Bloggers raise money for Palin defense fund

A coalition of bloggers is appealing to supporters of Gov. Sarah Palin for donations in a week-long effort to raise more than $500,000 to help her pay her legal bills.

Spearheaded by web site Conservatives4Palin, the bloggers launched their fundraising webathon Monday in a coordinated effort to help retire the Alaska governor’s legal debts.

The webathon is using professional-quality videos which call the ethics complaints filed against the 2008 GOP vice presidential candidate “petty politics and frivolous attacks” and a “thermometer” graphic that displays how close the bloggers are to reaching their goal.

The legal fund, called the Alaska Fund Trust was created in April to cover Governor Palin’s expenses in defending herself against those allegations.

In a telephone interview with Anchorage television station KTUU Monday, Fund trustee Kristan Cole says the webathon is having an impact:

“Any time the governor is mentioned, the volume goes up tremendously and so the volume — given this new information going out this morning, and the videos that are on the Web site — we have seen the volume go up tremendously as we do anytime the governor is mentioned,”

According to the thermometer graphic displayed on the bloggers’ websites, $54,645, or about 11 percent of their goal of $500,000, was raised on the first day.

“We are happy to help in any way that we can,” Rebecca Mansour, one of the site’s main contributors, said. “This is a completely grassroots effort. We are just trying to get the message out just to help them advertise.”

Although Cole declined to say how much money has accumulated in the fund so far, she said the fund’s first disclosure report, scheduled to be released next month, will reveal that information.

– JP