Gregory R. Ball

Gregory R. Ball

name = Greg Ball

imagesize = 200px
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birth_date = September 16, 1977
birth_place = Pawling, New York
residence = Carmel, New York
death_date =
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office = Assemblyman, 99th District
salary =
term_start = 2007
term_end = incumbent
predecessor = Willis Stephens, Jr.
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party = Republican
religion = Catholic
occupation = Businessman
Air Force Officer
majority =
spouse =
children =
website = []
footnotes = [ Official Biography] " [ Official Biography of Assemblyman Greg Ball] ". "New York State Assembly". Retrieved on February 24, 2008.]
branch = United States Air Force
rank =Captain

Gregory R. Ball (born September 16, 1977) is an American business executive, former active duty Air Force officer and member of the New York State Assembly. He serves as the ranking member on the Veteran's Affairs committee, and was the author of the measure enacted in the 2008 New York State budget offering free college tuition to military veterans. [" [ Veterans To Receive Free SUNY Tuition] ". " [] ". April 15, 2008.] He has risen to prominence for his views on immigration, and has been named a Chairman of Lawmakers for Legal Immigration, an immigration reform group.Ball, Greg. " [ Standing up against illegal economy based exploitation] ". "New York State Assembly". March 31, 2008.] He is a resident of Carmel, New York.

Gregory Ball is also a member of the Election Law; Energy; Housing; and Social Services Committees. [" [ Committee memberships] ". "New York State Assembly". Retrieved on February 24, 2008.] He represents New York's 99th assembly district which comprises the towns Patterson, Mahopac, Carmel, Southeast, Putnam Lake and Brewster, in Putnam County; Yorktown, Mohegan Lake, Somers, and North Salem in Westchester County; and both Pawling and Pawling Village in Duchess County.

Beginning his political career in 2005, he defeated six-term incumbent Willis Stephens in a primary in September of 2006, running of a platform of reforming the legislature in Albany. Since being elected, Ball has been active in issues involving school and property tax reform, second amendment rights, animal protection, the environment, renewable energy and conservation, veteran's affairs, and illegal immigration. He is often mentioned as a possible candidate for higher office, and has called himself "Albany’s loudest advocate for reform." [Benjamin, Elizabeth. " [ Reform Advocate No. 1?] ". "Albany Times-Union". March 29, 2007.]

Early career and background

Ball was born in Pawling, New York, and grew up on the Kennedy estate of Stephen and Jean Kennedy-Smith, sister of President John F. Kennedy, where his parents were both caretakers.Klein, Benjamin. " [ Ball looks to hold people’s feet to the fire] ". "Legislative Gazette". January 16, 2007.] In 1996, he was awarded the Falcon Foundation Scholarship and attended the Valley Forge Military Academy before receiving an appointment to the United States Air Force Academy from Congresswoman Sue Kelly. He was the first member of his family to attend college." [ About Greg] ". " [ Ball for Assembly] ". Retrieved on February 24, 2008.] While at Valley Forge, Ball interned in the White House Drug Policy Office during the term of President Bill Clinton.

Ball received a Bachelors of Arts in Government in 2001, graduating with the highest GPA in his major." [ Alumni Spotlight] ". " [ The Forge] ". December 2003.] He is currently completing a Masters thesis in International Affairs at Georgetown University, and was a fellow at the Center for the Study of the Presidency from 2002 to 2003. [Henderson, Robert E., ed. " [ A Dialogue on the Presidency with a New Generation of Leaders: Papers of the 2002-2003 Center Fellows] ". Washington, DC: [ CSP] , 2003.] Ball is a board member of the Valley Forge Military Academy & College Association of Graduates, and is a member of several area Chambers of Commerce and business associations. [" [ Committees of the Board] ". " [ Air Force Academy Association of Graduates] ". Retrieved on February 26, 2008.] [Greene, Mae. " [ Chamber of Commerce awardees] ". " [ Pawling News-Chronicle] ". September 7, 2007.]

USAF service

Ball was commissioned as an Air Force Lieutenant and requested an assignment with the Air Force Academy's Diversity Recruitment Office, and was posted in Philadelphia for a one year tour working as a Minority Admissions Officer. [Vogrin, Bill. " [ AFA wants more help recruiting minorities] ". "The Gazette". May 5, 2007.] While stationed there, he created a charity polo event for underprivileged youth known as the Courage Cup, which presented $10,000 to charities in 2004. [" [ Wing lieutenant hosts Va. charity polo event] ". " [ The Beam] ". June 24, 2004.]

Ball was then assigned to the 11th Wing at Bolling Air Force Base in Washington D.C. as protocol officer, a newly created services career field. [Lopez, Todd. " [ Protocol, aide de camp special duties move] ". " [ The Beam] ". March 6, 2003.] The Ceremonies & Protocol office was responsible for planning, organizing and devolping projects for the Secretary of the Air Force and the Air Force Chief of Staff, as well as coordinating honor guard burial services at Arlington National Cemetery."I was honored to serve as Greg Ball’s mentor while he was in the U.S. Air Force. When Greg was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant at the United States Air Force Academy, I was honored to pin on his rank and commission him as a young officer. As Greg excelled through the ranks and was promoted to Captain, I was honored to watch Greg perform as an outstanding young officer. Greg Ball graduated from the Air Force Academy, served in the White House Drug Policy Office, lived on Capitol Hill, and served in the 11th Wing in our Nation’s capital working directly for four star generals in the Pentagon and throughout the National Capitol Region. Few Lieutenants are chosen for such a demanding position."–Col. Joseph P. Green, USAF (Ret.), [ E-Mail to Bob Fois] . June 6, 2006.] [Estrada, Louie. " [ Master of Air Force Ceremonies, Embodiment of Honor, Dignity] ". "Washington Post". December 7, 2003.] ["VOTER'S GUIDE: 99th state Assembly District". "Poughkeepsie Journal". October 29, 2006.] [Ball, Jo A. " [ Protocol Handbook - A Guide for the Base Protocol Officer] ". Report Number 86-0180. Air Command and Staff College, April 1986.]

