Monday, September 8, 2008

a new anti-feminist low for palin - making woman pay for their own rape kits

link: palin's administration made women pay for their own rape kits

from the diary of prof frink @ dailykos

During her time as mayor she hired a lobbyist linked to the now disgraced and convicted Jack Abramoff. The city of 6,500 obtained $26.7 million in pork-barrel earmarks during her last four years as mayor, that’s a per capita of over $1000 per person, expensive for even Alaska. Steven R has already written a wonderful diary about a policy position of her appointee as Police Chief, Charlie Fannon.Chief Fannon went on the record with his opposition to a law signed in May of 2000 requiring that cities foot the bill for rape kits for victims, essential to the conviction of the perpetrator. You see, until that time, Wasilla expected women to pay for their own kit for $300-$1300, on the premise that the kit would be paid for by the fines and penalties assessed of the eventual convict, assuming a conviction was forthcoming.

    A city swimming in federal earmark money that can’t afford to help ensure that victimized women don’t have to pay for the evidence to seek justice, this is the city that Palin led as mayor. Between 2000 and 2005 Wasilla averaged 2 arrests per year for rape. This number does not count attempted rapes.This also doesn’t account that the DOJ estimates that as little as 26% of rapes go unreported, or those who are never arrested and charged for a notoriously hard to try and convict crime. In 2003, her last budget, Wasilla had a total budget of $12.5 million including capital projects (Ordinance 02-23 (am), 5/13/2002). In 2000, said Chief Fannon, "I just don’t want to see any more burden put on the taxpayer" when asked about the rape kit law.

    Maybe she could have used of the $27 million in earmarks the city had obtained. Just how many rape kits could she have afforded with that? Assuming the maximum price of $1300 per kit, that money could have bought 20,538 kits. Alaska averaged 541 rape arrests per year between 1996 and 2002. That means that just the federal pork money Wasilla obtained could have provided enough rape kits to provide the entire state of Alaska with rape kits for at least 30 years. And yet Sarah Palin’s own police chief couldn’t see the point in "burdening the tax payers" with the costs of the kits for his town’s women.

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