Thursday, January 27, 2011

Dan Halloran: NYC's Strangest Politician

Meet Dan Halloran. 

Representing Bayside and other parts of eastern Queens, he has been serving in the city council for a little over a year. 

And the guy is just plain weird.

When Halloran first ran in 2009, the Republican party wanted to kick him off its ballot when it was revealed that he is a Pagan. That's right -- this guy actually worships trees and rocks or something like that. But hey, this is America, and we're free to worship whoever or whatever we wish. So ,no sweat, he gets elected to the city council. This is NYC, after all, and we believe in diversity.

As soon as he gets elected to the council, however, he starts throwing his weight around. Before even taking office, he demands -- DEMANDS -- that he be made the city council Republican leader. Now, granted, there are only five Republicans on the council but three of them outranked him in seniority. So this was a little bit of cheekiness from the newbie. Halloran's logic was that since most of the Republicans on the council were from Queens, then a Queens person should be the leader.  Never mind that one of the councilmen from Queens already outranked him. Fortunately, the other Republicans on the council told him to take a hike and he didn't become the leader. But it was not a good way to start.

Then, in June of last year, he got into a very bizarre traffic incident in his district. He claimed that he saw a traffic cop blow a light. Halloran then followed the cop in his car, claims that the officer blew even more lights, and then, when the cop stopped outside a Dunkin' Donuts, Halloran started taking photos of the cop car. It was at that point that this cop, coming out of the store and seeing the councilman snapping away, gave Halloran a $165 ticket. Needless to say, Halloran was outraged! Outraged! He was a victim of the police! And he's a white councilman no less!

But this story doesn't make sense. If Halloran really saw all this, couldn't he just have taken down the license plate and quietly called the head of the traffic cops? As a city councilman, they certainly would have listened to him. Or is it possible that none of this happened and that Halloran was just embarrassed at getting a traffic ticket? And maybe he made up this story just to make himself look like a victim, win points with his constituents who all hate getting traffic tickets, and cover himself politically?

And yet it doesn't stop there. 

After last month's snowstorm, Halloran went screaming to the media, claiming that anywhere from three to five sanitation and transportation workers came to him and said that they had been ordered to work slowly in cleaning up the snow -- to hit back at proposed worker and budget cuts, to have the union embarrass and teach Mayor Bloomberg a lesson, etc. Halloran's claims triggered a federal investigation and a grand jury is currently looking into the claims (after all, if this is true, it's a very dangerous breach of public safety). 

So far, however, when asked to divulge the names of the whistle-blowing workers, Halloran steadfastly refuses to do so. He's claiming, bizarrely, that they are protected by attorney-client privilege. But Halloran isn't representing these people as a lawyer! 

And now Halloran's story is "evolving" -- Halloran is saying, well, maybe the workers didn't claim that they were directly told to engage in a slowdown, just given "hints"? What? 

Halloran is expected to testify to this grand jury under oath sometime soon where he may have to give up the names. If he doesn't, and if it turns out that none of this happened and that Halloran was lying ... the freshman councilman may be in a whole heap of trouble.

All of this comes at what must be a difficult time for him personally. Even his private life is weird (never mind his religious beliefs). In 2008, he was cited for building an illegal bathroom in the basement of his home. After he was elected to the council, he began to accuse the department of buildings of issuing improper citations ... on people building illegal bathrooms. Then he recently asked the buildings department to approve adding a second floor to his home even though its against zoning rules in his neighborhood. This was made extra strange since, apparently, Halloran and his wife are deeply in debt. Halloran has said that he and his wife are planning to divorce but they haven't filed yet.


Perhaps Halloran is going through a tough time personally and is cracking up, lashing out at other people to cover up his pain. Or perhaps this sad time in his life is totally coincidental to the very real outrages that he has been involved in lately. But this is all a little strange, don't ya' think? 

Halloran seems to be one of those people who always finds themselves mired in problems and disputes. One of those people always getting into trouble or finding trouble -- and always claiming ignorance or innocence as to how it happened. Halloran seems to be the drama queen of the NYC council -- and he's only in his first year. 

Let's hope that for him, and the city, his next three years on the council are a little more sedate. 


  1. Wow, the writer is a low-life...far from civil and intelligent...

  2. Oh goody, a troll! Could it be Councilman Halloran himself?


Please keep it civil, intelligent, and expletive-free. Otherwise, opine away.