During his time in the Ceremonies & Protocol Office, Ball was a Project Officer for numerous events. The largest may have been the 2003 Global Air Chief's Conference, the first since 1997, which he coordinated for 90 air power leaders from around the world, as well members of Congress, national dignitaries, industry leaders and diplomats on the 100th anniversary of powered flight. [Lopez, Todd. " [ Global air chiefs discuss air power at AFA convention] ". " [ The Beam] ". September 18, 2003.] [" [ FBO DAILY ISSUE OF JULY 25, 2003 FBO #0603] ". "Department of the Air Force, Direct Reporting Units, 11th CONS, 110 Luke Avenue (Bldg 5681) Suite 200, Bolling AFB, DC, 20332-0305." Retrieved June 1, 2008.]

The young lieutenant was charged with directing National Hispanic Heritage Month in 2002, 2003, and 2004.Mitenbueler, Reid. " [ Hispanic-American Heritage Month] ". " [ The Beam] ". September 25, 2003.] He organized special exhibits and demonstrations to recognize the many contributions made by Hispanic countries and cultures, and hosted Alberto Gonzales, then White House Counsel, in 2003. [Oyola, Ranell. " [ Hispanics in service to the nation] ". " [ The Beam] ". September 18, 2003.] Along with a volunteer committee, Ball washed cars in the base parking lot to raise donations for wing wide events to celebrate and recognize Hispanic-American service members and their contributions through out history." [ Wing to observe Hispanic-American Heritage Month] ". " [ The Beam] ". September 12, 2003.]

In 2003, Ball was nominated as "Military Volunteer of the Year" for the 11th Wing. [Robinson, Thom. " [ Wing taps its best from 2003 for annual recognition] ". " [ The Beam] ". March 25, 2004.] He was awarded an achievement medal for outstanding service by General John P. Jumper and was honorably discharged from active duty in January of 2005 at the rank of Captain. [Benson, John. " [ Town of Pawling 2005 Year in Review] ". " [ Pawling News-Chronicle] ". December 29, 2005.] Ball remains in the U.S. Air Force Ready Reserve. [Benson, John. " [ Community salutes military families] ". " [ Pawling News-Chronicle] ". December 20, 2006.]

Business career

Upon his separation from active duty, Ball was recruited by the Antioch, Illinois based Exceed International, a commercial development corporation with a presence in India, Turkey and Tunisia. [Chandramouly , Anjana. " [ American dream... in India] ". "Business Line". March 17, 2006.] Placed in charge of the marketing department, he served as a team member with the Company President on a 38-company executive mission to an economic summit in New Delhi, which included representatives from companies such as Amex, Cargill, New York Life, Dow Chemical, General Electric, Bechtel, and Cognizant. [Germain, David. " [ U.S.-India Business Council Mounts 38-Company 4-City Executive Mission to India] ". "US Newswire. March 2, 2007.] Later, Exceed invested $11.1 million in India to expand operations. [" [ US-based Exceed Int'l launches India Operations] ". " [ AsiaPulse News] ". November 22, 2004.] Construction began on six projects in Chennai, which included the ESPEE IT Park, and the Bascon Technology Park, which helped Exceed establish a foothold in India. [" [ US construction co Exceed to build IT park in Chennai] ". "Business Line". November 20, 2004.] [Ramesh, M. " [ US construction co Exceed bags 6 projects in Chennai] ". "Business Line". November 20, 2004.] The company also invested as a joint venture partner in mixed use residential projects such as a water treatment facility. [" [ Exceed to invest Rs 50 crore in its Indian arm] ". "Business Standard". November 20, 2004.]

Eventually, Ball was elevated to Vice President of Exceed's Northeastern United States division and returned to New York." [ The Next Economy] ". " [ Exceed International] ". Retrieved on February 24, 2008.] The Illinois based developer employs nearly 400 people in various fields such as project management, development, architecture, engineering, construction, government relations, finance, and technology. [Drummond, Sara. " [ India calls] ". " [ CIRE Magazine] ". January 2006.] [Kuyper, Diana. " [ Retail, condos encouraged] ". "News Sun". October 11, 2005.] In 2006, Exceed proposed a $75 million urban renewal project for the village of Brewster which would generate some $2 million a year in tax revenue for the town." [ Plans call for $75 million urban renewal project of village's downtown] ". " [ Putnam County Courier] ". March 24, 2006.] The village's Mayor noted that "All of the infrastructure work recently completed by defining our identity within the watershed has paid off. Brewster finds itself in a situation where people are eagerly interested in working with the village in partnership to see our village revitalized".

Political career

2006 election

In early 2005, Ball announced his candidacy for State Assembly as a Republican and stated he would attempt to unseat the incumbent Assemblyman Will Stephens in a primary.

Cite news
publisher="Associated Press"
author=Wagenseil, Paul
title=Politician Tells Voters They’re Idiots
date=June 30, 2005

] ["Pawling man seeks GOP support for Assembly". "Poughkeepsie Journal". May 31, 2005.] Stephens' family had held the seat nearly continuously for eighty years: his grandfather, D. Mallory Stephens, represented the district from 1926 to 1952; his father, Willis Stephens Sr., held the seat from 1952 to 1982; and Stephens himself served from 1994 to 2006. [" [ Index to Politicians: Stephens] ". " [ The Political Graveyard] ". Retrieved on February 24, 2008.] Ball received over $110,000 in campaign contributions for the race. [Risinit, Mike. " [ Greg’s been spending] ". "The Journal News". July 13, 2006.] [" [ New Yorkers on the Ball. 2006 July Periodic Report Summary Page] ". " [ New York State Board of Elections] ". Retrieved on February 24, 2008.] He was placed on the primary ballot by the signature of over 1800 petitioners. [Risinit, Mike. " [ Ball’s in or at least his paperwork is] ". "The Journal News". July 11, 2006.] ["Pawling man sets his sights on state Assembly seat". "Poughkeepsie Journal". April 27, 2005.]

