Tom O’Halleran and Wendy Rodgers are locking in a tight battle for the seat in Arizona’s 1st Congressional District. So tight in fact, that two young Republican operatives attempted to pull a dirty trick straight out of the Roger Stone playbook.
According to the Guardian, the men identified themselves as Jose Rosales and Ahmahd Sadia and attempted to make a donation of $39.68 to O’Halleran’s campaign. They also identified themselves as members of the Northern Arizona University Communist party.
The men were dismayed when they found out that the campaign would give them an email receipt rather than a paper receipt. Workers at the O’Halleran field office quickly surmised that the two men were not above board.
It turns out that the two men worked for the local Republican field office. They were attempting to make a donation in an effort to tie the Democratic office to the far left. When they became agitated about the receipt it helped Finance Director Lindsay Coleman figure out their scheme.
In a scene captured on video, Coleman drives over to the Republican field office to return the money. While at the front desk, the man who called himself Jose Rosales appears from behind a door and is identified as Oscar. Coleman returns the donation to him.
While the plan was not only a farfetched attempt to tie Democrat’s to the far left, it was also illegal. Coleman informs “Rosales” that making a donation under a false name is illegal and that she will be reporting the campaign finance violation. She also reported the incident to the police.
While the pair’s efforts were seemingly made on behalf of Wendy Rodgers, she had no comment on the matter. Smearing a political opponent by connecting them to extreme organizations can be effective politically, but certainly not when carried out in this manner.