Friday, September 12, 2008
If You Get Raped In John McCain/Sarah Palin's America, You Should Pay For Your Own Rape Exam. The good news is they pay $150 for wolf paws.
Thu Sep 11, 2008 at 02:01:46 PM PDT
In 1994, John McCain voted against legislation -- pushed through Congress by Joe Biden -- that helped put an end to the practice of charging rape victims for sexual assault exams.
Twisted as it may sound, charging victims for a forensic exam was a real problem. For example, as AMERICAblog has documented (and the media is now reporting), when Sarah Palin was mayor of Wasilla, the town charged rape victims for the exams.
Biden's legislation required that state, local, and Indian governments provide the rape exams to victims free of charge as a condition of receiving federal funds under the Violence Against Women Act. In 2000, Alaska finally passed state legislation in order to qualify for federal funding.
- JedReport's diary :: ::
McCain not only opposed Biden's legislation, but also has voted against funding it as recently as October 2007.
McCain voted against final passage of Biden's legislation. He had supported an earlier version, but on the question of actually making the legislation the law of the land, McCain joined 35 conservative Republicans (and 2 Democrats) and said "no" to ensuring that all women had access to rape exams free of charge.
Here's the text of the rape exam provision in Biden's legislation:
SEC. 2005. RAPE EXAM PAYMENTS.
`(a) RESTRICTION OF FUNDS-
`(1) IN GENERAL- A State, Indian tribal government, or unit of local government, shall not be entitled to funds under this part unless the State, Indian tribal government, unit of local government, or another governmental entity incurs the full out-of-pocket cost of forensic medical exams described in subsection (b) for victims of sexual assault.
`(2) REDISTRIBUTION- Funds withheld from a State or unit of local government under paragraph (1) shall be distributed to other States or units of local government pro rata. Funds withheld from an Indian tribal government under paragraph (1) shall be distributed to other Indian tribal governments pro rata.
`(b) MEDICAL COSTS- A State, Indian tribal government, or unit of local government shall be deemed to incur the full out-of-pocket cost of forensic medical exams for victims of sexual assault if any government entity--
`(1) provides such exams to victims free of charge to the victim;
`(2) arranges for victims to obtain such exams free of charge to the victims; or
`(3) reimburses victims for the cost of such exams if--
`(A) the reimbursement covers the full cost of such exams, without any deductible requirement or limit on the amount of a reimbursement;
`(B) the reimbursing governmental entity permits victims to apply for reimbursement for not less than one year from the date of the exam;
`(C) the reimbursing governmental entity provides reimbursement not later than 90 days after written notification of the victim's expense; and
`(D) the State, Indian tribal government, unit of local government, or reimbursing governmental entity provides information at the time of the exam to all victims, including victims with limited or no English proficiency, regarding how to obtain reimbursement.
$150 for Wolf Paws and $400,000 to educate people that it was a good idea.
In 2007, Sarah Palin approved $400,000 to educate the public about the ecological success of shooting wolves and bears from the air. Some of the money went to create a pamphlet distributed in local newspapers, three weeks before the public was to vote on an initiative that would have curtailed aerial killing of wolves by private citizens.
The controversy over Palin's promotion of predator control goes beyond animal rights activists recoiling at the thought of picking off wolves from airplanes. A raft of scientists has argued that Palin has provided little evidence that the current program of systematically killing wolves, estimated at a population of 7,000 to 11,000, will result in more moose for hunters. State estimates of moose populations have come under scrutiny. Some wildlife biologists say predator control advocates don't even understand what wolves eat.
"Across the board, Sarah Palin puts on a masquerade, claiming she is using sound management and science," says Nick Jans, an Alaskan writer who co-sponsored the initiative. "In reality she uses ideology and ignores science when it is in her way." The initiative was defeated last month.
Gordon Haber is a wildlife scientist who has studied wolves in Alaska for 43 years. "On wildlife-related issues, whether it is polar bears or predator controls, she has shown no inclination to be objective," he says of Palin. "I cannot find credible scientific data to support their arguments," he adds about the state's rationale for gunning down wolves. "In most cases, there is evidence to the contrary."
Last year, 172 scientists signed a letter to Palin, expressing concern about the lack of science behind the state's wolf-killing operation. According to the scientists, state officials set population objectives for moose and caribou based on "unattainable, unsustainable historically high populations." As a result, the "inadequately designed predator control programs" threatened the long-term health of both the ungulate and wolf populations. The scientists concluded with a plea to Palin to consider the conservation of wolves and bears "on an equal basis with the goal of producing more ungulates for hunters."
Apparently Palin wasn't fazed. Earlier this year she introduced state legislation that would further divorce the predator-control program from science. The legislation would transfer authority over the program from the state Department of Fish and Game to Alaska's Board of Game, whose members are appointed by, well, Palin. Even some hunters were astounded by her power play.
The legislation would give Palin's board "more leeway without any scientific input to do whatever the hell they basically wanted," Mark Richards, co-chair of Alaska Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, wrote in an e-mail. The legislation is currently stalled in the Alaska state Senate.
I can understand voting against a bundled bill that has crap in it. I just can't understand how that's the excuse for voting against it twice.