CNN finally caught up with the ‘grassroots’ slander, and is now reporting it as news.
further investigation on the “Rape Kit’ thing has shown the following:
1 – no one recalls talking to Palin about the city of Wasilla charging for rape kits, and the issue was never brought before city council. The newspaper article at the time, and the people interviewed now about it did not mention Palin being part of the controversy. (I think the Democrat Governor she defeated has made it a point to mention her name in the interviews he’s giving about it, though)
2 – though the Chief of Police (Charlie Fannon) was vocal in his opposition to making city taxpayers pay, there is absolutely no evidence the city of Wasilla ever charged a victim for a rape kit. His exact quote, the thing that makes so many armchair scandalists giggle with glee is this:
“”In the past, we’ve charged the cost of the exams to the victim’s insurance company when possible. I just don’t want to see any more burden on the taxpayer.” Fannon was the new police chief at the time.
3 – the REAL story behind victims being charged for rape kits is this: Senator Biden (Dem) drafted a bill taking funding responsibility for sexual assault issues away from the federal government, and placing the burden on individual states. The law was signed into law by President Bill Clinton (Dem) Alaska, one of the least populated states in the union, but also a state with some of the worst violence, responded, via their State Rep, Eric Croft (Dem) by shifting the burden of the cost from the state to the individual cities.
So here’s where we are at this point:
Previously, if a person was a victim of a sexual assault, the rape kits, prosecution, etc were paid for by the United States federal government (i.e., the cost paid for by a small amount of taxes collected from the citizens of the United States as a whole). Through a plan launched by a democratic senator (one running for VP now!), the United states said “hey, we’re not going to pay for victims of sexual assault anymore, someone else has to do it, and that should be the state.” A democratic president, one famed for his own sexual assaults, signed the bill into law. At that point, it was the individual state’s responsibility to cover the costs. Alaska’s State Rep, also a democrat, felt that it would save the state money if individual cities were given the full burden of the cost, and Alaska’s Governor, democrat Tony Knowles signed that into law …
at this point, rather than the $1000 rape kit being paid for by a small amount of money from 281,421,906 people (the U.S. population in 2000), it is now being paid for by the taxes of 5,469 people (Wasilla, Alaska population, 2000).
If you do the math, the country’s population in 2000 would have each paid 0.00355 cents ($0.0000355) in taxes to pay for that rape kit, where at the city level, you’re looking at each resident paying 18.28 cents ($0.1828) each. That might not seem like much, but that is just the cost for one victim’s rape kit – not all victims, nor the other costs associated with sexual assault. (in 2000, 2001, and 2002, there were 35 ‘sexual assaults’ in that town. if we were to assume those were all rapes, then that’s an average of 11.66 rapes a year, meaning rape kits alone would have amounted to around $2.13 in taxes on each individual.)
If their small town of 5,469 is as crazy as my small town of $7,000, an increase of $1.00 a year would have freaked people out, so yeah, i can understand the chief of police freaking out.
HOWEVER … he had nothing to worry about, because Wasilla (unlike nearby Juneau) NEVER billed a victim for a rape kit.
So what we’ve got here is a law drafted by a democrat senator from another state, signed into law by a democrat president, deflected at the state level by a state democrat representative, and signed into law by a democrat governor that made it small-town’s responsibility to take care of victims of sexual assault. As a result, many cities and small towns were forced to find creative ways to offset the cost of rape kits, in a state with the highest rape and violence to women in the country. Some cities, like Wasilla, had a law or process on the books that allowed them to bill rape victims for the kits, while others, like the larger city (and capitol of the state) Juneau did bill their rape victims for rape kits (The woman wrote in support of a bill that was later passed forbidding cities to charge victims for their rape kits.)
The Governor at the time who keeps making it a point to say “i don’t know how (Palin) could have not known what was going on in her own city”, seems to have overlooked the fact that NO rape victims in Wasilla were charged for their own rape kits, and that victims in Juneau – where he was an elected public official, working daily, were.
4 – finally, this whole thing has been brought up to portray Palin as ‘against women’s rights’, as part of a dirty propaganda assault. Palin actually has an excellent record in domestic violence/violence against women. In addition to “never agreeing with victims of sexual assault being charged for their own rape kits”, Palin, while governor, approved a large fund increase for Domestic Violence Shelters and reauthorized a Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.
If Palin was aware of the policy to bill sexual assault victims for their own rape kits, then she needs to be run out of town on a rail for disregarding policy or law while mayor of Wasilla, and not vilified with false accusations of having followed that policy. again, NO RAPE VICTIMS IN WASILLA WERE EVER BILLED (nor were their insurance companies).
(please see prior post for additional references)