Texas man creates rogue Palin legal defense fund

Posted: Thursday, April 09, 2009

ANCHORAGE - A Texas man has established a Web site soliciting donations for Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to pay legal fees, but Palin can't accept the money, her spokeswoman said Wednesday.

"This is not the official legal defense fund and so neither the Governor nor her attorney can accept the monies from this fund," Palin family spokeswoman Meghan Stapleton said in an e-mail to The Associated Press. "We are in the process of establishing a fund that adheres to federal and state laws and provides strict guidelines for donors."

Stapleton said the fund should be established by the end of April.

The unofficial Web site had collected more than $1,300 in its first day of operation, said organizer Clayton Paslay of Burleson, Texas.

After being informed by the AP on Wednesday that the funds couldn't be accepted, Paslay said he contacted Palin's lawyer and is committed to finding a legal way to get the donations to Palin's official fund.

Paslay established the site after he heard Fox News Channel host Bill O'Reilly talk about the more than $500,000 in legal fees Palin, the former vice presidential candidate, has amassed from the Troopergate investigations and various complaints filed against her with the Alaska State Personnel Board.

Paslay said he never got approval from Palin for the site, but had contact with her attorney, Thomas Van Flein. He intended to send the money directly to Van Flein, who didn't immediately return a phone call Wednesday to the AP.

"We are incredibly appreciative of everyone who wants to support the Governor and her family and colleagues," Stapleton said. "However, it is incredibly important to make sure that it is done correctly as certainly her opponents will search for another excuse to condemn."

Paslay, a retired insurance adjuster who owns a 5-acre mini-storage site and container company outside Fort Worth, said he's never met Palin but is a supporter.

He likes her message of less government and allowing people to make their own decisions.

Plus, he didn't like how she was treated when she was the running mate of Republican presidential candidate John McCain.

"I just want to see the lady get a fair shake," he said.

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