As you well know, this blog has been Palin-obsessed ever since she hit the national scene. All ya’ll are sick of me talking about Sarah’s personal life. So here’s some real moose meat for ya, the Alaska Dispatch. That article title below? It’s a link!
|September 17, 2008|
By Amanda Coyne
On Monday, a McCain-Palin spokeswoman in Anchorage, Meg Stapleton, said in a press conference that one of the reasons Gov. Palin fired public safety commissioner Walt Monegan was because he planned to go to D.C. to ask for money to investigate and prosecute sexual assaults. It was the “last straw,” she said.
This contradicts what Palin has said in the past.
But even if it is true, admitting that Palin fired Monegan for soliciting for more funds for sexual abuse victims might not be the smartest PR move at a time when Palin’s sympathy for such victims is being scrutinized for the following reasons:
1. It was recently reported that while Palin was mayor of Wasilla, rape victims had to pay for their own evidence kits. A Palin-McCain spokesperson, Maria Comella, said to the Anchorage Daily News that Palin “does not believe, nor has she ever believed, that rape victims should have to pay for an evidence-gathering test.” However, it took a state law, over the objections of Wasilla’s chief of police, to rid the city of the practice in 2000.
2. Palin hired a Kenai police officer, Chuck Kopp, to take the place of Monegan. Turns out the Kopp had a sexual harassment complaint against him, which Palin knew about, but said she thought nothing came of it. What she didn’t know about, she said, is that a letter of reprimand was in his file, which was revealed about a month after she hired Kopp. The victim of the harassment called and wrote to the administration after Palin made the Kopp announcement. She never got a call back.
3. Monegan is, according to Palin herself, a strong advocate for women who have experienced sexual abuse.
According to the FBI, Alaska leads the nation in forcible rapes. A report issued last year by Amnesty International said that from 2000 to 2003, Alaska Native people in Anchorage were more than nine times more likely to be sexually assaulted than others living in the city, and that one in three Alaska Native women will be raped in their lifetime.
Walt Monegan is Alaska Native. Geran Tarr, chair of Alaska Women’s lobby, said that this was one of the reasons that she and other women’s groups were supportive of Monegan’s appointment as commissioner and dismayed at his firing. “Alaska Native women are very reluctant to talk about issues of sexual abuse,” she said. “It has to do with their culture.” She said that Monegan’s heritage “might instill a greater sense of trust” with Alaska Native women who have been abused.
As far as him being fired for trying to get more funds to combat sexual abuse, she said, “I don’t even know how to respond to that.”
The Anchorage Daily News reported yesterday that the campaign released emails, one of which accuses Monegan’s department of “constantly going off the reservation,” which might not be the wisest term to use in relation to Monegan, considering that he is Alaska Native and his department is charged with keeping law and order in Alaska Native villages.
More great stuff:
Larry Persily, a former Alaska journalist who worked for Gov. Sarah Palin at the state office in Washington, D.C., until earlier this year, delivered to the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce Monday a down-to-earth, tell-it-how-it-is speech describing the historic, if not strange, political times Alaskans are now living under the national spotlight.
Former Alaska Native chief speaks out on Palin, oil and his state.
Karl Rove in Alaska? The new political landscape in Alaska now that McCain’s folks have come to town.