When Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke suggested that Rep. Raul Grijalva couldn’t “think straight from the bottom of the bottle,” his words resonated with southern Arizona residents. Nearly everyone who has worked with, or in the vicinity of the Congressman, has heard a story about his legendary debauchery.
Those stories were renewed in the aftermath of Zinke’s response to Grijalva’s editorial calling on Zinke to resign “immediately” in the face of multiple, ongoing ethics investigations.
Some of the stories about Grijalva’s sobriety – or lack thereof – are almost too hard to believe. Others, like the one popular Arizona politico, Sam Stone, shared in an appearance on KFYI’s James T. Harris radio show, were witnessed by too many people to be denied.
According to Stone, Grijalva passed out during a debate in 2010 in the small town of Rio Rico, Arizona. Stone stated that the Congressman had to be woken up by Harley Meyer, the Independent candidate in the 2010 General Election race.
— James T Harris (@JamesTHarris) December 4, 2018
A year ago this week, Grijalva called for an apology from the Washington Times for article about monies paid to settle a claim against him for allegedly creating a hostile work environment due to his consumption of alcohol.
The Times reported that a former employee left Grijalva’s office after receiving a “settlement” based on claims of a hostile work environment due to the Congressman’s on-the-job drunkenness.
Always able to count on the media to ignore his actions or rationalize them, the Tucson Sentinel appeared to race to his rescue and attempt to shame the victim.
At the time, Tucson activist, David Morales, an avowed Grijalva opponent took to Facebook to call out the Tucson Sentinel. He wrote, “The local media has responded to the Raul Grijalva story by both defending him and victim shaming. One thing they have not done is just simply ask him what on Earth did you do that warranted giving this woman $50,000 in hush money?”
Morales’ post set of a series of discussions about Grijalva’s behavior. Many of the discussions centered around others’ claims about Grijalva’s behavior. One of Grijalva’s Republican opponents, Gabby Saucedo Mercer stated in a 2017 interview on Harris’ show that during her campaign, “one of my volunteers was at a location downtown and Grijalva grabbed her butt.” According to Saucedo Mercer, the woman told her that the Congressman excused his behavior by advising the victim that he was simply drunk.