At times Ball's campaign was noted for its unorthodoxy, including hiring a man in a chicken suit to follow around the incumbent after Stephens refused to debate him.Risinit, Mike. " [ The chicken suit has been mothballed, sort of] ". "The Journal News". May 31, 2006.] Ball again garnered attention at an event in August 2006 where he carried trash bags to a press conference and drew attention to Stephens, who also served as the legal counsel to the town of Southeast, New York, for having accepted $9,355 from Waste Hauling CEO, convicted felon and reputed mob boss James Galante, who was later awarded a $1.5 million no-bid garbage contract by the town board on Stephens' recommendation.

Cite news
publisher= " [ North County News] "
author=Barron, Sam
title=Ball Fires at Will
date=August 23, 2006

] He was joined at this event by his eventual opponent in the general election, Democrat Ken Harper. Both Ball and Harper referred to the State Legislature as "dysfunctional" during their campaigns. [" [ Candidates Answer Questions on the Issues] ". "League of Women Voters". Retrieved February 28, 2007.]

On September 12, 2006, in the Republican Primary for New York's 99th District, Ball defeated Stephens in a landslide with 70.4% (5,165 votes) to 29.6% (2,176 votes) for Stephens, the lowest vote total for any incumbent running for reelection to the State Assembly that day. [Lopriore, Danny. " [ Ball Rolls] ". " [ North County News] ". September 13, 2006.]

Cite news
publisher="NY1 News"
title=Primary 2006
date=September 2006

] Stephens was the victim of a negative campaign, and cited mailings that were distributed calling him a 'country-club liberal' and highlighting his close relationship with Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. [Risinit, Mike. " [ Strange bedfellows] ". "The Journal News". August 10, 2006.] [Rentz, Neal. " [ Nasty Race for State Assembly Seat Nears Finish Line] ". " [ North County News] ". August 30, 2006.] However, Stephens himself drew criticism when he refused to repudiate a letter about challenger Greg Ball which falsely claimed Mr. Ball had received a dishonorable discharge from the United States Air Force. [Fois, Bob. " [ More On 99th: Cheap Shots On Military] ". " [ News Copy] ". May 25, 2006.] Cite news
publisher="The Journal News"
title=Ball Defeats incumbent Stephens for GOP Line in Assembly Race
date=September 2006
] ["Foe questions ethics of assemblyman's mailing". "Poughkeepsie Journal". March 8, 2006.] [Fois, Bob. " [ 99th: Ball's military record assailed] ". " [ News Copy] ". June 29, 2006.] Ball did not dispute that he ran hard for his seat, knocking on 10,000 doors prior to the primary.

, in order to allow Ball ballot access on the Independence and Conservative lines. [Cite news
publisher=" [ News Copy] "
title=99th Assembly District Race - Now the Fun
date=September 14, 2006
] Although Stephens attempted to have his name removed from the ballot, Ken Harper, the Democratic nominee, sued the State Board of Elections claiming that Stephens had filed a certificate declining his nomination eight days too late. [Risinit, Mike. " [ Stephens stays off ballot] ". "The Journal News". October 27, 2006.] The New York Court of Appeals eventually ruled that Stephens name should remain on the ballot. [" [ HARPER v. NY STATE BD. OF ELECTIONS, 34 A.D.3d 919 (3d Dept 2006) No. 501448] ". "New York Appellate Division Reports". November 2, 2006.]

Despite Stephens name remaining on the ballot, Ball went on to win a plurality of votes in the general election on November 6, 2006. [Lopriore, Danny. " [ Republican survives Democrat wave to win] ". " [ North County News] ". November 22, 2006.] He was also buoyed by endorsements from the "Poughkeepsie Journal", Fraternal Order of Police, Putnam County Sheriff Donald B. Smith and Duchess County Sheriff Butch Anderson prior to the election. [Risinit, Mike. " [ Sheriffs got their man] ". "The Journal News". October 30, 2006.] ["Ball has earned chance to serve". "Poughkeepsie Journal". October 21, 2006.] Inside of the district, Ball received more votes then any other candidate, including candidates running for Governor, Attorney General, Senate, Congress, and State Senate. His upset victory earned him the title of "Newsmaker of the Year" from one local publication and he also shared a front-page cover "The Journal News" with fellow upset winer John Hall the day after the election. [Stone, Adam. " [ Greg Ball, John Hall] ". " [ North County News] ". December 30, 2006.]

Listen|filename=Greg_Ball_on_Fair_Game_with_Faith_Salie.ogg|title=Ball on the air|description=Greg Ball's appearance on "Fair Game with Faith Salie". [Risinit, Mike. " [ Ball on the air] ". "The Journal News". February 28, 2007.] |format=OggListen|filename=Greg_Ball_Assembly_Open_Door.ogg|title=Assembly Open Door|description=An excerpt from Greg Ball's weekly "Open Door" radio show, discussing 287(g) legislation. [" [ Leadership matters] ". " [ Ball for Assembly] ". Retrieved May 20, 2008.] |format=Ogg Listen|filename=Greg_Ball_interview_with_Todd_Rundgren.ogg|title=Interview with Greg Ball|description=A "North County News" interview with Greg Ball. [Rundgren, Todd. " [ Greg Ball interview] ". " [ North County News] ". December 26, 2006.] |format=Ogg

Courage Cup Fundraising Controversy

As the Washington Post would report in 2007, a significant portion of Ball's funds for his 2006 assembly race were raised through a charity polo match in Washington, D.C. called "the Courage Cup" in 2005. Ball had been stationed at Bolling Air Force Base in Washington D.C., when the first Courage Cup was held in 2004, raising money for charities including nearly $8,000 for the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania based Work to Ride program." [ Assemblyman Ball trading shots in D.C. charity polo event debate] ". "The Journal News". February 2, 2007]

The event was created to bring together Washington professionals and the polo community together for a good cause, and a good time, and grew to become one of the largest polo events on the east coast. [" [ About the event] ". " [ Courage Cup] ". Retrieved March 6, 2008.] Ball founded the charity in 2004, prior to his run for office. ["Assemblyman defends aid from fundraiser". "Poughkeepsie Journal". June 13, 2007.] His former friends resisted his attempt to retake a leadership role in 2007, and Ball countered that he was the Courage Cup's rightful owner and that the two women stole his intellectual property.Argetsinger, Amy and Roberts, Roxanne. " [ Courage Cup Organizers Cross Polo Mallets] ". "Washington Post", C03. February 6, 2007.]

