In an improbable move, Democratic donor John Coale urged Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to use her political action committee to help retire Hillary Clinton's $2 million-plus presidential campaign debt.
Coale, a wealthy trial lawyer, approached Republican Palin with the plan in February, when he traveled to Alaska with his wife, reports Fox News talk show host Greta Van Susteren, who was taping an interview with the former GOP vice presidential candidate.
Coale was a staunch Clinton supporter during the Democratic primaries, and made $85,300 in political contributions in 2008, almost all of it to Democratic candidates, according to CampaignMoney.com. But he switched his support to the Republican ticket for the general election, and helped Palin set up her PAC in January.
Along with seeking a financial contribution from Palin's PAC, Coale's broader aim, according to Palin camp insiders, "was to help Palin develop a relationship with the former first family that he thought could bolster the polarizing governor's standing with Democrats and independents," Politico reported.
Several days after Coale approached Palin, a Palin aide told him that the governor would not help retire Hillary's campaign debt. But Republican sources told Politico that Coale continued to seek help from Palin's PAC in conference calls and e-mails with Palin advisers.
Coale acknowledged that he asked Palin and her advisers to help Clinton, but stated: "It was a women thing and not a Hillary thing."
Coale was angered, according to Politico, by what he viewed as sexism aimed at Hillary during the presidential campaign, and has worked in the past to promote female politicians.
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