Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Debunking Another Palin Smear

Every major news media outlet followed the liberal blogs in proclaiming that Sarah Palin as mayor of Wasilla, Alaska had a policy of billing rape victims for the cost of rape kits used by hospitals to examine them, and that the state legislature had to pass a law to specifically stop this aberrant community from carrying out this bad public policy. Jim Geraghty completely debunks this story over at the National Review Online. The former Democratic legislator and former Democratic governor (who Palin defeated) have been on every major cable news station lying about the circumstances surrounding this legislation to smear Palin. The record shows that Wasilla's policy never came up during any of the legislative debate surrounding this legislation, but the city of Juneau, the state's capital and a much larger city than Wasilla, was specifically discussed.

The testimony at the hearing on the legislation indicated that the state police commissioner testified that he was not aware of any police agency in the state which had billed rape victims for the rape kits. In fact, the hospitals were billing the victim's insurer or the victim directly without ever billing the local police agency according to the testimony. A search of the public records of Wasilla where one or two rapes a year occurs found no victims who had been billed by the city. The truth is that this problem existed in many communities throughout the United States, including Obama's state of Illinois until recently. More recently, attention was focused on this practice in the state of North Carolina, which has a Democratic governor. Geraghty concludes the whole story was manufactured and spread by the Axelrod-Obama smear machine. How many lies will the media print about Sarah Palin before it comes to its senses about its obligation to journalistic integrity in reporting in this presidential race? This is exactly the tactics Obama and Axelrod used to manipulate the Chicago Tribune and Sun-Times during Obama's Senate campaign. Any smear item the duo could come up with about one of his opponents, the news media in Illinois stumbled all over each other to report it first, while covering up the criminal and scandalous record of Obama.


bobisimo said...

PolitiFacts also had a good write-up on this topic aimed at the same goal: http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/731/

Chris Worden said...

I know from reading Advance Indiana that stories get churned that end up having absolutely no merit, so "debunk away!" But what I didn't see here was the evidence that this was part of the "Obama/Axelrod smear machine."

This goes back to what I said to you about "group identity." Do you actually have a piece of communication from Axelrod or ANY Obama official on payroll where they tell this guy to churn this story, OR do you just assume, as a general principal, that anything anyone says in America against John McCain and Sarah Palin or for Barack Obama has been orchestrated by the Obama campaign?

Do you apply this philosophy to your own candidate? If so, then won't I have to conclude that Phil Gramm said what John McCain agrees with when he called Americans a bunch of whiners, and that McCain threw Gramm under the bus when McCain's own words spoken through Gramm's mouth blew up in his face? Or, could it possibly be that Gramm is an idiot who went off half-cocked? (See how silly this notion of a monolithic campaign is!??! I really wish you'd stop putting everything on the Obama campaign until you have concrete evidence, not just innuendo based on Axelrod and Obama's reputation for "playing dirty in Chicago politics").

Chris Worden said...

AI, I just read the PolitiFacts story, and it is listed as "half true." So how can a story be "fabricated" that is half-true?

What your post conveniently ignores is that Wasilla DID have this policy of charging for rape kits, and that Sarah Palin was Mayor when it existed. Did she advocate for it? No. That's the inaccurate part. But did she advocate against it? No. If you accept that "the buck stops here," (as I'm told Republicans do), then she, and all of the members of the Wasillia counsel, both Republican AND Democrat, supported this policy.

I also think it's VERY revealing that the police chief, who I believe (but am NOT sure) is a Palin appointee, said that they wanted to bill the victim's insurance company instead of the victim. If he is her appointee, she picked somebody who thought it was okay to make victims pay for rape kits, as long as they have coverage. What an idiot.

Maybe Palin was not aware of his view on this issue, and that's a fair comment that I hope you'll remember when you question Obama's judgment based on some viewpoint or action taken by somebody with whom Obama had an association.

I think it's ridiculous to assume any person will always know the inner most thoughts of those with whom we have relationships, but if this is going to be the standard you set, AI, Sarah Palin should have fired her police chief for being such an incomprehensibly insensitive person.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Chris, You aren't from Illinois like me and you weren't involved in Illinois politics for years like I was. I know what these people are all about. I saw them in action in Springfield for 6 years. The one party rule for the better part of a century in Chicago has been devastating to the process. You cannot get ahead in Chicago politics unless you go along with their ways. Axelrod has a reputation for his "astroturfing" pr campaigns where phony grassroots efforts are trumped up to get the result his client wants. Just ask Commonwealth Edison how successful Axelrod's campaign was to force higher utility rates in Illinois. If you had even attempted to research Obama's and Axelrod's backgrounds, you wouldn't be questioning my judgment on these matters. Again, there was no official policy in Wasilla established by Mayor Palin. The testimony during the legislative debate made clear that it was the hospitals' billing methods and not the cities' deliberate policies that resulting in victim's insurance companies being billed. This happened in many communities in Alaska. It happened all over the U.S. It was happening in Illinois when Obama was a state legislator. Why didn't he introduce legislation to deal with the problem there? This is a totally made up issue that Axelrod is a master at doing.