Groping has become essentially synonymous with the Democrat Party in New Mexico. The Democrats’ standard bearer, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, paid out $150,000 in donors’ cash to a former staffer, James Hallinan, who accused the embattled governor of groping his penis after pouring a bottle of water over his crotch area. Gruesome stuff.
Previously, a man came forward in 2018 before the gubernatorial election accusing Lujan Grisham of groping him at a party, which led to the end of his relationship.
The man, Eddie Dehart, said of the 2005 groping incident, “In 2005, we have a party at my girlfriend’s house. It was an artisan party to showcase some art in Santa Fe and help the artists out to sell their products…During the game, it was Michelle’s shot. And she walked around the pool table and walked by me. When she walked by me she grabbed my crotch.” He said that Lujan Grisham exclaimed to his girlfriend that “you have a man here.”
“Michelle was asked to leave the party,” he said. “I didn’t do nothing [sic] to provoke it.” Dehart said that Lujan Grisham’s conduct led to a rift with his girlfriend. “Michelle’s drunkenness and her touchy hands ended up breaking us up in the long run.”
The governor’s rhetoric toward government officials and their actions go contrary to her very position, saying in July 2021 regarding indicted Democrat Sheryl Williams Stapleton, “But I will say that public confidence in government is seriously damaged by even the appearance of impropriety, or illegal activity, which is why public officials must always hold themselves to the highest possible standard of behavior.”
In 2017, former lieutenant governor candidate, state Sen. Michael Padilla, was accused of a decade-old sexual harassment charge. At the time, Lujan Grisham demanded Padilla drop out of the race for office. Padilla was just promoted to Democrat Senate Majority Whip.
She told the Associated Press, “My position on sexual harassment is clear: it is totally unacceptable and will not be tolerated by me or in my administration. Michael Padilla’s actions were wrong.” She continued, “There is no room for excuses and he should withdraw his candidacy for lieutenant governor.”
Lujan Grisham didn’t live up to her own standard, flatly claiming, “There is no room for excuses.” Her excuse for the $150,000 was that she was busy during the pandemic and didn’t have time to fight the claims.
She said at the time, “I was focused on the pandemic, and I’ll stand by that decision [to settle] every minute of every day.”
But despite the damning payoff and excuses made by the governor, Democrats are now demanding their own Democrat state Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto be expelled from the Senate after allegations he groped a lobbyist. The legislative panel found no probable cause for the claim.
Still the Democrats and leftist organizations demand his removal.
“They want me to be expelled from the Senate on the basis of one complaint on which no probable cause was found,” Ivey-Soto said Monday. “That’s an interesting form of justice they have.”
The Democrats, led by their Senate Pro-Tem Mimi Stewart (D-Bernalillo), allegedly sent so far as to threaten to release documents about debunked claims of sexual assault if Ivey-Soto did not resign. Ivey-Soto filed a complaint with the FBI over the apparent extortion threat by Stewart.
How interesting that Democrats are hell-bent on attackign Ivey-Soto, who recently resigned from his position as Chairman of the Senate Rules Committee, but Lujan Grisham gets a break for not only allegedly groping two men, but for paying out hundreds of thousands of dollars to settle accusations she groped her ex-staffer’s crotch.
So far, Lujan Grisham’s GOP challenger, Mark Ronchetti, has not made a big deal about the embattled Democrat’s groping. It was, however, a topic of conversation in the primary.
Whether it becomes an election issue, Democrats clearly have a groping problem within their ranks. While actual settlements for sexual assault claims made by Lujan Grisham are brushed under the rug, debunked claims of groping against Sen. Ivey-Soto are met with fury and even alleged illegal threats. Time will tell if, in November, New Mexicans see the sexually predatory aspects of the Democrat Party. Maybe don’t make the same mistake by giving the leftists more power.