Why are Arizona delegates crowdfunding their trips to the Republican, Democratic conventions?

Posted at 7:36 PM, Jul 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-15 12:17:24-04

Delegates to the 2016 Republican and Democratic National Conventions are using crowdfunding campaigns to afford their trips.

While they are elected or appointed to vote on the convention floor, the political parties do not foot the bill for their travel, hotels or meals.   

That has those representing Arizona in Cleveland and Philadelphia asking for strangers on the Internet to donate money.

If you search "national convention" on, you’ll find hundreds of delegates' pages asking for money.

Former Arizona legislator Jack Harper was invited to serve as an alternate delegate at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. He just started an online campaign, hoping other Donald Trump supporters will chip in to reach his $3,000 goal.

“The raising of the funds is an opportunity for other people to participate and feel like they've contributed to the cause,” said Harper.

Asking for donations for national convention trips is nothing new, according to longtime Republican political strategist Wes Gullett.

“People used to send out letters to their family members,” he said. “Now, it's just digital.”

While precinct workers and party activists can accept the donations as gifts, party leaders warn against taking money from corporations. Delegates who are elected officials need to be doubly careful.

“It should be a campaign contribution, and it should be reported, and it should be used for things that are appropriate for a campaign,” Gullett said.

The Republican National Convention starts Monday. The Democratic National Convention starts July 25 in Philadelphia.