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In discussions with various people in my real life (not the Demonic Conservative Ridicule Machine I play at night) I find that people are willing to brush off or justify Sarah Palin’s lack of experience, qualifications or, well. smarts because of her novelty factor. But the one thing that stops them dead in their tracks is the story of Sarah Palin and the Pay As You Go Rape Kits:

I sat with a rape victim during the “harvesting of evidence”. Mascara smeared eyes stared blankly out from a cave of shame. “We’ve got swimmers,” announced the forensic tech in the lab next door. My friend didn’t look surprised. In her 60’s, she was still asked if she felt the need for emergency contraception. Surviving the process would have only been compounded and made worse with an itemized bill; victimized twice courtesy of Sarah Palin and the city of Wasilla.

Much can be learned about the Palin Administration’s family values from reviewing their spending priorities. Former Chief of Police Irl Stambaugh included forensic rape kits (up to $1,200 per kit) in his budget requests. He was fired by Palin in 1997. In her termination letter, Palin wrote, “…I do not feel I have your full support in my efforts to govern the city of Wasilla. Therefore I intend to terminate your employment. . . ” Staumbaugh headed the police department since it was created in 1993. Before that, he served 22 years with the Anchorage Police Department rising to the rank of captain. Sarah Palin hired Charlie Fannon as the new Wasilla Chief of Police and said it was one of her best decisions as mayor. Fannon eliminated the forensic rape kits from the budget. Though the number of rapes weren’t reported, Fannon claimed it would save Wasilla taxpayers $5,000 to $14,000 a year.

When Eric Croft, a Democrat Legislator from Anchorage, learned of Wasilla’s policy, he drafted HB 270, which Governor Tony Knowles signed into law. The new law made it illegal for any law enforcement agency to bill victims or victims’ insurance companies for the costs of examinations to collect evidence of a sexual assault or determine if a sexual assault actually occurred. Upon signing the law, Governor Knowles said, “We would never bill the victim of a burglary for the cost of gathering evidence, nor should we bill rape victims just because the crime scene happens to be their bodies.”

Wasilla Police Chief Fannon protested the new law stating it would require the city and communities to come up with more funds to cover the costs of the forensic exams. Really? Are the true costs of sexual assault and forcible rape in a community only measured and reflected in the dollars spent on the forensic rape kit?

God only knows how Sarah Palin would answer that question and, as we well know, she ain’t talkin’.

Fortunately the state of Alaska saw fit to remedy the benign neglect that characterized Pailn’s attitude towards rape victims. But there is still something that you can do for all women in all fifty states since they can hardly count on Vice President Palin to look out for anything other than her own blind ambition.

Per an email I received last night (and also noted here):

Instead of us all sending around more emails about how horrible Sarah Palin is, let’s all make a donation to Planned Parenthood.

In Sarah Palin’s name.

And here’s the good part: when you make a donation to PP in her name, they’ll send her a card telling her that the donation has been made in her honor.

Here’s the link to the Planned Parenthood website

You’ll need to fill in the address to let PP know where to send the "in Sarah Palin’s honor" card. I suggest you use the address for the McCain campaign headquarters, which is:

McCain for President
1235 S. Clark Street
1st Floor
Arlington , VA 22202

PS make sure you use that link above or choose the pulldown of Donate–Honorary or Memorial Donations, not the regular "Donate Online"

The minimum donation is $5 …and did I mention that it’s tax deductible?

Go. Do. Now.

…and pass this along to your friends.