Numerous elected Republicans, up to and including Donald Trump, have falsely accused the town hall resistance of being made up of paid protesters. But according to The Arizona Republic, it is the Republicans who are openly paying people to protest at Democratic town halls.
In a particularly despotic and disturbing move, Donald Trump spent his Easter trying to intimidate protesters, while also explicitly accusing them of being paid to show up at Tax Day demonstrations.
The accusation is an odd one coming from a person whose own Federal Elections Commission filings show that he, in fact, paid actors to attend his own campaign launch, but the hypocrisy runs even deeper than that. According to The Arizona Republic, the Republican Party of Arizona sent an email soliciting attendance at a town hall event for Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), and offering to reimburse attendees to the tune of $25:
The email noted that to attend the event required joining the coffee club and paying $25. “If someone does have to pay, the Party is willing to reimburse the expense,” the email stated.
Kory Langhofer, attorney for the state Republican Party, said if people are reimbursed the $25 entry fee, the party will “make sure it’s fully disclosed and reported correctly. As long as the transaction is disclosed and transparent, it’s perfectly acceptable,” he said.
Such reimbursements may well be “acceptable” as a matter of law, but for a party that accuses others of paying for resistance, it is hypocritical in the extreme.
Fortunately, even at the relatively cheap price of 25 bucks a head, there is not enough money in the world to equal the resistance to Trump that has grown from the grassroots, free of charge.