurance companies footing the bill for a police investigation? isn’t that why people PAY TAXES, for city services like fire and POLICE.” Taxes, indeed. So I did a little research and found that Alaskans pay the least in tax burdens (in Alaska it’s 6.4% — New Yorkers pay 11.4%), due to huge oil company windfall taxes that directly benefit the state. In fact, when you read Windfall tax lets Alaska rake in billions from Big Oil and look at the charts, you’ll see that the state has been cashing in on piles of oil company tax money that’s increased steadily over the years. But the numbers that caught my eye: “Palin’s administration last week gained legislative approval for a special $1,200 payment to every Alaskan to help cope with gas prices, which are among the highest in the country. That check will come on top of the annual dividend of about $2,000 that each resident could receive this year from an oil-wealth savings account.”

Interesting, eh? So what’s Palin’s excuse for this? That state *more* than had the money to pay for forensic evidence collection that should be denied to NO WOMAN (or man) who are victims of this horrible, devastating crime. Anyone got a sign to hold by the side of the road that reads, “Will trade oil windfall tax dividend for rape kit.”

Violet Blue

The London Times named Violet Blue "One of the 40 bloggers who really count" and Self Magazine named TinyNibbles one of the “Best Sex Resources for Women.” Blue is an autodidact and pundit on sex and technology, hacking and security, porn for women, privacy and bleeding-edge tech culture. She is a journalist for ZDNet, CBS News, CNET; she's an educator, speaker, crisis counselor, volunteer NGO trainer, and the author and editor of over 40 award-winning books.

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{ 22 comments }

1 katie schwartz September 21, 2008 at 10:38 am

Fan-fuckin-tastic post! Palin hates women, she hates us. I can’t believe she owns a vagina. It’s cruel and unusual, I say.

The fact that she would make women pay for rape kits is obscene. It leaves me, one mouthy dame, speechless and sick inside.

2 maka September 19, 2008 at 11:35 am

@LibertyVini

The reason it doesn’t make sense to have the perpetrator pay is simple: In the U.S., only 50% of rapes result in an arrest, and of those, only 16% of those who are actually charged with rape are convicted and made to pay for their crime (in other words, serve a prison sentence). This means that the vast majority of rape victims have no identified perpetrator to be billed for a rape kit.

(statistics sourced from: http://www.pcar.org/about_sa/stats.html)

3 Jeanne September 18, 2008 at 9:11 am

# 7 LibertyVini Says:
September 12th, 2008 at 3:39 am
At the risk of appearing insensitive, why should the taxpayers be forced to pay for the kits? The PERPETRATOR incurred this expense, and after conviction, the cost should rightfully be added to his restitution bill.

Because tax payers pay for all the testing and equipment required to investigate other crimes like murder, assault, robbery, and poaching.

If she really cared about the expense to the government, she’d charge people who were robbed or assulted, she’d charge the families of murder vicitims, she’d make moose pay.

Oh wait, she does that last thing too.

4 Bridget September 17, 2008 at 8:54 pm

So, Let’s get this straight; under Palin, if you get raped you also get fucked? Seems redundantly cruel if you ask me.

5 lamare September 17, 2008 at 2:44 pm

Im from Alaska, and Palin is a raging psycho- She does not represent me or many women in Alaska- just look at how many people showed up to rally with Women Against Palin in Anchorage. Yes, she made women pay for their own forensic exams and rape kits- she also believes women who are raped or incested and get pregnant should be forced to give birth- FACT: Alaska has the highest rates in the US of both rape and incest. The most common form of sexual assault in Alaska is committed by a father against his daughter. Palin is not a role model for women- she is Anti-Women.
Also, go Violet for expressing your views on this and presenting the info. Everyone needs to be aware of this

6 Peach September 17, 2008 at 8:36 am

# 7 LibertyVini Says:
September 12th, 2008 at 3:39 am
At the risk of appearing insensitive, why should the taxpayers be forced to pay for the kits? The PERPETRATOR incurred this expense, and after conviction, the cost should rightfully be added to his restitution bill.

yes the perpetrator should ideally be charged, but what if charges aren’t pressed, or the perpetrattor is found Not guilty? I like Palin, but I certainly do think she should answer questions regarding this story. I find it hard to believe she’s really that insensative, she does need to explain herself though!

7 LibertyVini September 16, 2008 at 7:15 pm

Jenny, you have a good point – governments increasingly try to shift costs onto crime victims AND taxpayers. And no doubt Mrs. Palin, if aware of this and having consciously avoided changing it would be undoubtedly guilty of using her legal office to enforce an extralegal sense of moral superiority, not to mention visiting additional humiliation on the victim.

