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September 24, 2021

Jesus Loves the Little Children – Governor Sean Parnell? Not So Much.

Sean Parnell, the man that his former boss Sarah Palin called a “brother in prayer” has made his priorities known.  Remember that favorite Sunday School hymn, “Jesus Loves the Little Children?” Remember how Jesus’ priorities were all about healing the sick, and helping the poor, and doing unto others as you would have them do unto you?  Well, our born again Christian governor is just exactly NOT like that at all.

Last year, Sean Parnell (and I am not making this up) vetoed a bill that would have provided Denali Kid Care (the state health program that gets 70% matching federal funds) to 1200 infants and children, and about 200 pregnant women who are between 175% and 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.  Nope, said Governor Parnell. We will not provide basic healthcare and well-baby checkups. We will not cover any doctor visits for poor sick children. We will not provide prenatal care for pregnant mothers. Not one dime. Sick kids are on the chopping block.


Because, his reasoning went, he had just discovered to his shock and dismay that Denali Kid Care can be used to pay for medically necessary abortions – the kind that happen when mothers have kidney disease, or severe diabetes, or other issues that seriously jeopardize her own health. He was simply shocked by this, and thus his decision not to fund anyone else. Better to deny thousands of the most helpless and vulnerable members of society basic healthcare than to have the state pay for even one medically necessary and completely legal abortion.

On top of this unbelievably cold-hearted logic, the governor’s whole story was untruthful. Parnell knew about it the whole time. This was not new information, as his spokesperson said. When Governor Parnell used to be State Senator Parnell, he not only knew that Denali Kid Care (and all state health care services) paid for these types of abortions, but in a meeting, he had a conversation with an Assistant Attorney General about it in which she told him:

“…even though it’s permissible in some states to limit the availability of abortion funding under the federal constitution test, Alaska’s constitution contains explicit privacy protection that has been interpreted as providing more protection for individual liberties than the privacy rights under the federal constitution… Reproductive rights are fundamental in Alaska, that they are encompassed within our privacy provision…”

We know this because Senators Bettye Davis, Hollis French, Bill Wielechowski and Johnny Ellis had a press conference last year in which they produced the minutes of the meeting. The issue even went all the way to the Alaska Supreme Court which said that barring payment for medically necessary abortions for poor women is unconstitutional in the state of Alaska. It was a unanimous decision resulting in the state being told that it must fund these procedures just as it funds any other condition covered by Alaska’s medical programs for the poor.

And while nobody is trying to assert the notion that Parnell is the sharpest tool in the shed, it seems just a bit unlikely that he talked to an assistant AG about it in an official meeting, and that this issue went all the way to the Supreme Court, and he (an attorney and sitting legislator) had no clue about it.

So, once again, we award the governor with:

The flaming pants.

I hope all those fancy renovations in the Governor’s Mansion in Juneau involve some serious fire sprinklers in the governor’s closet. There’s a whole lotta flaming going on lately.  Either that or he’s going to have to get some custom suits made out of that flame retardant jammie material they use for kids.

Speaking of kids…

So, why the sudden turnaround? He knew about what the state paid for, and supported it in the past, and he has even framed himself as an advocate for women and children. Blocking them from basic healthcare isn’t very “family friendly,” so what gives? It’s far more likely that the governor played his cards so as not to alienate the likes of Jerry Prevo (Anchorage Baptist Temple) and Jim Minnery (Alaska Family Council) who make their careers on pro-life, far-right, evangelical donations . If this is true, then it’s worse than simple religious hypocrisy – it’s a calculated effort to win political favor at (literally) the expense of children’s lives.

WWJD?  Not that.

This brings us to the present, and the return of the good guys.

Not to be dissuaded by the tiny, shrivelled, religiously hypocritical black heart of the governor, Senator Bettye Davis (a real advocate for women and children) and the Senate Health and Social Services committee will hold a hearing to discuss how to help more of Alaska’s uninsured children and pregnant women receive essential health care coverage through Denali KidCare. The meeting will take place in room 220 of the Anchorage Legislative Information Office from 9:00am to 4:00pm on October 13, with a break from noon to 1:00pm. This is where you come in.

