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.”