By Mark Smith
Editor in Chief
It certainly seems like a great time to take a stroll down memory lane.
So how about we rekindle some names that are making a lot of news these days?
While Enchantment Sports rebuilds its website, there is still plenty of great investigative journalism on this site — even stories featuring a few names in the midst of the heated New Mexico governor’s race between Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and Mark Ronchetti.
Names like Lujan Grisham and James Hallinan, the latter who pocketed $150,000 from the former for a non-disclosure agreement — after the governor allegedly grabbed his crotch and was accused for sexual mistreatment.
They were once a team, after all.
Hey, sports teams still slap teammates’ rear ends, right?
Maybe Lujan Grisham misfired after winning in 2018?
Probably, not so much, Borat.
Last week, the Albuquerque Journal reported that Hallinan, who once was Lujan Grisham’s campaign manager, said the governor has violated the terms of the non disclosure.
In recent weeks, I keep getting asked “Wasn’t Hallinan that guy involved in the New Mexico Bowl scandal?”
As for the scandal itself, who knows?
But Hallinan was, indeed, one of those making news in Enchantment Sports’ groundbreaking series surrounding the DreamHouse New Mexico Bowl in late 2019.
As was MLG.
However another name, one that hasn’t surfaced during this wild campaign cycle, is Ian Stewart — Lujan Grisham’s son-in-law who was listed as a partner and general manager for DreamHouse and alleged super-scam artist Eric Martinez.
Martinez is the man who allegedly “conned” his way to the title sponsorship of the New Mexico Bowl with his DreamHouse Post Production studio.
Until Enchantment Sports exposed him.
For a trip down memory lane, please check out the links here for all the stories in the “Dream or Nightmare” series.
Many questions were asked, but never answered about Stewart and the governor’s possible knowledge of the DreamHouse New Mexico Bowl scandal or the supposed company.
Many of those questions were addressed to Lujan Grisham.
And few, if any, in the local media ever brought Stewart’s relationship to MLG to light in 2019 either — despite the website’s series blowing up nationally with publications like Sports Illustrated and the New York Times picking up the story.
DreamHouse was dropped as New Mexico Bowl sponsor shortly after Enchantment Sports’ series: “Dream or Nightmare” exposed the alleged scandal, and just three weeks after Hallinan, bowl executive director Jeff Siembieda and vice president of ESPN Event’s Clint Overby
held a grandiose news conference to announce the new agreement.
One of Ronchetti’s biggest campaign ads against MLG is her payment of $150,000 to Hallinan for the alleged sexual mistreatment, including crotch-grabbing when the latter worked for her.
While Enchantment Sports got a first-hand feel for Hallinan’s woke-style attacks, the fact that Lujan Grisham caved to him with a $150,000 payment doesn’t say much for her mettle.
During the “Dream or Nightmare: Eric Martinez Alleged Scam” series, Hallinan was the public relations man for the bowl game, and tried to intimidate Enchantment Sports when we pressed him on his public relations firm, “Intersectional Strategies,” and his motto: “Protect Your Brand.”
That “brand” made the bowl game a national laughing stock, and isn’t exactly helping the governor in her bid for reelection these days.
In 2019, Hallinan refused to answer if he felt he protected the bowl game’s brand – or his own company’s.
Instead, he responded at least four times to questions with: “As a Hispanic, LGBTQ-owned business, I stand by the services I provide to my clients and my record of success speaks for itself.”
Enchantment Sports told Hallinan it wasn’t interested in him playing the PC card.
So he cut us off from further press releases.
We certainly weren’t going to pay him for any nonsense.
Then again, we didn’t grab his crotch. Allegedly.
Maybe we just kicked it a few times, figuratively.
Then again, a PR guy cutting off just one media outlet for questioning him?
Maybe we should have sued him and the bowl game?
This link has the info on how Hallinan “protected the game’s brand:” https://ticktalksports.wordpress.com/2019/10/14/espn-is-looking-into-alleged-scam-artist-eric-martinez-and-ties-to-dreamhouse-new-mexico-bowl/
While Hallinan is making a lot of news this election cycle, what we don’t recall is any other media reporting whether Lujan Grisham had any ties, or at least knowledge, of DreamHouse Post Production — a “company” that has never come to fruition.
After all, her son-in-law, Stewart, was the general manager and co-partner of alleged scam artist Martinez.
Not according to MLG at the time.
“Ian Stewart is not this Martinez’s partner or business collaborator or what have you. Ian doesn’t work for the company or have any connection to it or Martinez,” said Tripp Stelnicki, director of communications for the governor.”
A day later, Stewart admitted it was, indeed, the same Eric Martinez and the governor’s statement had “discrepancies.”
When pressed about what the discrepancies were, Stewart never responded.
The DreamHouse site hasn’t been updated since the alleged scandal.
Martinez, who pleaded guilty to being a domestic abuser but was paid to give speeches about domestic violence without ever admitting to his own violent past, was also alleged to to have scammed numerous people with false claims of being a Golden Gloves boxer, singer, producer, publisher and featured actor.
With a week to go before voting day, it might be worth a look to check out the Enchantment Sports series on the DreamHouse New Mexico Bowl embarrassment.
— DreamHouse is still nonexistent.
— It looks to be the same for Hallinan’s “Intersectional Strategies” company, which our website could not find protecting its brand on a Google search.
— The New Mexico Bowl survived, and last year had a title sponsor of PUBG Mobile.
— The governor and her one-word campaign of “abortion” is trying to survive as well.
If she does, maybe she’ll finally answer some questions about the scandal of DreamHouse that her son-in-law was listed as a partner.
Then again, if Ronchetti wins, maybe New Mexicans can survive the onslaught of crime, inflation, border crisis, poverty, poor education, energy problems and many, many other issues that far outweigh a fictitious production company.
Mark Smith, a lifelong registered independent, has worked in New Mexico sports media for more than four decades, and is one of the most decorated sports journalists in state history. Smith has won more than 30 combined awards in print, television and radio and has been honored nationally for investigative reporting. He is the editor in chief of Enchantment Sports. Contact him at mark.enchantmentsportsNM@gmail.com.