Our governor hits a new political low

Wow. The political season has just begun and we’ve already seen our governor come out swinging with a blow that should hit every needy kid and low-income pregnant woman in the state somewhere between their waists and knees.

I’m not surprised at this level of sucking up in any political campaign. I am surprised that we managed to go so low so quickly. Most campaigns at least start off pretending to be above special interest pandering.

Of course, to hear old Sean explain it, he vetoed the increase in Denali Kid Care funding when he found out to his absolute shock and dismay that a bill he’d supported through the entire legislative session contained money that could be used for an abortion if a mother’s life was threatened.

You’d think he’d have found that out a little earlier in the process… say when he did the research one assumes he did before supporting the bill. He might have even been expected to remember that he heard testimony about Denali Kid Care back in his legislative days when the state tried to restrict its money from being used for abortions.

So the conclusion one must draw about this veto is either the governor doesn’t know what he’s supporting when he supports it or, in a crass attempt to polish his credentials with the far right, he threw a bunch of low-income women and children under the proverbial bus.

Neither is a very inspiring picture for a politician wanting to represent us for the next four years. Our choices are he’s either stupid or so ambitious he’ll get what he wants over the backs of the poor if necessary.

The message I get is that he believes in the right of children to be born no matter what the circumstances of their birth but, once born, they are pretty much on their own for survival. Given that Alaska rates 48 out of 50 states for children’s health, that’s a pretty scary proposition.

I’ve always felt that people who oppose a woman’s right to choose, even in cases where her life is threatened by her pregnancy, should be the ones most fully supporting every service proposed to help children born of those pregnancies have a healthy life. They should also be the one most supporting sex education in our schools so that unwanted pregnancies do not happen. Teens who are educated on how to avoid the consequences of sexual experimentation are much less likely to bear those consequences, whether it be sexually transmitted diseases or teen pregnancies.

If you are going to loudly proclaim your opposition to a woman’s right to make her own decisions about her reproductive health, then you really need to step up to the plate and create a social network to catch the consequences of your beliefs.

The reality is that unless you are Sarah Palin’s daughter, no one is paying an unwed teen mom thousands of dollars to lecture about teen pregnancy. Most teen moms are more likely to need public assistance, free day care while they try to finish their interrupted high school education, and government sponsored health care.

Which, of course, brings us back to where we started.  Sean Parnell using the health of needy women and children to make political points in the primaries.

These groups are easy targets because they don’t have large, organized lobbying arms to fight for them.  They are too busy trying to make it from yesterday to tomorrow in one piece. And when their kids get sick, they get really sick because preventative health care is simply not affordable. So they end up in our emergency rooms where the care costs us twice as much as it would have if we’d just provided some basic services from the start.

I’m tired of Alaska leading the nation in every horrifying statistic possible. We have the most suicides, the highest rates of addiction and domestic violence, the worse rates for children’s health – the list is seemingly endless. And I wonder when Alaskans are going to find their pride and stand up to say that they no longer want the dubious honor of being the most backward state in the union.

I thought Sean Parnell understood this when he participated in the campaign against domestic violence. I was apparently wrong.