James Hallinan is feeling vulnerable, and with the World Series now over, his only comfort is Tina Turner records and auto-dialing Arizona law enforcement.
The former campaign staffer for Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is allegedly receiving death threats and getting bullied online, assumedly by MLG supporters, but apparently by Republicans too, who have bombarded his Twitter timeline to call him horrendously offensive names like “hypochondriac,” “sissy,” and “parrot.”
Hallinan is back in the news because of two high-profile stories that have cast a cloud over the governor’s race. First it was a political ad from Republican challenger Mark Ronchetti on the $150,000 in hush money paid by MLG to quash allegations that she sexually assaulted Hallinan in 2018. Most recently, text messages surfaced allegedly showing that Grisham was given debate questions by a KOB staffer, also in 2018.
As a result, allegedly, Hallinan is now suffering from a “neurological event” that has forced him to call himself “the new James Hallinan” and “Jamie Halli,” who “now has disability (sic)” (as yet undiagnosed) that he will suffer from “for the rest of his life.” It makes him stutter and forces him to wear sun glasses. According to his Twitter profile, he’s “just real mad at KOB.” And KOB VP Michelle Donaldson. And reporter Matt Grubbs. And MLG advisors Dave Contarino and Dominic Gabello.
“I hope the fucking governor and Contarino and Gabello are real happy with the hell I’m having now, so good…job…Michelle Lujan Grisham and the rest of you…for…breaking me. Good…job.”—The New James Hallinan
Hallinan revealed that he has been to the emergency room four times in the last week and has the KOB debate texts but can’t screenshot them because his left hand is twitchy.
Thankfully Hallinan is armed–with a Taurus that he thought was a Glock (like what?). Unfortunately, he’s out of ammo, which is apparently hard to come by in the Grand Canyon State. Hence his auto-dialing of cops.
If you’re feeling lost, join the club. Hallinan’s tweets are garbled, histrionic, and as full of holes as the original sexual assault claim.
The story is even more tiresome now than it was when it first came to light in December 2019. It has proven politically useful–as a tool to generate embarrassing headlines–but it never passed the sniff test, which is why it never carried a hard enough punch to force MLG to resign.
Officially, the governor settled the case “due to the expense of litigating business disputes and to prevent any distraction during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Unofficially, the campaign knew that losing in court would cost even more, drag out the issue even longer, and look much worse than forking over the cash early.
What actually happened depends on who you ask. Did the soon-to-be-governor “pour” water on Hallinan, grab his crotch, then mock him for having a small penis, or did she “spill” water on him, brush it off, and laugh at the awkwardness of the whole situation? Who knows. Everybody’s a liar when there’s political points to score, reputations at stake, and money to be made.
The story made national headlines with every new development in the case, but the scandal itself never really hurt MLG. That’s because Lujan Grisham is a woman, and her alleged victim is not only male but gay. This fact takes the “sexual” out of “sexual assault.”
Calling MLG a “crotch-grabber” is crass. Calling her a sexual “abuser” is laughable (the governor is five feet tall in cowboy boots). Calling her an idiot who fucked with the wrong staffer is about as close as any reasonable person has come to accurately describing the incident.—‘Wouldn’t This Get You Fired?’ Ad Hits MLG On Sexual Assault, The Conservative New Mexican, Oct. 08, 2022
The alleged assault occurred, allegedly, in the “summer of 2018,” before Grisham won the governorship (in November). Right away you have to wonder why–well into the “pound me too” fad–a(n alleged) sexual assault victim would wait a year and a half (December 2019) to tell his story.
According to news reports, “Hallinan waited more than a year to come forward” because, per Hallinan, “Her campaign manager convinced me not to report it to law enforcement, convinced me not to quit the campaign because I tried.”
That’s reasonable. He didn’t report the alleged assault because he was convinced not to quit the campaign. But then he did quit the campaign. Per The Albuquerque Journal, “Hallinan accused Lujan Grisham in late 2019 – about a year after he left the campaign” (emphasis added).
So what’s the real reason Hallinan didn’t report the alleged assault until a year after he quit the campaign?
A) Someone told him he could make a buck, or
B) MLG press secretary Nora Sackett told blogger Joe Monahan over pillow talk that Hallinan waited to come out of the sexual assault closet because he wanted to cripple Grisham’s prospects as a Biden cabinet pick, as told by Monahan to Eddy Aragon in the Sunport parking lot.
What does it mean?
Other than Hallinan being personally responsible for Grisham not leaving the state for a cabinet position, nothing.
A washed out narcissist who can’t handle the glare of the limelight but desperately wants to be important will lean on victimhood to stay relevant. If Hallinan wants a future in the consulting business, he’ll soon be cleared of his ailment and lose the stutter, thanks to the great work of doctors and health staff at whatever institution is giving him attention. But as far as the election is concerned, nobody cares.
The damage from the ad and the KOB story is done. If the latter turns out to be false, oh well. Retractions and corrections never gain the traction of the original story, particularly among a population of headline readers. If the story turns out to be more nuanced than outright collusion, all the more reason to yawn. Nuance requires thinking, and ain’t nobody got time for that. Furthermore, the election is tomorrow, and most voters already cast their ballot.
The question is, have any of these attacks had the desired effect?
It’s a rhetorical question.
These are the facts, folks. Now go get vaccinated so you don’t contract COVID.
New Mexico politics just never disappoints with the drama.
In a way just as well. Another deranged person and a piece of election trivia. Perhaps he dreams of another payout claiming another loss. Not to easy once MLG returns to the dustbin of history.