The issue of Wasilla Police Department Chief Charlie Fannon's and Mayor Sarah Palin's policy of eliminating financial payment for forensic examinations of rape victims from the municipal budget, and that decision's influence on the 1999-2000 Alaska Legislature's HB 270, is gaining traction. This past week, both Shannyn Moore and I have been guests on a fair number of radio call-in programs. When this issue comes up, people gasp.
The Anchorage Daily News, which failed to adequately address this in 2000, still hasn't covered it in a rational way that would, for instance, use the superb expertise of reporters Sheila Toomey and Lisa Demer to the paper's advantage. I've asked "Why not?" about this here before, and I'm asking it once more.
Others are probing the issue, though. The most interesting example I found this morning (while waiting for a radio appearance on Irish National Radio), was a segment on the Public Broadcasting System's program, To The Contrary. Two conservative commentators on the program keep on trying to put some lipstick on this piglet, but it doesn't seem to work.
Tara Setmeyer claims that Palin and Fannnon were sort of sabotaged by Democrats in 1999, as the two former sought to develop a new, rational policy on how this budget item was addressed. Heritage Foundation shill, Genevieve Wood says, "I think Sarah Palin will speak to this. I'm sure she'll have a very good answer."
Will she speak to his? Should she? That's our Progressive Alaska poll for this week:
Should Sarah Palin be asked about the Wasilla Police Department Policy of charging rape victims for their forensic exams, during the VP debate?
Update noon Sunday - from the comments: (Shannyn says) "Since Joe Biden fought hard to make rape kit charges illegal on a national level, and JOHN MCCAIN voted against it, Palin and Biden should both be asked about it. The have both taken a stand." More coming on this later today.
image - Wasilla Police Department