A real victim restitution fund, funded by criminals doing productive labor in prison, could pick up some of the burden. There are almost insurmountable political obstacles to that ever happening.

8 violet September 14, 2008 at 10:34 am

this post is attracting the type of comments that I’m choosing not to approve for the reasons below. what’s below, hopefully as soon as I can get some technical help to embed my comment policy (modeled after Laughing Squid/Scott Beale’s) as part of every “leave a reply” field, will read like this:

tinynibbles comment policy:

All comments are pre-screened unless you are an approved commenter. I do like to be corrected and argued with in a civil fashion and love new or updated information, and want to know if you dislike something. I do not collect addresses, spam or add you to any lists; all your information is kept confidential. I love my comment community! And I do approve anonymous comments; I have deep respect for anonymity. However, I do see all your data, so if you send me an abusive comment from a work address, I will forward it to your management. The following comments will not be approved:

- Irrelevant, threatening or abusive comments (especially via Tor or other proxies). Let’s keep things civil and on topic.

- I don’t feed trolls. If you’ve attacked me personally on another website, you don’t get to be part of my community and our discussions here.

- Spam and any other overly self-promotional comments. You know the difference. Basically, if your comment clearly does not add to the conversation, it will not be approved.

- Personal questions and queries for sex advice that are off topic should be emailed to me directly.

9 jenny demilo September 13, 2008 at 8:36 am

If my home was burglarized i wouldn’t be charged for any part of the police collecting the fingerprint evidence. The printing of my home wouldn’t be charged to me or my home owners insurance. But if i lived in Wasilla Alaska population between 6500 and 9000 during the tenure of Sarah Palin as Governor and had the unfortunate circumstance to be raped, an extremely violent crime i would be charged for evidence collection of the crime perpetrated against me or that charge would have been made to my medical insurance.

think about that, its not a medical test. Its forensic evidence collection. Insurance companies footing the bill for a police investigation? isnt that why people PAY TAXES, for city services like fire and POLICE.

Under Sarah Palin’s administration, Wasilla cut funds that had previously paid for the medical exams and began charging victims or their health insurers the $500 to $1200 fees. Sarah Palin had a direct role in this and there for knowledge that and no plausible deniability about the issue. This is confirmed by the Wasilla budget documents available online

http://www.cityofwasilla.com/index.aspx?page=136

To all you doubting Thomas types you might want to check out Jacob Alperin-Sheriffs piece here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jacob-alperinsheriff/sarah-palin-instituted-ra_b_125833.html

He did a nice investigative piece with links and interviews with Plains former police chief. She knew she was dong this to victims of a violent devastating crime. That’s not the kind of heartless, money motivated, anti womens issue person i want a heartbeat away from the presidency. i can only image what shes do to save a couple bucks in that position.

Possession of a vagina doesn’t someone a women’s candidate, their position on the issues does. The more we learn about her, the more i worry about the future of women’s rights and issues in this Country if she were to be elected and the more I’m personally dedicated to working to get the other guy elected.

Jenny

10 LibertyVini September 12, 2008 at 7:44 pm

@ Wiss;

Aside from the fact that you missed my point, which was we shouldn’t be adding victims to the pile, the current justice system we have works haltingly when it works at all, and in any event offers little or no real justice to victims. Giving a rapist jail time, where he will likely end up raped himself, and maybe killed, then if he survives, be stigmatized and desocialized forever may satisfy our bloodlust, but it does nothing to provide restitution to the victim.

Some states have restitution programs, but the majority just put them in jail (if they can find and convict them ) to rot, incurring fantastic expenditures to be paid by the taxpayer, while benefitting the victim not at all. In the current system “everyone pays” for poor quality justice from a monopoly provider. Maybe it’s time we started to look for more progressive solutions.

11 LibertyVini September 12, 2008 at 7:37 pm

@Elizabeth,

Don’t write Palin off so breezily – there are a lot of women and men who feel as she does, maybe even enough to tip the election. Don’t be fooled. The Palin pick was an inspired choice on the part of the evil cadaver’s handlers (don’t think for a minute he’s that clever, but THEY are).

What happened, you ask? Roe v Wade happened. If you were an evil genius trying to figure out a way to come up with an issue so toxic that it would poison every campaign since, you could do worse than having nine unelected old me in black robes write an absolutely absurd legal fiction and with it complete the abrogation of democratic government begun under Wilson.

