Democratic fundraiser aiding Palin, ruffling feathers

The affection that big-shot attorney and native Baltimorean John Coale developed for Sarah Palin during the presidential campaign hasn’t gone away, and may be causing some problems in Sarah-land.

Coale, a longtime Democratic donor who lent $500,000 to Martin O’Malley in the closing days of the gubernatorial campaign, met Palin when Coale’s wife – Greta Van Susteren – traveled to Alaska to interview the Republican vice presidential nominee.

Smitten, Coale became an informal adviser, and even endorsed John McCain for president. Coale advised Palin to create a Washington-based political action committee to keep her national profile high, and is still in regular communication with the governor.

Now Politico is reporting that the relationship is something of a problem. Top Palin supporters say that the Washington operation and the Anchorage staff don’t know what each is doing. The Politico article quoted an unnamed Republican saying that “taking advice from Greta and her husband” is a major source of Palin missteps since the campaign ended.

The article also lays blame at Palin’s Alaska state house staff, which some observers say is ill-prepared to help her build and maintain a national profile.

Our Baltimore Sun colleague Laura Vozzella has just talked to Coale about his role with Palin and the criticism he’s receiving. Look for more in her column, published Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.

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