The running theme for those who supported Christine Blasey Ford as she came forward to accuse Brett Kavanaugh of attempted rape was (in addition to the simple and inane “Believe all women” refrain) that she had nothing to gain and everything to lose by going public. And certainly, this was a powerful argument. Kavanaugh had a powerful reason to lie: His reputation and career would be destroyed if he admitted to sexually assaulting this girl when they were in their teens. Ford, on the other hand, seemingly had no reason to make up this accusation out of whole cloth. Why would anyone subject themselves to that kind of national scrutiny if their allegation wasn’t true?
Well, would a seven-figure cash-in chip be worth it?
Ford stands to gain some $1 million and counting from national crowdfunding campaigns launched by friends and other supporters, while she is said to be fielding book offers.
The potential seven-figure windfall, which she says she intends to cash in on – while still asking donors for more money – has some questioning her motivation for accusing the conservative judge after 35 years of silence, and whether it goes beyond personal or even political justice. Others worry the largesse sets a dangerous precedent: Crowdfunding, which unlike political donations is unregulated, could be routinely used in the future as a bounty for providing political dirt on opponents.
Two GoFundMe accounts have raised more than $842,000 for Ford, and the money is still coming in weeks after she testified and left the spotlight. The total does not include a third account collecting $120,000 for an academic endowment in her name.
“The costs for security, housing, transportation and other related expenses are much higher than we anticipated and they do not show signs of letting up,” Ford said in a recent statement posted on the GoFundMe page of the “Help Christine Blasey Ford” campaign, which is still bringing in donations. “Funds received via this account will be used to help us pay for these mounting expenses.”
Critics skeptical of those “mounting expenses” point out that her Democrat Party-aligned lawyers represented her for free. Furthermore, the U.S. government picked up the tab for her security when she was in Washington. Not sure how any of these expenses could still be “mounting” a month after the fact. We get that she might not be the most popular figure in America when it comes to conservative supporters of Kavanaugh, but come on. Nearly a million dollars? Let’s be serious.
Perhaps it’s our naivete, but we continue to believe that Ford at least THOUGHT she was telling some version of the truth at the hearing. But it could certainly be that she was ultimately convinced to go public – beyond the letter – when Democrats got in her ear, told her she would be a national hero, and explained to her all the riches that would come her way if she could derail this nominee. And, frankly, the possibility exists that she made it all up.
People have done worse for less.