As out and out squeamish as I am to admit to any authority setting abortion policy, this was about the worst way it could have been done. You can trace the utter polarization of national politics to that event. The Democrats finally found their ring of power, the Republicans found their biggest, ugliest scarecrow ever.

The best thing that could happen to us is an honest discussion on the issue, it would be the absolute worst thing for the two major parties because they would have to stop treating the electorate like malleable children and actually work for the benefit of the people.

12 Wiss September 12, 2008 at 2:33 pm

west and Seth–

In the adult system of government, the police provide equal protection for everyone. If you’re the victim of a crime, the police do their best to help you, regardless of how much money you make. Even if you, west, or you, Seth, were raped, the foundational ethics of adult law would mandate the police to do their best to find and punish the perpetrator, and place no additional burden on you, the innocent victim of a crime.

In the baby system of government, everyone pays their own way for saftey. I suggest that, if this is the form of government you prefer, you move to Russia, China, Columbia, or one of many other wonderful countries. The police will be happy to take your money in return for protection.

13 Elizabeth September 12, 2008 at 9:15 am

It’s a rather sad and pathetic day when Republicans choose some woman to be VP so that way they can try to convince everyone else that because this one woman’s views are so ass-backwards and regressive, they are the right choices to make for all women. Just because she’s a woman does not mean her opinions are the one and only opinions other women should have. What happened to the Republican party of Barry Goldwater when Republicans used to say it was a woman’s choice to have an abortion and no damn business of the state’s! My two favorite quotes from Goldwater the Republicans will never admit he said are: “Every good Christian should line up and kick Jerry Falwell’s ass” and “A woman has a right to an abortion.”

Damn Reagan and the Evangelicals for making sex ed a dirty thing! And if Barack Obama’s 17 year old daughter came home unwed and pregnant, the election would be over in a heartbeat.

14 Christopher September 12, 2008 at 8:53 am

West, ummmm… I’ll refrain from any Hannity-esque statements regarding intelligence.

Rape does in fact fall under the category of “sex and sexual stuff” as you so eloquently put it.

15 Dweller September 12, 2008 at 5:08 am

@LibertyVini sure charging a perp for the cost of the rape kit is an option, but not a very viable one. Someone has to incur the cost till said conviction, and that could take anywhere from weeks to months, some times years with appeals. In some instances a rape case is never closed, so no definitive perp to bill.

16 LibertyVini September 12, 2008 at 3:39 am

At the risk of appearing insensitive, why should the taxpayers be forced to pay for the kits? The PERPETRATOR incurred this expense, and after conviction, the cost should rightfully be added to his restitution bill.

17 Tayo September 11, 2008 at 10:02 pm

Seth,

I live in Alaska. It was not an isolated incident, it was a city policy in Wasilla for years to charge the rape victims for their rape kits. Former governor Knowles changed the policy statewide for good reason and Sarah Palin’s appointed chief of police publicly opposed the change. Palin never took a stand on the issue but didn’t support it either. Ostensibly because as a pro-lifer she took issue with the emergency contraception that was offered as part of the kit after the exam and didn’t want the state to pay for it.
http://www.usatoday.com/news/politics/election2008/2008-09-10-rape-exams_N.htm

18 MichaelK September 11, 2008 at 9:27 pm

@west That can be hard sometimes though, seeing as sometimes chocolaty politics won’t stay out of the sex peanut butter.

That really doesn’t work out to being as good as I thought it would be.

19 Seth September 11, 2008 at 8:23 pm

Uh, usually I think you make a lot of sense with your posts but I don’t get your point… Do you really think that Palin had anything to do with charging that poor woman? Of course the policy is terrible, but I highly doubt she had anything to do with it. It also sounds like an isolated incident and may be a fluke. The candidates already have enough issues all around, no need to invent any.

20 Debbie S. September 11, 2008 at 8:17 pm

I hate to point out the obvious, but in the very least, rape kits are necessary to collect evidence from a crime. Palin’s policy suggests that she thinks the victim of a crime should be personally responsible for financing part of the prosecution. This is bad public policy all around, but especially for a state that has such high rates of rape and sexual assault.

21 violet September 11, 2008 at 5:32 pm

hi west, welcome to my blog. I have opinions. I have Palin exhaustion like the rest of the world right now, but this is where I get to express my opinion. I appreciate that you’ve expressed yours as well. as for political bias, I see no party that reflects me, American party or otherwise. so the bias is personal, not political.

22 west September 11, 2008 at 4:39 pm

Please stay with sex education and sex blogging as that is what you do and know. We already know that you have a political bias. Again stay with sex and sexual stuff.

Thanks

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