She Raised More Than $60,000 to Buy Pat Toomey’s Vote on Betsy DeVos

Launched on Wednesday, Katherine Fritz's was the number one campaign on GoFundMe.

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We see a lot of crowdfunding campaigns here at Philly Mag. Most of them never really get going or they whimper out well before the fundraising goal has been met. But Katherine Fritz‘s GoFundMe campaign to “buy Pat Toomey’s vote” is different.

We first told you about Fritz on Thursday. The 31-year-old South Philadelphia educator and costume designer launched her tongue-in-cheek GoFundMe campaign on Wednesday.

The idea was to raise $55,800 to “buy Pat Toomey’s vote” against Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education. She based the amount on reports of contributions to Toomey’s campaigns by DeVos and her family; Fritz later raised the ask to $60,050, which, in her words, “reflects a more accurate statistic.” Any funds raised would go to charity.

Well, in just three days, Fritz exceeded the revised goal, with a current tally of $62,205 as of 9 a.m. Saturday morning. According to a GoFundMe spokesperson, “Buy Pat Toomey’s Vote” became the top campaign on the site and received contributions from every state and Washington D.C.

The stunt made it all the way to The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC, and it has caught the attention of Toomey himself, who told a radio host that he thought it was “funny.”

“It’s incredible,” Fritz tells us. “I’m just overwhelmed.”

Now, Fritz has joined others in asking Toomey to release information about calls and emails that his offices have received from constituents about the DeVos vote.

Here is an email she sent to Toomey on Friday. So far, he hasn’t responded.

To: Senator Pat Toomey
Topic: Education
Subject: I’m the woman who started the GoFundMe Campaign.
Message: Dear Senator,

First of all, thank you for your time. It was such a surprise to hear that you know who I am, and that you think I’m “funny!” Thank you!

Listen, I’m wondering if you can do me, and all of us, a big favor.

I believe you when you say that you work for your constituents, and that you take everyone’s opinion into consideration when you decide how to vote on important issues.

So, with that in mind, could you ask your staff to compile and make publicly available the data re: phone calls, tweets, emails, faxes, Facebook comments, etc on the issue of Betsy DeVos’ appointment to lead the Department of Education?

I would be greatly reassured if there were facts and figures to support the idea that the majority of Pennsylvania citizens would like you to support the confirmation of Betsy DeVos. As you are responsible to us, and not the highest bidder, I am sure you will have no problem being fully transparent on this matter.

Respectfully, and with my sincere thanks,
Katherine

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