July 22, 1996 - bottom third
While the state has good laws, it fails to enforce them, Rater complains even though it ultimately pays when mothers (it's mostly mothers) and children end up on welfare because fathers refuse to meet their responsibilities. "There's no leadership in this area like they have in welfare," she said. A veritable poster child for child-su-port enforcement, Rater rises at 5 a.m. daily, reads the papers, writes letters to the editor, to columnists and politicians, and to other letter writers, chiding them, citing inconsistencies between what they practice and preach where child welfare is concerned. She says she's even contemplating a run for state Senate seat to advance the issue. "People say I'm obsessed with it," she said. "It's an issue that needs to be dealt with, and no one is willing to do it." . And Rater insists her struggles are common. She gets letters from other women similarly struggling to get what is theirs. Her ex-husband, now in jail, can get out of jail anytime and start making payments, she argues. But until he docs, she'll pursue him. She'll go after money from his former 401 K plan, and then fiuiybe his Social Security. She hopes, she says, that this little victory has served him this notice: "It doesn't matter what you do. I'm going to corner you."