After several unsubstantiated claims made by President Trump and prominent Republicans that some of the protesters against them were "paid," we come to find out this is actually happening within their own party -- and it’s illegal.
Late last night, the Arizona Republic reported that the Arizona Republican Party was reimbursing supporters $25 after they attended an event for Rep. Kyrsten Sinema. Here is what Kyle Pierce, the AZGOP Political Coordinator sent out via email to party activists:
"Now, in order to attend the event, you have to join her club and pay $25. We have been told that if you show up early enough (25-30 minutes beforehand), they won't pay attention to the fact that you haven't already paid since you are already there. However, if someone does have to pay, the Party is willing to reimburse the expense. Will Smith, from our office, will be there, so you can look for him as well for direction if you attend."
When pushed by the reporters, this was the response by the Republican Party attorney and senior staffer:
“...it's perfectly acceptable," -Kory Langhofer, AZGOP Attorney
“...it's not unusual.” - Torruin Sinclair, AZGOP Communications Director
But breaking the law is not 'perfectly acceptable' nor should it be "not unusual." We're pretty sure it is a federal crime.
According to 52 U.S.C.A. § 30122, no person shall make a contribution in the name of another person or knowingly permit his name to be used to effect such a contribution, and no person shall knowingly accept a contribution made by one person in the name of another person.
Maybe the Arizona Republican Party forgot about the illegal contribution scheme a few years back known as the “Fiesta Bowl Scandal,” in which bowl employees made contributions to politicians and later were reimbursed, but left criminal convictions in its wake.