Fresh off a Florida vacation funded by friends and admirers, labor reporter Mike Elk is asking the public for donations again, this time to cover his impending job loss.
But the fun didn’t last long—according to a mass email sent out by Elk, he will be one of five unionized staff members laid off by labor journal In These Times in June.
Now Elk is turning to friends, colleagues, and strangers on the internet to help fund his union reporting, restaurant tabs, and jet-setting lifestyle.
“While I don’t mind sleeping on an air mattress, I do still have to pay the bill at Waffle House,” wrote Elk. “Likewise, I need money to pay for plane tickets, rental cars, and really horrific airport food so that we can keep getting you an exclusive in depth snapshot of what is happening during one of the most important union drives in a generation.”
Elk vowed that the donations will help him “get the answers because thats what labor reporters do.”
He also sweetened the deal for potential contributors with an enticing but legally questionable offer.
“If you give $250, you will get a bottle of some homemade Tennessee moonshine!” wrote Elk, referring to the homemade spirits that still face federal prohibitions on production and consumption.
Elk has already raised $725 of his $1,500 goal.