During the noon – 1pm break, concerned citizens will rally at Anchorage Legislative Office on 716 West 4th Ave., between G and H Streets.

Invited testimony will take place in the morning, and public testimony will be heard in the afternoon.

~Senator Bettye Davis (prime sponsor of SB5), and happy, healthy kids!

The hearing will focus on Senate Bill 5, which increases income eligibility for Denali KidCare and reinstates similar provisions of that senate bill vetoed by Governor Sean Parnell in 2010. After Captain Zero’s 2010 veto, the state lost $1.8 million in federal reimbursements in 2011 alone. If SB 5 does not pass, the loss of federal matching funds through 2017 is estimated at $14 million.

SB5 would help an additional 1300 children and 200 pregnant women receive the treatment and preventative care they need. Despite being one of the wealthiest states in the nation, Alaska ranks 47th in stinginess overall, and we are one of only four states in the nation which limits eligibility for these programs to those making less than 200% of the Federal Poverty Level.

Last year, Parnell said that in vetoing the $3 million for the healthcare of children and pregnant women that he was following his conscience. “My intention here today is to make sure we don’t expand state government funding of abortions here in Alaska,” he said.

Nothing like throwing more than a thousand babies out with the ideological bathwater.

I hope governor Parnell sleeps well tonight, knowing that the State of Alaska is paying for his children’s health insurance. I only wish the same for the parents whose children are sick, and can’t get help because of one man’s “conscience.”

Please tell your legislators what you think about SB5 that will give those working families the basic services they need for their children, that Sean Parnell took away from them last year. And show up on Thursday to voice your support, or provide your own testimony.

You-Know-Who would approve.



44 Responses to “Jesus Loves the Little Children – Governor Sean Parnell? Not So Much.”
  1. Man_from_Unk says:

    We have to break the Urban Legend that just because a politician has studied LAW, that he or she will make a good leader because they know the law. We forget that Lawyers like to argue and WIN by any means. We need Common, Down To Earth People in our leader roles. We’re getting squashed by all the Lawyers we have in Government, both federal and state.

  2. Man_from_Unk says:

    As Chief in Charge of our great(?) state, perhaps we should direct him to open up the Governor’s Mansion for all of Alaska’s neglected and unwanted children. He’d start beating to a different tune then for sure.

  3. AKLAWDOG says:

    Sean Parnell is a fraud…thinks being a lawyer will help him screw over more Alaskans…problem with this is audits do show where things are really at…and that soaking them with water will not work and deflecting the obvious will only show your ignorance…just like Palin a fraud, liar and carpetbagger…

  4. Dagian says:

    Wow, he’s going for a nice big collection of flaming pants.

    Do they come in different colours? He seems to be wearing a lot of blue… What about hot pink? Brown (corduroys so you can hear him run past you)?

  5. leenie17 says:

    (This comment does NOT apply to mudpups because I KNOW you all have big hearts!)

    Every time a terrorist attack has taken place somewhere in the world in the past few years, many people on the far right have screamed about how the moderate Muslims should step up and publicly condemn what the terrorists had claimed to do in the name of Islam. If they didn’t, according to the right, it was the same as if they had condoned and supported the violence themselves.

    Okay fine. Where are the many powerful Christians in this country who should be publicly speaking out against the critical support services being taken away from poor children and families?

    Where are the Christians protesting the reduction of medical services for poor children, like Denali Care?

    Where are the Christians protesting the reduction of food programs for poor families, like the SNAP program?

    Where are the Christians protesting the reduction of programs like WIC programs that help insure that pregnant women and infants receive proper nutrition?

    Where are the Christians who supposedly follow Jesus Christ who taught us to take care of our brothers and sisters?

    All these self-proclaimed ‘Christians’ on the right must be following a different Christ who said to pass laws that take food out of the mouths of hungry children, take prenatal care away from poor pregnant women and make sure poor families take home less money so that millionaires and billionaires can buy an extra vacation home in the Bahamas. He must have also said that the laws that protect the safety of workers and the environment must be abolished even though workers may get hurt and die, water and air is more polluted, and defective and dangerous products are allowed to be sold…as long a corporations can make bigger profits. Hmmmm….that’s not the Christ I learned about in Sunday school!

