Senator Tries to Crowdfund Alabama's $300M Shortfall

He's raised $598 with only $299,999,402 left to go
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 11, 2015 1:30 PM CDT
GoFundMe page set up by Alabama state Sen. Paul Sanford to fix the state's budget shortfall.   (

(Newser) – Crowdfunding: If it's good enough to bring Veronica Mars back or cook up a $55,000 potato salad, it's good enough for financing an entire state, right? Last week, Alabama state Sen. Paul Sanford set up a GoFundMe page to fix his state's budget woes. Sanford explains that times are tough, and one of the options legislators are considering—raising taxes—isn't being well received. "Rather than have the government come after your hard-earned money, you can now send an amount that fits your budget, even request where your money be used," he writes on GoFundMe. As of this writing, 38 people, including residents of Iran and Canada, had given a total of $598. The only problem: Alabama's budget shortfall, and therefore the GoFundMe target, is $300 million.

One GoFundMe contributor put $15 "towards mental health services," while a renewable energy fan gave $5, writing, "I want solar panels on all the things!" Others took a quirkier route: "Please use this money for cab fare to your local library and check out any economics text book by Friedrich Hayek," wrote one $5 contributor. But not everyone is so supportive of the project. The comments get pretty harsh. The word "pathetic" is used a lot, and one person writes, "This is why Alabama is considered a joke. Stop making us look bad." WHNT News 19 reports Sanford has been responding to some comments, explaining that he set the project up to "prove a point that most people do not want to pay more taxes but are for taxes when the other guy is to be taxed." (Read more crowdfunding stories.)

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