More media pick up on story that Palin charged rape victims for rape kits

She’s a barracuda all right. What a great issue to explode and showcase how bad McCain and Palin really are. How extreme she truly is. How anti-women they really are. What a great issue to make McCain cringe. To drive a wedge between him and women and independents. To put McCain and Palin on the side of rapists versus rape victims. To change the discussion of the entire week from lipstick and fish to a real issue that scares the hell out of women, and men, across America.

I mean, the reason the city didn’t pick up the charge of the rape kits is because they were more interested in keeping taxes low. Yes, when given the choice between a tax cut and helping rape victims, Palin chose tax cuts. Hmmm… tax cuts. Is that an issue John McCain will be talking about? Would it be worthwhile to link any discussion of John McCain’s tax cuts to the issue of rape? Would that freak McCain out on one of his key GOP talking points? Yes it would. How about turning Palin’s barracuda name around on her – she’s a barracuda all right. Think this is an issue that might be worth jumping on, considering the only messages we’ve been able to get out all week are that we don’t hate women and we wish John McCain would stop being mean to us?

Now imagine what Karl Rove would do with this issue had it been Joe Biden who charged women for rape kits. It will be telling to see what the Obama campaign does with this.

In 2000, Alaska lawmakers learned that rural police agencies had been billing rape victims or their insurance companies $500 to $1,200 for the costs of the forensic medical examinations used to gather evidence. They quickly passed a law prohibiting the practice.

According to the sponsor, Democrat Eric Croft, the law was aimed in part at Wasilla, where now-Gov. Sarah Palin was mayor. When it was signed, Wasilla’s police chief expressed displeasure.

“In the past, we’ve charged the cost of exams to the victims’ insurance company when possible,” then-chief Charlie Fannon told the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman, the local newspaper. “I just don’t want to see any more burden put on the taxpayer.”

Now that Palin is the Republican nominee for vice president, Democrats such as former Alaska governor Tony Knowles — who signed the rape-kit bill into law and was defeated by Palin in 2006 — are raising the issue to question Palin’s commitment to women’s issues and crime victims. Palin appointed Fannon after firing his predecessor shortly after she took office in 1996.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

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