  6. Just Me says:

    24 Owls, thanks for reminding about the Handmaiden’s Tale, which was really a horror story. At the time I read it, many years ago, I thought it was too far fetched to ever happen. I no longer feel that way. I think we are headed to The Hand Maiden’s Tale, with the insanely religious right wing pushing it all lthe way.

  7. Just Me says:

    24 Owls, thanks for reminding about the Handmaiden’s Tale, which was really a horror story. At the time I read it, many years ago, I thought it was too far fetched to ever happen. I no longer feel that way. I think we are headed to The Hand Maiden’s Tale, with the insanely religious right wing pushing it all lthe way.

  8. Marilyn says:

    Sean Save My Ass Politically Parnell, very much like his predecessor Sarah Save My Ass Politically Palin, is not about anything meaningful outside of his own pockets. He wants to keep them well lined and stick his hands in there whenever he wants and pull out gobs of dollar bills. He voted his ‘conscience?” Sorry, that doesn’t exist in either of the $Ps.

  9. 24owls says:

    The Handmaid’s Tale written in 1985 by Margaret Atwood. A novel set in the future about the totalitarian theocracy take over of the United States and the government forcing women to birth babies regardless of the circumstances. 26 years later in 2011 the state is going to force women to have the babies regardless of the circumstances and after the kids are born, too bad for you kid you either sink or swim on your own. His religious committment of his version of his belief is the possible death of babies, kids and women who probably do not share his same religious outlook – sounds like an american version of the taliban.

  10. Alaska Pi says:

    There’s another important piece of this that is getting lost.
    “Alaska is one of only 7 states which funds its State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) below 200%. ”

    Below 200% of the FEDERAL poverty line.
    The fed makes an adjustment for Alaska (and Hawaii) but given the hugely disparate costs of living across this state , rural v urban, it does not mean a whole lot in terms of what the so-called poverty line really could be said to measure.

    We are 3rd in the nation for percentage of children living in poverty. 3rd.
    Terrible ranking. Terrible.

  11. Really? says:

    This is extremely upsetting news, AKM. All you mudpups sure know how to express yourselves.! I sure thank you all. Gov. Parnell should be ashamed of himself for discriminating against children in such a terrible way. All children should be treated equally and fairly. He should choose respect, respect for all children.

  12. Ellyn of Illinois says:

    Parnie and Guv Walker of WI should retire and form a new company: Cruel Moronic Dullards R Us.
    They could sell snake oil and dirty laundry.

  13. mike from iowa says:

    All of these so called christians on the right are treating their version of the bible as a living,breathing document(to suit their purposes) and antiquating the Constitution by claiming to be strict constructionists-interpreting the Constitution as it was written to match the time frame of when it was written. Naturally they have misguided notions about strict constructionism as their interpretations change depending on the day of the week. The activist,rw Supreme Court changed the accepted meaning of the 14th Amendment equal protection clause to appoint d.dubya Potus in 2000. Then they told the whole world that their decision was a one time only distortion and not to be considered precedence for the future. Good to get it both ways.

    • mike from iowa says:

      BTW-the first picture explains rwnj religious philosophy. They are using Jesus as their messenger; not as the message itself. They put their message in his mouth.

  14. jenjay says:

    Soooo …. anti-abortion rhetoric is so socially acceptable that just saying it hides actions like abandoning ailing children and subverting healthy babies?


  15. Glenn Squires says:

    Parnell and his ilk are NOT “pro-life”; they are “forced birthers”.

  16. Baker's Dozen says:

    There is a perfectly good word (no, not THAT word, Mike! This is a family blog.) for what many Republican office holders and all Republican pres primary candidates do.

    Cavil: ( From Webster’s 1828. He could turn a phrase)
    1. To raise captious and frivolous objections; to find fault without good reason; followed by at.
    It is better to reason than to cavil.
    Why does Captain Zero cavil at health care for the poor?
    2. To advance futile objections, or to frame sophisms, for the sake of victory in an argument.
    Romney caviled about universal health care, only to have it revealed that it’s patterned after RomneyCare.
    CAVIL, v.t. To receive or treat with objections.
    Bachmann cavils about anything that would help the middle class or the working poor.

