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Monday, April 27, 2015

Antigay Oregon bakers appear to have dragged down antigay Washington florist's crowdfunding campaign with their own

O, cruel timing! As Barronelle Stutzman, the martyred florist of Richland WA, was basking in being a keynote speaker at an Arizona antigay-group's $250-a-plate dinner also featuring the Governor of Arizona and Fox News sourpuss Charles Krauthammer, gofundme.com shut down her mendicant account, from which she had been soaking the gullible since February with claims her antigay wedding policies were leading to her financial ruin at the hands of the State of Washington and the mean old gays.

Stutzman, who set up and promoted her fund through the same Glenn Beck TV outfit- The Blaze- as Jack and Crystal O'Connor, of Memories Pizza antigay fame, raised $174,245 from 4649 donors as of early Saturday morning. Her campaign, launched in February, got a big boost at the beginning of April, after Memories Pizza shut down their gofundme.com campaign after raising $842,000 in a week.

The last week and a half, though, donations had fallen to a trickle. The O'Connors announced in early April that they would give a portion of their take to Stutzman, but Stutzman neither disclaimed the extra windfall nor ended her own campaign, whose target was doubled when the O'Connors campaign shut down, from $100,000 to $200,000. She has remained mum about whether the O'Connor share put her over the top of her goal- a moot point now. We looked to her Facebook support page, but nothing has been posted there since April 2.

Aaron and Melissa Klein, whose Sweet Cakes bakery on Oregon saw their gofundme account shut down Friday after a one-day haul of $109,000, got picked up by the Franklin Graham-run international relief agency, Samaritan's Purse on Saturday. So far it has not released any fundraising numbers. Neither have the Kleins on their Facebook page, where they have been giving updates on their fundraising to cover a proposed $135,000 damages award against them for rejecting the wedding cake tender of a lesbian couple planning to wed in 2013. So far there are no reports Samaritan's Purse will take Stutzman under its wing, too.

Another Klein benefit campaign on gofundme.com, set up in February (like the Stutzman one), popped up when Waldo searched for the closed one on Saturday. That one, which had raised $65, turned up in the Comments section of a Sweet Cakes Facebook post, and yesterday it, too, was shut down.

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