A "Washington Post" article from June 2007 reported that one of the event directors offered tickets at difference price level with proceeds going to a Political Action Committee named Citizens United for Ethical Growth (CUEG), which Ball operated as President in Fall of 2004. Ball's campaign stated it had nothing to do with the fund raising and the destination of profits from the event were clearly stated in one section of an online contribution form.

Several Courage Cup attendees told the Post that what they were unaware their contributions would be used for political purposes.Argetsinger, Amy and Roberts, Roxanne. " [ Courage Cup: Ponying Up For Whose Charity?] ". "Washington Post", C01. June 12, 2007.] Under a new President, CUEG transferred $18,000 into Assemblyman Ball's campaign fund in 2006, which included $610.09 raised from the 2004 Courage Cup event. [" [ Citizens United for Ethical Growth. January 2004 Periodic Report] ". "New York State Board of Elections". Retrieved June 10, 2008.] The Assemblyman later provided refunds to two of the seven contributors who gave money to CUEG through the courage cup. [" [ New Yorkers on the Ball. January 2008 Periodic Report] ". "New York State Board of Elections". Retrieved June 10, 2008.]

New York State Assembly (2007 – )

". February 8, 2007.] [cite episode
title = Joint Legislative Session
url =
series = New York State Assembly
network = [ SenNet TV]
airdate = 2007-02-07
] [Gallagher, Jay. " [ Different tune from freshman Putnam lawmaker] ". "The Journal News". March 6, 2007.] He was unhappy because lawmakers voted to elect a colleague, Thomas DiNapoli as the new State Comptroller, disregarding the recommendations of a bipartisan panel appointed by former Governor Eliot Spitzer consisting of former state Comptrollers who suggested three separate finalists and had not found DiNapoli to be qualified for the job." [ The true reformers: The 56 state legislators who refused to support Thomas DiNapoli for comptroller constitute an honor roll] ". "Albany Times-Union". February 9, 2007.] [Cooper, Michael. " [" Legislators Pick a Comptroller, Defying Spitzer] ". "New York Times". February 8, 2007.] The next day, Governor Spitzer called Ball to express support for his sentiments.Risinit, Mike. " [ Eliot's on the phone] ". "The Journal News". February 9, 2007.] ["Newcomer Ball slowly learns ropes". "Poughkeepsie Journal". January 17, 2007.]

Ball stated that "It was not easy getting up as the new guy and standing up to tell a group of people what they don’t want to hear" but his speech became so popular that soon dozens of reporters began calling, he appeared on Fox News, excerpts from the floor speech popped up on numerous political blogs, his campaign web site received so many visits that its server crashed, and, a YouTube video of his remarks was ranked 80th among new videos the day it was uploaded.Confessore, Nicholas. " [ Scolding Peers, Legislator Draws Notice] ". "New York Times". February 10, 2007.] ["Colleagues boo freshman during scolding of Assembly". "Poughkeepsie Journal". February 8, 2007.] Although the remarks were contentious, they echoed a fifty-six page study from the nonpartisan New York University School of Law's Brennan Center for Justice, which referred to the legislature as "the least deliberative and most dysfunctional in the nation". [Creelan, Jeremy and Moulton, Laura. " [ The New York State Legislative Process: An evaluation and blueprint for reform] ". "New York University School of Law Brennan Center for Justice". Retrieved on February 28, 2008.]

tate and local tax reform

". April 22, 2008.]

He has voted dozens of times against any bill that proposes tax increases, [Wieland, James. " [ News from Assemblyman Ball] ". " [ Yonkers Insider] ". June 27, 2007.] including opposition a measure to raise the Putnam County sales tax by half a percent from 3.5% to 4% that was supported by State Senator Vincent Leibell, a fellow local legislator. [Matthews, Cara. " [ Raging against the machine] ". "The Journal News". June 21, 2007.] Ball was also dismayed when asked by Putnam county legislators to carry a bill to Albany during the 2007 county "budget crisis",Elan, Susan. " [ Ball calls Putnam budget crisis forum] ". "The Journal News". April 24, 2007.] requesting a sales tax increase to 8.375%, which County Executive Robert Bondi, a fellow Republican, claimed was necessary to ward off a projected 66% property tax increase. [Sternberg, Margaret. " [ Legislature Considers Alternatives Should Sales Tax Renewal and Increase Fall Through] ". " [ Putnam County News and Recorder] ". May 2, 2007.] [Sternberg, Margaret. " [ County Legislator O'Dell's Commission for Fiscal Vision and Accountability Tabled While Tamagna's and Ball's Budget Forum Looms] ". " [ Putnam County News and Recorder] ". May 9, 2007.]

Ball felt that the County legislature could have eliminated more "pork" from the county budget. [Sternberg, Margaret. " [ County Sales Tax Renewal and .5 Percent Increase Approved in Committee] ". " [ Putnam County News and Recorder] ". April 4, 2007.] Another state legislator, Sandra Galef, eventually introduced the tax increase bill to the Assembly. [Leiter, Maria. " [ County Legislature Approves Saltes Tax Increase] ". " [ Putnam County News and Recorder] ". July 25, 2007.] Ball later joined with a county legislator in calling on Bondi to resign, citing his "incompetence and stubbornness" in proposing a budget with a 40% increase in the property tax levy. [Boisi, Patrick. " [ Bondi defends 40 percent tax increase, Ball calls for his resignation] ". " [ North County News] ". September 12, 2007.] Anderson, Liz. " [ Ball to Bondi: Resign now] ". "The Journal News". September 7, 2007.] Hundreds of residents of Putnam County demonstrated outside Bondi's office in opposition to the tax increase, which was defeated. [Brenner, Elsa. " [ Taxes climb and tempers flare] ". "New York Times". October 7, 2007.] [" [ Budget 2008] ". "Putnam County [ Finance Department] ". Retrieved April 23, 2008.]

