Alan Hallman expelled from Kenney campaign after PC Party suspension

The 'field organizer' for Jason Kenney's PC leadership campaign has been kicked out of the party and barred from attending events like Sunday's leadership debate.

Longtime Tory says his suspension is 'absolutely ludicrous, it's beyond the pale'

Alan Hallman said he was kicked out of the PC Party by email on Saturday night. (@abkia/Twitter)

A longtime PC operative has been suspended from the party, barred from its events and has now been let go by the Jason Kenney leadership campaign.

"I got an email at 11:08 p.m. where there were rumours before of it on Twitter, without my knowledge. I've had no input into this," said Alan Hallman when asked how he was informed of the ban. 

He's referring to social media chatter on Saturday that said he had been suspended from the party for inappropriate behaviour. Hallman said he was banished from the PC fold for "calling someone an asshole on Twitter."

He has since deleted his Twitter account. 

PC Alberta president says no one is above rules

In the email informing Hallman of his suspension, Katherine O'Neill, the president of PC Alberta, told Hallman the matter was related to comments he made on social media last month directed towards two PCAA members.

On Sunday, O'Neill declined to go into further detail but said the matter was discussed in camera within the party Saturday and the board made a unanimous decision to suspend Hallman's membership for one year.

"We do have a zero tolerance for poor behaviour and inappropriate comments, et cetera, amongst our leadership campaigns and zero tolerance means that, zero tolerance," O'Neill said.

"We just want to show our membership that we're following the rules and that no one is above any rules."

Suspended for 1 year

Along with the one-year suspension, Hallman is forbidden from attending any PCAA events and is not allowed to use any PCAA data, including membership lists and leadership data.

According to the email, Hallman will be able to reapply to the PCAA board of directors in one year after his membership is reinstated.

Earlier on Sunday, Kenney defended Hallman, who was working as a "field organizer" for the campaign, saying the suspension was the result of a "colourful" late-night tweet, which Hallman has already apologized and been held to account for.

"If every member of the party who has said far more vicious things about me were held to the same standard, there would be a lot of people losing their memberships," Kenney said.

By Sunday night, however, the Kenney campaign severed ties with Hallman.

Campaign spokesman Blaise Boehmer said Hallman will no longer work for the campaign and said it was a direct result of the suspension.

'I demand to be reinstated into the party immediately'

Hallman said the fuss over something that was done out of his personal account on his personal time is "'absolutely ludicrous." 

"I've put 30-some years into this party, tens of thousands of volunteer hours, thousands and thousands of dollars into this party, and that they would do that is just beyond the pale. It's a kangaroo court where they are accuser, judge and jury without any of my input," said the longtime Tory operative who managed several of Ralph Klein's campaigns.

"I demand to be reinstated into the party immediately."

Hallman is no stranger to spirited exchanges on social media and in person, often sparring with opponents like Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi and the city over the southwest BRT.

The PC Party has abuse and intimidation on the mind these days and conducted an internal review after reports of inappropriate behaviour at a Red Deer policy convention surfaced. 

Former PC Sandra Jansen cited abuse and intimidation at that convention as the reason she dropped out of the leadership race. She has since crossed the floor to the governing NDP.

In the wake of the Red Deer convention, Hallman launched a defamation lawsuit against Jansen campaign insider Stephen Carter, after Carter said on Twitter Hallman used a vulgar word to describe a volunteer. 

Too early to speculate on joining another party

Hallman said intends to fight the expulsion, although he isn't aware of any appeal process. 

"I'm still assessing a lot of this, right? I got a little bit of sleep last night but I mean, this is not that old. There will be more to come on this," he said. 

Kenney is running on a platform to unite the right in Alberta, so would Hallman consider joining another political party?

"Way too early," he said. "Way too early."

As the leadership debate got underway in Edmonton, interim PC Leader Ric McIver tweeted a photo of himself watching the action, with the newly unaffiliated Hallman. 

With files from Michelle Bellefontaine