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.”
Rockin' The Suburbs
State Senator Greg Ball, a Republican representing Westchester County and other areas of the Hudson Valley, is not happy with the response efforts to get power restored to his district in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. Accordingly, Mr. Ball sent out a press release this morning titled, “BALL: ‘10 DAYS IS TOO DAMN LONG,’” calling on both Consolidated Edison and New York State Electric & Gas to get electricity back to the area posthaste.
Yesterday, it was revealed President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign may have improperly used Greenburgh Town Hall, a government property in Westchester County, to conduct weekly phonebank operations without paying to use the space. Although the partisans, “White Plains for Obama,” agreed to retroactively pay rent after confronted by the New York Post, local Republicans aren’t satisfied. In a statement released this afternoon, the county’s GOP chairman Doug Colety declared Mr. Obama’s campaign was “caught with their hand in the cookie jar” and needs to face the scrutiny of the law.
“The taxpayers of Greenburgh are being ripped off by the Obama campaign and Greenburgh’s Democratic leadership and I am calling on the New York State Attorney General to conduct a full investigation to see if any laws are being violated by this clearly unethical behavior,” he said. “Taxpayers have a right to know that public facilities are not being used for partisan political campaigns and no municipal building should ever be converted into in a campaign headquarters for any party.”
“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.
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.”
As had been initially rumored, former GOP U.S. Senate candidate, and hedge fund manager, Joe Carvin has moved to formally challenge Westchester and Hudson Valley Congresswoman Nita Lowey in the general election.
“Joe Carvin is definitely in,” Rockland County GOP chairman Vinny Reda told Gannett Albany.
The Republican candidate originally in the race, Mark Rosen, will drop out and endorse Mr. Carvin.
Democrat Dr. Richard Becker isn’t going to let a little thing like Congressional lines stop his plans to challenge Republican Congresswoman Nan Hayworth. If the draft maps released this morning by the special master are put into place, Dr. Becker will no longer live in Ms. Hayworth’s district, but he’s ready to move if he must.
“For the last three decades, I’ve been practicing medicine and building small businesses throughout the Hudson Valley. With the release of today’s draft Congressional maps from the special master, it appears I’ll be moving a couple minutes down the road,” Dr. Becker said in a statement. “I’ve been a part of our community for over thirty years and I fully intend to represent us in Congress. I am in this campaign to win it, and am certain that we will replace ‘No Comment Nan’ with a real leader who’ll represent us instead of the party bosses and financial elites.”
Wappingers Falls Mayor Matt Alexander also plans to challenge Ms. Hayworth. His campaign manager, TJ Helmstetter, released a statement describing Mr. Alexander as the “only Democratic candidate in the race who lives in the district and has reported fundraising to date.” It doesn’t look like Mr. Alexander will have the district all to himself in the end, but Mr. Helmstetter still thinks the proposed maps give his man the edge.
In a web video released last week, Senator Greg Ball takes a walk on on his farm, feeding the pigs and nursing a calf by hand accompanied by rocking ’80′s style electric guitars. Senator Ball’s video is designed to promote him as a defender of family farms. “We’re losing our family farms,” Senator Ball said in the ad. “We got to stop that, we’ve got to fix it.”