". October 2007.] [Foley, Kevin. " [ ARC in Greater NY Receives Grant for Computers at New Putnam Office] ". " [ Putnam County News and Recorder] ". February 6, 2008.] [" [ Ball Announces Grants for Town Of Somers] ". " [ Westchester Times Tribune] ". July 7, 2007.]

Reaction to Governor Spitzer's resignation

Although both Spitzer and Ball had been elected on platforms of reform, [" [ Ball and Spitzer Standing Up for Reform] ". " [ Westchester Times Tribune] ". February 15, 2007.] Ball called on the Governor to resign when the "The New York Times" reported that Spitzer had patronized a prostitution service called Emperors Club VIP [cite news |url= |title=Four Charged With Running Online Prostitution Ring |first=Alan |last=Feuer |date=2008-03-07 |work=The New York Times ] and met with a call girl under the alias "George Fox".cite web |url = |title = Sources: Spitzer under prostitution investigation |author = CNN |date = 2008-03-10 |accessdate = 2008-03-10] cite web |url= |title= Spitzer Is Linked to Prostitution Ring |accessdate= 2008-03-10 |last= Hakim |first= Danny |authorlink=
coauthors= William K. Rashbaum |date= March 10, 2008 |work= N.Y. / Region |publisher= The New York Times

The Governor announced his resignation the day after Ball's comments, and left office on March 17, 2008.cite journal
author=Eliot Spitzer
title=Full Text of Spitzer Resignation| journal=New York Times
year=March 12, 2008
accessdate= 2008-03-12
] He was replaced by his Lieutenant Governor, David Paterson.cite news | first=Nicholas | last= Confessore | coauthors= Jeremy W. Peters | title= Hope for Harmony in a Shaken Albany
date= March 13, 2008 | publisher= | url = | work = New York Times | pages = | accessdate = 2008-03-17
] Ball stated that "My heart and prayers go out to Mrs. Spitzer and the Spitzer family. Yet my heart also goes out to the millions of New Yorkers, of all political persuasions, who voted for this man believing that he, Spitzer, would finally champion the cause of the people and work to clean up Albany... Immediately, as a member of the Legislature, I will now welcome the new Governor. I look forward to a new, fresh start."cite news
work= Newsday
title= Paterson expected to stick to Spitzer's agenda
first= Melissa
last= Mansfield
date= 2008-03-12
] [" [ Governor Spitzer resigns] ". " [ Ball for Assembly] ". March 18, 2008.] Paterson's replacement as acting Lieutenant Governor, Joe Bruno, had previously faced calls to step down from Ball and others if the federal investigation into his business interests resulted in an indictment. [Chan, Sewell and Hakim, Danny. " [,%20Joseph%20L.&oref=slogin Labor Unions Stand by Bruno as Details of Inquiry Emerge] ". "New York Times". December 23, 2006.]

Free college tuition for veterans

As ranking member of the Veterans Affairs Committee, Ball announced legislation expanding the eligibility for veterans to receive tax exemption benefits, including the exemption of real property owned by certain disabled veterans from property taxation. Ball authored the bill that created the tuition remission program for veterans, offering them free tuition at both SUNY and CUNY undergraduate and graduate institutions. [" [ Bill Summary - A08532] ". "New York State Assembly". Retrieved on February 24, 2008.] [Scott, Larry. " [ COMBAT VETS, GOING BACK TO VIETNAM, TO GET FREE TUITION AT N.Y. STATE UNIVERSITIES] ". " [ VA Watchdog] ". April 16, 2008.] [" [ Veterans To Receive Free Suny Tuition] ". " [ Westchester-1] ". April 15, 2008.] Although the first bill did not make it out of committee in 2007, after Governor Spitzer called on the Assembly to pass such a measure, Ball reintroduced the legislation and garnered thirty-one cosponsors. [" [ Bill Summary - A09701] ". "New York State Assembly". Retrieved on February 24, 2008.] State Senator Vinnie Leibell, whose Senate district encompasses the 99th Assembly District, announced the Senate would begin working to pass a similar measure. [" [ Making college education more affordable] ". " [ New York State Senate] ". March 1, 2007. Retrieved on February 24, 2008.] Previously, the State of New York Higher Education Services Corporation offered tuition awards of $1000 per semester for military service. [" [ Veterans Tuition Awards] ". " [ New York State Higher Education Services Corporation] ." Retrieved on February 25, 2008.]

Ball's legislation was picked up by the entire Assembly Republican Conference through their 2008 legislative package." [ Ball delivers for veterans] ". " [ Ball for Assembly] ". April 8, 2008.] Numerous members of the New York Veterans of Foreign Wars, including the State Commander, spoke in favor of the bill before the Assembly in February of 2008. [" [ The Whoville Legislative Register] ". "New York Veterans of Foreign Wars". Vol. 5, No. 6. February 5, 2008.] Governor Eliot Spitzer included the measure in his 2008 executive budget proposal, and the measure was kept funded in Governor David Paterson's version. [" [ Part N – Amend the Education Law in relation to tuition assistance for veterans] , [ Memorandum in Support Article VII Legislation, Education, Labor, and Family Assistance] , [ Enacted Budget] , [ 2008-09 New York State Executive Budget] ." "New York State [ Division of the Budget] ". Retrieved April 11, 2008.]

