Last week, the home of a woman who accused Roy Moore of groping her went up in flames in what police are now investigating as an arson. Now, just a few days after the devastating blaze destroyed everything in Tina Johnson's Alabama home, a GoFundMe campaign has raised more than $179,000 to help get her back on her feet.
Luckily no one was injured in the fire at the house in Gadsden on Wednesday, but it forced Johnson, her husband, and her grandson to move into a motel for the time being with "just the clothes on our backs," AL.com reports. Two days later, Katie Stanton—a former Obama staffer currently working at a San Francisco tech company—set up a fundraiser for Johnson, promising that every dollar donated would go to helping her rebuild.
"I don't know Tina Johnson. But I believe her," Stanton wrote on GoFundMe. "It has always been dangerous and risky for women (and men) to speak out against sexual harrasmment [sic]. Today, this danger reached a disturbing level. Tina's home burned down and she lost everything. An arson investigation is underway."
Natalie Barton, a public information officer for the Etowah County Sheriff's Department, told AL.com police don't believe there's a connection between Johnson's allegations and the fire. The cops have reportedly pinpointed a local man with a history of public drunkenness as a suspect in the case after he was spotted near the home on the day of the fire. He also allegedly asked a neighbour if she thought Johnson's house would burn down Wednesday, AL.com reports.
For her part, Johnson told AL.com she's grateful for the money coming her way, a sum Stanton said is made up of $5 to $1,000 donations from all 50 states.
"I just thank everyone all across America from the bottom of my heart," Johnson said. "I just cannot give them the proper words. God is good."
Like Stanton, Johnson said she thought there was a connection between the fire and her decision to publicly accuse Moore of sexual misconduct, telling AL.com that it was "too coincidental" for the two incidents not to be linked.
Regardless of what the police investigation turns up, the crowdfunding campaign for Johnson makes an explicitly political point—a trend that has been making a big splash on GoFundMe recently.
Follow Drew Schwartz on Twitter.