A US senator is crowdfunding to help bailout his state's failing economy

Evan Bartlett@ev_bartlett
Tuesday 11 August 2015 10:50
The Alabama State Capitol, Montgomery

Alabama senator Paul Sanford has set up a crowdfunding page in the hope of raising $300m (£192m) to close his state's budget shortfall.

On a GoFundMe page, the Republican explained that the state legislature was looking at alternative ways of raising the money because increasing taxes would be so unpopular with the people of Alabama.

Paul Sanford (Picture: Alabama Legislature)

The State of Alabama is experiencing tight financial times and needs your help.

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.

  • Sen Paul Sanford

As of Tuesday morning, the crowdfunding page had managed to raise just $538 in donations from 33 people but had attracted far more negative comments.

Many have urged others to "vote Democrat" at the next round of elections, while others have complained that they already fund the state government through their taxes.

(Picture: GoFundMe)

One commenter, called Tiger Lily, noted:

[Crowdfunding] requests are usually for disabled children or adults to cover moving, transportation or medical expenses. Sometimes people will be asking for help with a funeral, a new invention, or a short film. The state of Alabama has already taken 30 years of taxes from my paychecks [sic] ... therefore I will not be donating to them.

Another, Brett Glanders, said:

It's not our fault as tax payers that the state government can't manage it's [sic] money.

Senator Sanford, who set up the page on Thursday, later explained that instead of genuinely expecting to raise the money he had instead started the campaign to "make a point" against a $302m hike in taxes proposed by governor Robert Bentley.

On Monday, lawmakers in the state agreed on a new spending plan that will slash millions of dollars from key public services like "Medicaid, mental health and law enforcement". Perhaps Sanford's ploy worked after all.

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