The landmark legislation created a tuition remission program for veterans, and was passed by both houses of the State Legislature as Part N, Article 7 of the $121.7 billion 2008-09 state budget State Budget. ["The veteran community would like to thank the governor, Senate, Assembly, and Assemblyman Greg Ball, R-Carmel, ranking minority member of the Assembly Veteran Affairs Committee, for proposing and passing into law the New York State G.I. Bill. After Assemblyman Ball introduced the legislation ... this landmark program was included in the executive budget proposal, as well as in the budget plans submitted by both houses of the legislature. Assemblyman Ball first introduced this proposal in May 2007 and we thank the Legislature for its quick action on this important bill. This legislation will afford a combat vet up to four years of free tuition at a SUNY or CUNY campus. This opportunity offers a good start to remove the many obstacles our service men and women face when they come home and assimilate back into the community. Assemblyman Ball and his colleagues are to be applauded for making this bill a top legislative priority. That landmark has been included in the 2008-09 state budget at a $2 million level of funding. This was a great victory for the thousands of veterans it will help. Indeed, it is incumbent upon all of us to get the word out to all of New York's combat veterans to take advantage of this historic program."–Joseph Franklin, Chairman of the National Disabled Veterans Business Council. [ Letter to the Editor] , May 1, 2008.] [" [ Ball to announce enactment of landmark program to provide Veterans with free college tuition] ". " [ Ball for Assembly] ". April 10, 2008.] The Assemblyman was pleased that the program was fully funded by the budget, but stated "there is much more we can do and I am proud to stand here today to call on my colleagues in both houses, on both sides of the aisle, to honor our veterans and thank them for their service through enactment of legislation that will help improve their quality of life." [Neroulias, Nicole. " [ New York's new budget funds veterans tuition assistance] ". "Journal News". April 10, 2008.] Ball and the Republican Assembly minority conference eventually voted against the Assembly's version of the budget, citing "funny numbers accounting, out of control spending, and unfunded mandates", and were praised for their fiscal conservatism by Governor Paterson, a Democrat, who did not rule out using his veto pen for member items. [Benjamin, Elizabeth. " [ Paterson Praises Assembly GOP, Gets Standing Os] ". "Daily News". April 14, 2008.] [" [ Ball Alarmed By "Funny Numbers" Budget] ". "New York State Assembly". April 1, 2008.]

Committee work and legislation

His support for pro-agricultural legislation, including creation of measures to establish a $30 million Dairy Assistance Program, as well as providing financial assistance to counties for farmland protection and for the construction of greenmarkets, among others, earned him an award from the New York Farm Bureau. [" [ New York Farm Bureau names 'Circle of Friends' in the State Legislature] ". [ New York Farm Bureau] . September 11, 2007. Retrieved on February 24, 2008.] He was also named as the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association "Assemblyman of the Year" for his dedication toward advocating for outdoor sports and sportsmen’s rights.

The Assemblyman strongly opposes firearm microstamping, and participated in a discussion of the technology along side second amendment activists and representatives of the National Rifle Association and National Shooting Sports Foundation at a New York State Police shooting range in May 2008. [Risinit, Michael. " [ Ball at firearms demonstration] ". "The Journal News". May 19, 2008.] [" [ Microstamping Gun Cartridges] ". "WTEN". May 19, 2008.] The gun industry representatives were asked to leave by the event's organizers. [Merrill, Paul. " [ Gun bill jammed] ". "FOX 23 News". May 19, 2008.] Ball had been invited by Assembly Democrat Michelle Schimel to the demonstration of microstamping technology. [Senison, Heather. " [ Microstamping demonstration turns into heated debated] ". "Legislative Gazette". May 19, 2008.] Schimel's bill mandating microstamping was passed through the Assembly, against opposition led by Assemblyman Ball of 47 Assembly members of both parties, although the State Senate took no action on a similar item and it will not become law. [Karlin, Rick. " [ Bullet microstamping efforts appear stalled] ". "Albany Times-Union". May 20, 2008.] [" [ Microstamping demonstration held in Albany] ". "Capital News 9". May 19, 2008.] Gun control advocates want bullets fired from guns purchased in New York to be marked so they can be more easily traced to their origin, and opposing organizations have responded that the technology is unreliable, and greatly increases production costs for the gun industry, which would be passed on to gun owners. [Spector, Joseph. " [ Ball Video on Gun Legislation] ". "The Journal News". May 19, 2008.] The Assemblyman claims that the legislation unfairly impacts law abiding gun owners, as most homicides are committed with illegal firearms or guns purchased in another state that would not utilize microstamping. [Waldron, Will. " [ Bullet debate] ". "Albany Times-Union". May 19, 2008.] As of 2008, only California had passed similar legislation. [Bernstein, Jenn. " [ Microstamping demonstration held in Albany] ". "News 10 Now". May 20, 2008.]

As a pet owner, Ball has made animal protection a campaign platform, and he secured grants for Guiding Eyes for the Blind and local humane societies, and has co-sponsored legislation to prohibit the slaughter of horses for the purpose of human consumption, as well as a bill to allow guide dogs, hearing dogs, and service dogs to be allowed in public places during their training. [" [ Ball Supports Animal Rights] ". "New York State Assembly". August 3, 2008.] Ball worked closely with the Humane Society of the United States to pass legislation to outlaw puppy mills, which are large commercial kennels that are notorious for substandard conditions and an "assembly line" approach to churning out puppies.Summers, Kathleen. " [ Advocates Take a Bite Out of Puppy Mills] ". "Humane Society of the United States". November 27, 2007.]

The bill, known both as "Charlemagne's Law" and "The Puppy Mill Act", strengthens a previous measure he had created, and is the product of a constituent who lost a beloved pet due to parasites, ear mites, kennel cough and a corneal ulcer all stemming from the poor environment of the puppy mill. [Flaim, Denise. " [,0,5183129.column Puppy mills need to be stopped at the demand end] ". "Newsday". December 13, 2007.] [Risinit, Mike. " [ Meows and woofs instead of yays and nays] ". "The Journal News". December 19, 2007.] The legislation prohibits pet stores from selling dogs bred in puppy mills, and was introduced alongside another bill which would impose stiffer penalties for those convicted of dog fighting. [" [ Animal Protection] ". " [ Ball for Assembly] ". Retrieved March 10, 2008.]

