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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Palin Put Alaskan Women and Kids at Risk in Pursuit of Vendetta

ABC News:

Evangelicals and social conservatives have embraced McCain's vice presidential pick for what they call her "pro-family," "pro-woman" values. But in Alaska, critics say Gov. Sarah Palin has not addressed the rampant sexual abuse, rape, domestic violence and murder that make her state one of the most dangerous places in the country for women and children.

Alaska leads the nation in reported forcible rapes per capita, according to the FBI, with a rate two and a half times the national average  a ranking it has held for many years. Children are no safer: Public safety experts believe that the prevalence of rape and sexual assault of minors in Alaska makes the state's record one of the worst in the U.S. And while solid statistics on domestic violence are hard to come by, most - including Gov. Palin - agree it is an "epidemic."

Terrible. But all was not lost in Alaska. There were dedicated public servants who made the reduction and prevention of violence against women a priority.

Some members of Palin's administration were focused on the issue of sexual violence. Officials in the Department of Public Safety were devising an ambitious, multi-million-dollar initiative to seriously tackle sex crimes in the state...

Whew! Thank God.

...but Palin's office put the plan on hold in July.

Damn! Why the hell would she do that?!

Days later, Palin fired its chief proponent, Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan, after he declined to dismiss a state trooper Palin accused of threatening her own family members. Palin has said she fired Monegan because she wanted to move his department in a "new direction," and he was not being "a team player on budgeting issues." The dismissal is now at the center of a hotly-contested investigation by the state legislature.

Yes, that's right. In her effort to "protect her family" from domestic violence, she fired the state's leading advocate for domestic violence prevention. Because he wouldn't agree to fire her ex-brother in-law, State Trooper Mike Wooten, on her say-so.

How she hoped to protect her family by making it more difficult for Wooten to pay his bills, nobody has yet figured out.

But in the meantime, the victims of Alaska's absolutely scandalous rate of violence against women and children -- not to mention the one guy who actually cared -- are paying the price for a governor who puts her obsession with using the trappings of high office to settle personal scores ahead of protecting public safety.

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