Rob Ford Crackstarter Campaign A ‘Reputational Risk’ To Fledgling Crowdfunding Industry

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Huff Post  |    |  Last  Updated: 05/24/2013 11:45 am EDT

Rob Ford

In Canada, regulators are further behind, though crowdfunding has grown rapidly – from 17 portals to more than 50 in less than a year. The industry is so new that many Canadians are unclear about its legitimacy, said Craig Asano, executive director of the National Crowdfunding Association of Canada, an industry group started last October.

“People call us all the time,” he said, “and their first question is: Is it legal?”

Gerard Adderley donated $25 to an online campaign that aims to raise $200,000 for enterprising drug dealers because he believes the public deserves to see a video of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford allegedly smoking crack cocaine.

His contribution is only a fraction of what has been raised, but, along with 6,000 others, the Torontonian is contributing to a groundbreaking exercise in democratic capitalism that could have very public ramifications for the nascent crowdfunding industry.

“There are pros and cons, but at the end of the day what I think makes a fantastic story is that ultimately if this video comes to light it will not have been a news organization, per se, that paid for it, it will be the people,” the 41-year-old art director said.

Adderley believes that the video, which Ford has dismissed as “ridiculous,” should be released so the public can hold the elected official to account.

“A lot of people feel this is tantamount to bullying, and my reply to that is: Actually, no, it’s not. This is the school yard coming together to put the bully in his place.”

He hopes the video owners will use the money to leave the city and build better lives. But he also knows that there is a chance they are extorting the mayor, deceiving the public and might never produce the alleged footage.

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