In a fully bizarre political sting operation, two men seemingly affiliated with the Arizona Republican Party posed as communists in order to donate to Democratic Congressman Tom O’Halleran’s campaign, attempting to get a receipt from their donation.
O’Halleran is the incumbent, running against Wendy Rogers, a local business owner. Polls suggest the district leans slightly Democratic.
Per the Guardian, here’s what happened:
On Friday afternoon, two men who called themselves Jose Rosales and Ahmahd Sadia walked into the campaign office of first-term Democrat Tom O’Halleran with $39.68 and an urgent desire for the Northern Arizona University Communist party to be given a receipt for the donation.
The pair initially walked in to sign up to volunteer but had brought along a jar full of money that they wished to donate. After being directed to a finance staffer, they were told to fill out paperwork. In doing so, they identified themselves as members of the Northern Arizona University Communist party. They made clear they were not an official group but were holding meetings. But they also insisted upon a receipt.
When told they get only an emailed receipt, Rosales immediately scratched out one email and wrote another. The entire process raised eyebrows among O’Halleran’s staff.
They failed. O’Halleran’s finance director, Lindsey Coleman, drove to the nearby Republican party headquarters and returned the money, catching the entire confrontation on tape. Here it is, it’s truly wild.
The audio’s a bit tough to hear, but here’s how it goes down: Coleman asks if there are two young Republicans there named Ahmad or Jose, and then the guy who said he was Jose walks out of a room. “This is Oscar,” the guy at the desk says, and Oscar/Jose immediately turns around and goes back in the room. This is so good.
Coleman then raises her voice and says, “Oscar, I have your cash!” and makes him come back out of hiding to take the bag of money back. This is phenomenal. I cannot stress how good this is. She then very calmly informs him that what he has just done is illegal, and says, “Have a good day!” You probably don’t need this play-by-play because the video is right there, but honestly, scroll back up and watch it again. I’m going to watch it again.