crowdfunding alabama state republican sanford
Republican senator Paul Sanford wrote on Twitter that the crowdfunding campaign was 'the best idea I have had' ScreenGrab

A Republican senator in Madison County, Alabama, has turned to a unique platform to address a budget shortfall: online crowdfunding. Paul Sanford's GoFundMe campaign has so far raised $1,000 (£641) towards the $300m target through donations from 60 people, meaning 300,000-times that amount needs to be raised to meet his goal.

"The State of Alabama is experiencing tight financial times and needs your help," the campaign page states. "Legislators are debating possible financial solutions but are finding that Raising Taxes are not wanted by the citizens of Alabama.

"Rather than have the government come after your hard earned money, you can now send an amount that fits your budget, even request where your money be used. You can determine what functions of government are priority to you."

Sanford tweeted a link to the page, describing the campaign as "the best idea I have had". Despite calls from his constituents, Sanford himself is yet to donate.

Of the 60 donors, the majority have stated the causes they wish to be funded. They range from donations to Alabama State Parks, to establishing a state lottery. Some backers have even taken the opportunity to fund things that go against traditional Republican stances, with one stating: "Please use this money to fund abortions."

In response to comments on the GoFundMe page, Sanford said: "I do appreciate the comments but please realise this was to prove a point that most people do not want to pay more taxes but are for taxes when the other guy is to be taxed.

"Also, even the few donations that have been received reflect our ability to budget state functions (earmarked for education a rate of 8 to 2 education to other govt services). It is easy to get support for education but not so easy for he [sic] remaining rolls of government."