GOP State Senator Greg Ball, an outspoken Hudson Valley legislator who repeatedly knocked then-Rep. Nan Hayworth last year–even threatening to run a primary campaign against her–is taking his hat out of the ring. In a statement released late this morning, Mr. Ball said he was focused on his work in Albany and had no overriding desire to defeat the Democrat who ultimately beat Ms. Hayworth, Sean Patrick Maloney.
“I want to make it clear that I am focused on finishing this legislative session and delivering for my current district and not running for Congress,” he said. “As for my re-election in the current State Senate seat, I will make a final decision on that as the time nears.”
State Senator Greg Ball has been on a bit of a media tour since he tweeted his support for torturing the Boston Marathon terror suspect in the aftermath of his arrest, and he doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. To wit, his round of interviews took him to at least two news shows yesterday evening, Capital Tonight and Piers Morgan Live, where he put his argument into rather direct form.
“All I can tell you is what I would do as an American. If we saw what just happened where we had men, women and children–a child–killed,” he said at one point, for example. “I can tell you that as Greg Ball, if I felt that torture–whether it be making them listen to music at night, or using a baseball bat–would save one innocent life, including that of a child, I would use it. But I’m just speaking for Greg Ball.”
State Senator Greg Ball, hasn’t been quiet about his disagreement with the Journal News‘ decision to publish the names and addresses of handgun owners in Westchester and Rockland counties and he isn’t done with the publication just yet. Mr. Ball, who began his day by tweeting, “Woooohooooooo!!! Get up! Hook up! Shuffle to the door! One day closer to victory! One day closer to more! Get ‘em!” continued his energized performance in the opening moments of a K104 radio interview, declaring, “I’m motivated! How about you? Ready for a push-up contest?”
(“Glad he didn’t come into the studio,” one of the hosts remarked after Mr. Ball left.)
Putnam County doesn’t want to help the Journal News newspaper with its map of gun owner’s home addresses. To make the controversial map, the newspaper used addresses obtained from a Freedom of Information Act request for pistol permit records from Westchester and Rockland Counties. They made a similar request in Putnam, but County Executive MaryEllen Odell and County Clerk Denis Sant plan to announce their decision not to release the records at a press conference this afternoon.
Over the weekend, The Journal News newspaper published maps with the addresses and names of pistol permit holders in Westchester and Rockland Counties. The information for the map was legally obtained by the paper through a Freedom of Information Act request, but it sparked a nationwide controversy among those who considered the map a privacy violation. This morning, State Senator Greg Ball weighed in by proposing legislation to keep gun records private and prevent the publication of similar stories in the future. He also blasted “the asinine editors at The Journal News” who published the map.
“The asinine editors at The Journal News have once again gone out of their way to place a virtual scarlet letter on law-abiding firearm owners throughout the region. The immediate elimination of the information posted on the Journal News website is the only way we can ensure the safety and liberty of these New Yorkers,” said Mr. Ball in a statement. “This is clearly a violation of privacy, and needs to be corrected immediately. The same elitist eggheads who use their editorial page to coddle terrorists and criminals are now treating law-abiding citizens like level three sexual predators.”
“I view a political campaign as a guerrilla effort, not the furry type of gorilla,” State Senator and former Air Force Captain Greg Ball told The Politicker recently. “In the military, the saying is, ‘What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.’ And we’re going to win this primary handily. We’re going to teach the assemblyman a lesson in civility and in loyalty.”
The assemblyman in question is former ally Steve Katz, who is challenging Mr. Ball for his Hudson Valley State Senate seat in the Republican primary. The two have been enmeshed in a protracted campaign that has gotten ugly enough for Mr. Ball’s bellicose metaphor to be increasingly apt. In a former life, the candidates were friends—even donating to each other’s past political efforts—but the race has devolved to include outlandish costumed characters, nasty nicknames and even calls for a ceasefire from local party officials.
Governor Andrew Cuomo overrode the State Senate Republican majority’s opposition to his Health Exchange with an executive order today, but at least one state senator is still fighting the plan — Greg Ball. Mr. Ball issued a statement blasting the exchange, which is part of President Barack Obama’s healthcare overhaul that’s being debated in the Supreme Court as a “large and expensive government program that may never get off of the ground.”
“Any rush towards enacting Obamacare is more political than reality,” Mr. Ball said.
Last night, the Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess Republican County Committees held a joint convention at the Crowne Plaza in White Plains and voted to back State Senator Greg Ball in his re-election fight against Assemblyman Steve Katz. Mr. Ball issued a statement following the results expressing his hope Mr. Katz will drop his challenge for the State Senate seat and focus on being re-elected to the Assembly.
“We have always enjoyed strong grassroots support and I am now proud to merge that grassroots machine with institutional support. It’s now time for the party to come together, for the Assemblyman to focus on maintaining his solid Republican seat, and for all of us, as elected officials to come together to continue to work for, and deliver for the taxpayers,” Mr. Ball said.” “My sole focus now, as always, is on job creation, lowering taxes and working with our critical Senate Majority and with Governor Cuomo to get New York State back on track,” said Senator Greg Ball.”
Pants on Fire
Last weekend, State Senator Greg Ball Tweeted a photo that appears to show him without pants and the picture is making the rounds tonight courtesy of an anonymous Twitter account that’s sending the shot to various local media outlets. The picture was subsequently picked up by the website of the late conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart, which compared it to the Anthony Weiner scandal. Mr. Ball’s staff sent The Politicker evidence the shot simply showed him getting ready for a costumed charity event.
“That was a celebrity waiters brunch and it was to raise money for a Children’s Museum, The picture was of Greg in the event in his costume,” Mr. Ball’s spokesman Joe Bachmeier told The Politicker. “He was wearing pants. … What it was was a person taking it way out of context. They were doing a good event and it’s really unfortunate they were taken out of context like this.”
In a move likely to disappoint Democrats hoping for a contentious Republican primary for Hudson Valley Rep. Nan Hayworth, State Senator Greg Ball said today he’ll simply run for reelection instead.
“She makes it so tough to not run against her because she is disconnected from the district she represents. But this Senate seat decided the balance of power in the previous election and will be similarly important in the next election,” he said in an interview with Yossi Gestetner. “So I am focused on reelection to the State Senate.”
Mr. Gestetner then pressed Mr. Ball specifically on whether he was ruling out the Congressional campaign. Mr. Ball responded that he’s “totally committed on reelection to the State Senate.”