    CAVIL, n. False or frivolous objections; also, a fallacious kind of reason, bearing some resemblance to truth, advanced for the sake of victory.
    The cavils of the Republican base regarding gay marriage and rights can be seen through by any truly unselfish person, which leads one to realize we have many self righteous nut cases in this country.

  17. ks sunflower says:

    Any Alaskan who votes for Parnell for any public office after this, share the blame for what he has done. the deaths and needless suffering of children and women and their families are on their consciences as well. If they believe in God and certainly in Christ, then they will have to answer for their cruelty by electing such a narrow-minded, unfeeling and remorseless man such as Parnell.

    I hope America will outgrow this hateful phase and look back at this time in shame that more of us did not vote for people who would create and implement compassionate policies for all those in need.

    A belief that health care is a privilege reserved only for those who can afford it and not a human right is not a belief that should reside within anyone claiming to follow a loving God. Heck, it isn’t even a belief that should reside in any human heart or mind. Life is tough enough without having accessible basic healthcare. Anyone who is against affordable health care and healthcare assistance for those who cannot afford has a cold and cruel heart and empty, worthless soul.

    • Really? says:

      So well said.”Anyone who is against affordable health care and healthcare assistance for those who cannot afford has a cold and cruel heart and empty, worthless soul”. Children can’t help it if their parents can’t afford an outrageously high health insurance policy. I just cringe knowing Gov Parnell wants to see to it that some children will have compromised health care “under his watch”.

    • Alaska Pi says:

      There’s another piece to this which has nothing to do with religion which appeals to the libertarian streak so many here exhibit.
      The notion that every (hu)man is an island and should be fully responsible for everything which comes their way, accident of birth into poverty included.
      Until we can shift the dialogue surrounding that bunch of hoo-bobby we won’t shift the overall dialogue here.
      While there are intersections between the libertarian thingy and the phony religious right-to-life POV the current Gov is riding his high horse on, by and large I think it is the underhanded or coded appeal to libertarian sensibilities which is at the largest base of support he gets on crap like this.

  18. fishingmamma says:

    I’d like to know the number of medically necessary abortions Denali Kidcare has paid for.

    • fishingmamma says:

      Well, this bothered me, so I looked it up. Denali Kid Care funded just over 600 medically necessary abortions per year up to 2009. Also, from ADN:

      “Denali KidCare is required to fund “medically necessary” abortions because of a 2001 Alaska Supreme Court ruling. The court ruled that “if the state undertakes to fund medically necessary services for poor Alaskans, it may not exclude from that program women who medically require abortions.” This is from an article in ADN last year. There is a lot more there, including who determines medical necessity.

      Read more:

  19. akglow says:

    After this rally, maybe we should head over to the Peterson Tower to Sen Murkowski’s office and protest her vote against President Obama’s Job bill. This bill had money for new spending on roads, school repairs and other infrastructure, and help to local governments to avoid layoffs of teachers, firefighters and police officers.

  20. Simple Mind says:

    As Emerson said, “a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.” And so Herman Cain can look at his personal commercial success and somehow conclude that racism no longer holds back black people in America. And so small minds like Parnell will likely cause the death of living children by denying them health care while he struggles to hold some consistency to his “no abortion no matter the cost” view. I know Parnell is against giving a woman the choice whether to have an abortion. I don’t agree with him, but I could respect that. Many people of good faith are deeply troubled by the concept of abortion. However, Parnell takes it a step further. It is not his money. It is the state’s money, the people’s money. He overrode the legislature and cut out this money, not because it was good or bad for the state, but because he personally doesn’t believe the state should contribute in any way to a legal, medical procedure. If he can’t outlaw choice, he’ll just make it impossible to exercise choice. His small mind cannot deal with the inconsistency that maybe, just maybe, he could be against abortion but still allow 1300 kids to get needed medical care. …. Of course, it could also just be that he’s a amoral, lying sleezebag who simply used the health of a bunch of kids to buy the support of some right-wing ideologues. Who knows?

  21. FrostyAK says:

    It’s all about bringing the fetus to term, delivering it, and then… well it’s on it’s own.

    They are not Christians, they are Dominionists. Any of ’em, all of ’em. They need to be brought down to the level of the poor, who are suffering due to their hubris. And then denied any and all medical care.

