Thursday, July 18, 2013

Hey Gawker, where is the Rob Ford Crackstarter cash going?

Anthony Smith
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is seen posing with Anthony Smith, left, who was gunned down outside a King St. W. club, in a photo released by One of the other men in the photo is believed to have been injured in the Smith shooting.

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So who is going to get the Crackstarter cash?

And when the hell are we going to find out?

Since there doesn't seem to be an alleged video of Mayor Rob Ford smoking crack cocaine for sale anymore, just what is Gawker going to do with the more than $200,000 it raised from the public through the Indiegogo donation scheme?

They promised to donate that money to charity.

"As we initially pledged, if we are unable to consummate a deal and obtain the video, we will donate 100% of the proceeds to a Canadian nonprofit that addresses the consequences of substance abuse," John Cook, the editor of the New York-based website said in late May after hitting the the target on the last day of the campaign. "We haven't selected an institution yet. We will do so when and if the time comes."

Will we know soon?

Cook -- one of three journalists who claim to have seen the infamous video -- has hinted, yes we will.

"Should have something up on the site announcing this next week," he emailed on Friday.

We're halfway through the week - and six weeks since Gawker hit the target - and still no details.

He has yet to respond to e-mails so far today.

So what's the deal John?

Why is this taking so long? What is the delay?

It's time to transparently show the public what happened with that cash. No more stalling. Time is up.

It's going to be interesting to see who ends up with this massive amount of money.

How it was raised borders on the bizarre and the whole episode ranks as one of the strangest chapters in Toronto political history.

For a few weeks, it looked like Ford was down for the count but after a tumultuous time where he lost staff and confidence of some on council around him suggesting he step aside. He appears to have weathered the storm and has bounced back and is already talking about running for re-election.

For the record, Ford has said the video "does not exist" and calls the allegations "ridiculous."

And if the alleged video doesn't surface, the question remains: Where is the more than $200,000 raised to purchase it?

There sure are a lot strange twists in this story.

As the video and its whereabouts remains a mystery, we do know that one of the two people in a still photograph with the mayor, provided by the same alleged drug dealers trying to sell the video is dead and the other in custody as a result.

Out of all this also came Project Traveller, in which dozens of people were arrested as well as computers seized from the same Dixon Rd. apartment complex where two Toronto Star reporters said they watched the video in the back of a vehicle.

Cook told me in May he flew up to Toronto from New York to meet with a clandestine person to see this video.

"One media agency offered $40,000," he told me.

It was too rich for Gawker's blood, so Cook said he set out to find a "partner" to purchase it and show the world the alleged video evidence behind the Rob Ford crack scandal. Hence, crowd-sourcing plea for cash through Indiegogo.

"We pulled in a total of $201,254 from 8,388 people," he said on his website.

And, it's time to explain to those people what exactly happened to their money and where will it end up.


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