The Assemblyman has carried legislation to Albany for other constituents, including a measure in May 2008 known as "Hannah's Law" which ensures a Yorktown couple receives insurance coverage for the formula that keeps their three daughter alive, making it mandatory for insurers to cover formulas for patients with rare eosinophilic disorders, and removes the $2,500 annual caps imposed by insurance plans that pay for formula. [Elan, Susan. " [ 'Hannah's Law' would help allergic child] ". "The Journal News". May 19, 2008.]

to create "a regional warehouse of support and information for families raising children affected by Autism".

He has been involved in the fight to keep Pepsi Bottling Group in his district, after the company, which is Westchester County's second-largest employer announced it was considering relocating out of his district due to the tax burden it faces. [According to " [ Facts & Figures] " from the "New York State Taxpayers Union", New York's corporate tax structure is composed of a flat rate of 7.5% on all corporate income. Among states levying corporate income taxes, New York's rate ranks 21st highest. In 2004, New York's corporate tax collections were $106 per capita and ranked 14th highest nationally. New York also ranks 50th (worst) in the non-profit Tax Foundation's State Business Tax Climate Index. The Index compares the states in five areas of taxation that impact business: corporate taxes; individual income taxes; sales and gross receipts taxes; unemployment insurance taxes; and taxes on wealth, including residential and commercial property.] [Dumas, Bob. " [ Officials scramble to keep Pepsi in Somers] ". " [ North County News] ". January 23, 2008.] Driscoll, Eugene. " [ Danbury trying to woo Pepsi] ". "Danbury News-Times". February 13, 2008.] He told reporters that "Westchester County has become a nightmare for not only business owners, but property owners, because of the tax burden", but that he was "cautiously optimistic" they would remain in their Somers, New York headquarters.

Immigration issues

According to "The Journal News", one key to Ball's success was that his campaign identified the concern local voters cared most about: illegal immigration.West, Debra. " [ The Greg Ball effect: An anti-illegal alien strategy takes root and thrives] ". "The Journal News". August 12, 2007.] The "New York Sun" reported that Ball defines himself as a moderate on the immigration issue. [Garland, Sarah. " [ Immigration Foes Will Search for Common Ground at Conference] ". "New York Sun". May 30, 2008.] The Assemblyman has stated that America is a great nation because of its immigration population, and he supports legal immigration, and a fairer, and more open immigration policy with secure borders. Analysis based on 2008 estimates of the illegal immigrant population residing in New York indicates that population costs state taxpayers more than $5.1 billion per year for education, medical care and incarceration of these undocumented residents. [" [ Cost of Illegal Immigration to New Yorkers] ". "FAIR". Retrieved April 24, 2008.] [According to FAIR, a non-partisan, non-profit 501(c)(3) educational organization in the United States, the breakdown of the $5.1 billion in costs includes $4.3 billion annually one education for the children of illegal immigrants, $690 million in taxpayer funded, unreimbursed medical outlays for health care, and $165 million in incarcerating deportable illegal aliens in state and local prisons. The annual tax burden is approximately $874 per New York household. If revenues were raised by collecting sales, property and income taxes from illegal immigrants (an estimated $730 million), FAIR estimates that the net cost would still amount to more than $4.5 billion per year.] Ball claims that the economy penalizes legal immigrants, unfairly impacts law abiding business owners, and exploits illegal laborers.

". March 2, 2007.] He was at the forefront of the opposition to the plan, and his Statewide petition to stop it led to the Assembly Minority Conference's decision to sue the Governor to stop the plan. [" [ Assembly GOP to Sue Governor and Dept. of Motor Vehicles] ". " [ Westchester Times Tribune] ". October 4, 2007.]

The Assemblyman introduced a bill that authorizes local police to detain and begin the deportation process immediately for illegal immigrants caught committing a crime known as the New York State Criminal Illegal Alien Deportation and Legal Hiring Act, and also cosponsored a series of immigration bills that passed in the State Assembly to crack down on contractors breaking state labor laws such as prevailing wage and IRS tax form 1099 misclassification. [Matthews, Cara. " [ Debate continues on how to police illegal immigrants] ". "Press & Sun-Bulletin". May 23, 2008.] [Rojas, Marcela. " [ Proposed law bars Southeast contractors from hiring illegals] ". "Journal News". April 11, 2008.] [Anderson, Stacy A. " [ New bill regarding criminal illegal immigrants receives mixed response] ". "Journal News". April 20, 2008.] [Gross, Eric. " [ Ball's bill on illegal immigration divides public] ". " [ Putnam County Courier] ". April 24, 2008.] [Rae, Lea. " [ Greg Ball to announce enforcement bill] ". "Journal News". April 16, 2008.] The lawmaker has attempted to avert misconceptions about what he is trying to do, stressing that his bill's provisions require ICE to perform monthly searches of the state's registered sex-offender list to find criminal aliens, stating that "It's sad to watch some people turn a law-enforcement issue into an 'us- versus-them' argument. This is solely about focusing on the most violent criminal illegal aliens and making sure they're deported so they can't strike again in the state of New York." [Matthews, Cara. " [ Lawmakers want local police to help regulate illegal immigrants] ". "Democrat and Chronicle". May 25, 2008.]