    • ks sunflower says:

      Thanks for making that distinction,FrostyAK. I am not a Christian, but I think it is crucial not to blame all Christians for the extreme policies of fundamentalists and dominionists (who seem to go beyond even the traditional fundamentalists).

      That said, I would really like to see mainstream Christians step up and be even more vocal in denouncing those fools. Their silence seems to condone the extremists. So many churches, temples and mosques and congregants of other faiths do so much good and follow their beliefs in a private without trying to demand that others follow the dictates of their faith.

      The extremists must surely be truly delusional in thinking that Christ would condone hatred and intentional inflicting of pain and suffering upon anyone, particularly those most at risk and in greatest need. Situations such as the one AKM has described are some of the few times I wish I believed in Hell and perpetual suffering because it would make me smile to think that those sanctimonious fools like Parnell would finally get a chance to truly understand the harm they have done.

  22. juneaudream says:

    Quite a discrete ..flippin’ off’..if I do say so..and I do.. 😉

  23. carol says:

    Insomnia last night. Found an old Molly Ivins book, published 2004, and it could have been written today. On my wall next to this desk is an op/ed from paul krugman, 2-5-07, “why we’ll miss Molly Ivins” he’s so right on. Her take on abortion is “if you are against abortion, don’t have one.” Sounds good to me. Medically necessary abortions to save the life of the living, breathing woman, the key work is necessary. Who’s going to take care of children she might have already had if she dies from pregancy? Oh, right, not the state, governor hypocrite won’t even allow for the state to enable whoever does care for children to get health care, prevention of disease care for said children. Molly was also the person who coined the term “governor goodhair” about Perry, who she thought was even dumber than Dubya.

  24. mike from iowa says:

    What sort of tragedy will it take to get through the thick skulls of these morons that there are far worse things happening to the children already born than whatever false dilemna Parnell claims to have with his conscience? Alaska,as you citizens are well aware,has some of the highest rates of sexual assaults and drug use in the nation. Every state has seen a dramatic rise in the number of people of all ages living in poverty. Dumbass dubya was the same way as guv of Texas. He would gladly punish children for the sins(depending on who got to define sin)of their parents. Bush deliberately prevented poor kids from getting signed up for Federally funded health care. There always seems to be more than enough money for taxcuts for the wealthiest. These so called Christians absolutely abuse the 10 Commandments and the Constitution and then lie about it. What I live for is the day these fauxknee religious tools face judgment at the Pearly Gates and Saint Peter tells them all to go to HELL.Now I gotta go see if the Fortune 500 list needs more gov’t assistance before the poor ask for help.

    • Baker's Dozen says:

      Saint Peter won’t have to tell them to hit the skids for Hades. Devious, selfish people are miserable around good people. They’re envious, jealous, and, rather than raising themselves up, prefer to try and bring others down. In heaven, they’d be surrounded by good people and unable to make them miserable. In other words, they’d make heaven into their own personal hell. Heck fire. I’ve seen that happen right here on earth.

      Truly, have you ever seen one of these people that looks happy? Misery loves company and they’re trying to invite us to their fear festival.

    • Really? says:

      Mike, you sure have a way of expressing yourself that I understand. Sometimes you make me laugh.,sometimes you make me think harder. Either way, thanks.

  25. Bob Benner says:

    Last year, Sean Parnell (and I am not making this up)…

  26. daisydem says:

    Oh me, AKM. When does his term expire? This just makes me so sick and I am not an Alaskan. Seriously, when is he going to be out of office and the lingering bad smell of Palin and Parnell leaves Juneau and Anchorage and hopefully, you will elect a smarter, more benevolent Governor.

  27. lisa says:

    Parnell is toast. No more will women in our state support him.

    As to the evangelical churches in Anchorage? They are next.

    • Valley_Independent says:

      I take it you haven’t met the members of the Mat-Su Republican Women’s Club or the Valley Republican Women’s Club. (There are two groups in the Valley now, thanks to Palin.) These groups will back the party candidate of choice (almost always the incumbent, if there is one), no matter how ethically or morally challenged that candidate is. Remember how fond they were of Joe Miller last year?

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