Former New York City Councilman Dan Halloran was convicted Tuesday on corruption and bribery charges. The jury deliberated for just under an hour and a half to return a guilty verdict on all five counts. Halloran was the highest elected official in the US who is openly an adherent of a Pagan or Heathen religion. In September 2012, Halloran, along with state Democratic Senate majority leader Malcolm Smith and ex-Queens Republican Party leader Vincent Tabone, was the focus of an FBI sting operation. He was recorded taking payoffs to facilitate a plot to get Smith, a Democrat, on the GOP line for the 2013 New York City mayoral race.
I like to consider myself a pretty savvy guy when it comes to journalism. I’ve spoken to a range of local and national reporters about Paganism, I’ve been interviewed, and I’ve been used as a resource for reporters looking for sources. I’ve spent years of my life analyzing, and critiquing, journalism that covers our diverse faiths. Despite that savvy, or perhaps because of it, I allowed myself to get suckered by a sensationalist tabloid journalist looking for dirt. I was contacted by a reporter from the New York Post who wanted to do a story about Republican City Councilman Dan Halloran, currently accused of fraud and bribery, and was looking for information about Halloran’s Theodish faith.
In a shocking turn of events this morning, New York City Councilman Dan Halloran, along with State Sen. Malcolm Smith, were arrested on charges of fraud and bribery in connection to an alleged plot to fix the mayoral race. The arrests came after an FBI-led investigation, one in which U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara claims Halloran “quarterbacked” the drive to find party officials willing to be bribed. In a meeting with an informant, Halloran allegedly expounded at length on what it takes to “grease the wheels” of New York City politics. “Halloran, meeting on Sept. 7 at a Manhattan restaurant with the government informant, allegedly made clear that it takes big bucks to bring government action in New York.
[The following is the second of two guest posts from Nick Ritter, a member of Axenthof Thiâd, and The Wild Hunt’s resident expert on all things Théodish. Given the rise of Dan Halloran, a Republican New York City Councilman, congressional candidate, and Théodish Heathen, I thought it best spotlight a truly informed voice on the subject of his religion. This post will specifically deal with why Dan Halloran is a controversial figure within Théodish belief. His first post, on what Théodism is, can be found here.]
With Dan Halloran cropping up so much in the news, Jason Pitzl-Waters asked me to write about why he is such a controversial figure in Théodism. In writing this, I am attempting to be as objective as possible: I am not writing this with the intention of bashing on Dan or spreading gossip.
[The following is the first of two guest posts from Nick Ritter, a member of Axenthof Thiâd, and The Wild Hunt’s resident expert on all things Théodish. Given the rise of Dan Halloran, a Republican New York City Councilman, congressional candidate, and Théodish Heathen, I thought it best spotlight a truly informed voice on the subject of his religion. This post will deal with Théodish belief, while a second post, published tomorrow, will deal with Dan Halloran specifically.]
While Théodish Belief has been “public” for about twenty years, it is still relatively unknown by most people in Paganism-at-large. For this reason, Jason has asked me to write an introductory post about Théodism and issues surrounding this religious movement, so as to better help the reader when Théodism comes up in the news. First, though, I should introduce myself, and mention why I might know a thing or two about Théodism.