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Gawker’s crowdsourcing fund closing in on goal with just hours to go

Mayor Rob Ford in this file photo from February, 2012. Aaron Lynett / National Post

TORONTO – Gawker’s crowdfunding campaign is closing in on its target of $200,000 but organizers are once again warning contributors they’ve been unable to contact the owners of the alleged video.

The crowdfunding campaign, dubbed “crackstarter,” is the American gossip website’s attempt to raise enough money to purchase an alleged video of someone who matches the appearance of Mayor Rob Ford smoking what could be crack cocaine.

Ford has called the allegations “ridiculous” and his brother, Councillor Doug Ford, said they are “untrue.”

And at a press conference Friday, the mayor tried to put the allegations to rest.

“I do not use crack cocaine, nor am I an addict of crack cocaine,” he said.

Just before noon on Monday the crowdsourcing fund surpassed $190,000. The website set a goal of reaching $200,000 by 1 a.m. ET Tuesday.

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But the IndieGoGo fund was updated Monday morning to once again say that Gawker staffers have been unable to contact people they believe have the video.

They released a similar update on Thursday, warning contributors that their “confidence that we can consummate this transaction has diminished.”

On his radio show Sunday, Ford was adamant that the alleged video does not exist.