Monday, September 22, 2008

Palin's Priorities: domestic violence & sexual assault

The McCain-Palin campaign insists that fighting domestic violence and sexual assault are priorities for Palin. And they say she has been looking at other programs to support. CNN
The McCain-Palin camp is on the offensive desperately showing that VP candidate Sarah Palin is not the insensitive woman-hating woman people may think she is because she allowed her own city to charge victims for rape kits. According to Palin's supporters, then-Mayor Palin was completely unaware that her city was charging for rape kits despite hiring a Chief of Police who threw a public hissy fit when legislation was passed barring the practice. Palin's former Deputy-Mayor, Judy Patrick, doesn't bother to pretend that Palin didn't know about the practice, she says the state of Alaska forced the city into charging victims:

Judy Patrick, who was Palin's deputy mayor and friend, blames the state.

"The bigger picture of what was going on at the time was that the state was trying to cut their own budget, and one of the things that they were doing was passing on costs to cities, and that was one of the many things that they were passing on, the cost to the city," said Patrick, who recalls enormous pressure to keep the city's budget down.

Except that's not true. The state never responsible for local criminal investigations and, under the previous administration and Police Chief Palin fired, the Wasilla PD paid for costs of rape kits from a fund for miscellaneous costs - a fund Palin cut by more than half, apparently, without even asking what the funds were used for. According to Patrick

Palin would review each department's budget line by line and send it back to department heads with her changes.

"Sarah is a fiscal conservative, and so she had seen that the city was heading in a direction of bigger projects, costing taxpayers more money, and she was determined to change that," Patrick said.

And change that she did didn't - she raised a regressive sales tax, reduced a progressive property tax helping large corporations more than residents and borrowed money for a litigation-laden attempt to build a sports-complex. In short, the fiscal conservative that inherited a debt-free city, left behind a city $22M in the hole - and yet, she couldn't work out a deal to increase the budget of the Police Department to pay for rape-kits.

Further evidence of Palin's commitment to fighting domestic violence and sexual assault: according to Palin's supporters, she didn't fire Alaska Public Safety Commissioner, Walt Monegan, because he refused to fire he former brother-in-law, she really fired him for going to DC to lobby for federal funds for an aggressive anti-sexual-violence program.

Yeah, the McCain campaign says fighting domestic violence and sexual assault are priorities for Palin now but they sure as hell weren't until everyone else started looking in to her extensive executive experience.


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