In February 2008, Ball hosted a summit on the Immigration and Nationality Act Section 287(g) program for law enforcement and elected officials from New York, Connecticut and New Jersey, co-hosted by Jim Pendergraph, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Executive Director from the United States Department of Homeland Security Office of State and Local Coordination.Driscoll, Eugene. " [ N.Y. lawmaker wants ICE in jails] ". "Danbury News-Times". February 13, 2008.] He talked at length about the measure during a Fox News interview with Neil Cavuto. [cite episode
title = Assemblyman Ball on Neil Cavuto
url =
series = Your World with Neil Cavuto
network = "Fox News"
airdate = 2008-01-01
] The 287(g) partnership, created in 1996 under the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRAIRA), includes a five week training program on how to avoid racial profiling, and allows local law enforcement officers to work as ICE agents and file immigration violation charges, so that an illegal immigrant charged with crime in would have deportation papers filed immediately.Hughes, Jennifer. " [ Police Seek Help in Criminal Deportation] ". "New York Times". February 24, 2008.] Ball believes that correctional officers should receive immigration law enforcement training under the 287(g) program, and has promised to work with the ICE branch of the Department of Homeland Security by signing up counties which have their own correctional facility for the training.Gross, Eric. " [ Ball criticizes immigration law enforcement training for local police forces] ". " [ Putnam County Courier] ". February 21, 2008.] ["Pawling forum offers info on rape cases probe". "Poughkeepsie Journal". December 16, 2007.] Ball held another regional summit in April 2008. [Rae, Leah. " [ Brewster, Suffern pursue immigration enforcement role] ". "The Journal News". February 10, 2008.] [Rae, Leah. " [ Ball immigration bill opposed by state correction officials] ". "Journal News". April 19, 2008.] He emphasized that deporting nonviolent offenders before their sentence was up would save the state money. [Risinit, Mike. " [ Ball seeks to deport illegal immigrants convicted of crimes] ". "Journal News". April 18, 2008.]

in April 2008 that mandates implementation of the 287(g) program statewide. [Gadiel, Peter. " [ NY State Introduces Bill To Ban Sanctuary Cities & Require Enforcement Of Immigration] ". " [ Family Security Matters] ". April 24, 2008.]

Ball has worked to promote businesses that hire legal immigrant laborers, and has begun to create a database for usage on his campaign website.Risinit, Mike. " [ Move over, Yellow Pages] ". "The Journal News". April 25, 2007.] His campaign headquarters in Pawling, New York may have been targeted over the contentious issue, and was vandalized with swastikas in October 2006, although the person or persons responsible misspelled the word "Fascist" twice. ["GOP candidate is target of vandals". "Poughkeepsie Journal". November 2, 2006.] [Risinit, Mike. " [ Definitely a trick] ". "The Journal News". November 1, 2006.] An oft-quoted line from his campaign literature was that "Illegal Immigration is Illegal". [Applebome, Peter. " [ When an Election Becomes a Forum on Immigration] ". "New York Times". November 11, 2007.] [Risinit, Mike. " [ Assemblyman Ball discusses illegal immigration and public safety] ". "The Journal News". December 13, 2007.] He was named "Albany's most ardent supporter of legal immigration" when he was appointed State Chairman of the national immigration reform group State Legislators for Legal Immigration. [" [ Lawmakers for Legal Immigration] ". Retrieved March 23, 2008.] [" [ Ball Named States Chairman of National Legal Immigration Group] ". " [ Ball for Assembly] ". Retrieved on February 24, 2008.] [Rae, Leah. " [ Greg Ball joins national lawmakers against alien ‘invasion’] ". "The Journal News". February 14, 2008.] Yet Ball declined to speak at an anti illegal-immigration forum in Danbury, Connecticut sponsored by United States Citizens for Immigration Law Enforcement, calling the group's rhetoric "over the top." [Homayonpour, Marietta. " [ Should Danbury partner with ICE?] ". "Danbury News-Times". December 31, 2007.] [Risinit, Mike. " [ Not visiting Connecticut] ". "The Journal News". April 30, 2007.] [" [ United States Citizens for Immigration Law Enforcement] ". Retrieved March 23, 2008.]

In June 2008, Ball's campaign sent out an e-mail piece that quoted from a Government Accountability Office study on illegal aliens and crime, which alleged that 55,322 illegal alien respondents had been arrested a total of 459,614 times. A local journalist noted that the study linked in the e-mail pertained to prison inmates, and stated that 68% of the 46,023 convictions were for immigration-related crimes, followed by 21% for drug-related crimes and 11% for other offenses. [Rae, Leah. " [ Fact Check Greg Ball's Statistics on Illegal Aliens and Crime] ". "The Journal News". June 5, 2008.]

Energy and conservation

While his campaign has called for the widening of New York State Route 22 and completion of the Bear Mountain State Parkway, Ball has called attention to both the economic and environmental impact of the project, stating that "its a huge concern. It must be expanded. I am willing to work with the environmentalists and regional planners to get this project off the ground once and for all". [Gross, Eric. " [ Supervisor Rights criticizes DOT for detouring Route 22 expansion] ". " [ Putnam County Courier] ". March 6, 2008.] The Ball campaign has also focused on promoting energy conservation, calling fuel prices "out of control" and vowing to establish tax credits for usage and production of alternative fuels, establish a state energy planning board, and cut fuel costs by eliminating the state sales tax on gasoline and alternative fuels. [Berg, Weston. " [ Village Hall rally asks Congress to Step it Up] ". " [ Pawling News-Chronicle] ". April 20, 2007.] ["Report: Green bills do well in Legislature". "Poughkeepsie Journal". October 19, 2007.]

The Assemblyman supported Greasestock, an yearly event held in Yorktown to showcase clean renewable energy. [" [ Greasestock 2008] ". " [ Greasestock] ". Retrieved May 20, 2008.] [Max, Josh. " [ Gas-guzzlers become veggie delights at Greasestock in Yorktown Heights] ". "Daily News". May 13, 2008.] [" [ 2008: Alternative Fuel, Fun and French Fries] ". " [ Natural Awakenings] ". May 2008.] The event was founded in 2003 by individuals interested in vegetable powered vehicles. [Norman, Jim. " [ Where There’s Never an Oil Shortage] ". "New York Times". May 13, 2007.] The event now includes a number of alternative fuel exhibits, showcasing new green technologies for vehicles and other applications. [Tillman, Adriane. " [ Greasestock Festival returns, bigger and better] ". May 14, 2008.]

2008 election

". December 27, 2007.]

On March 17, 2008, Ball announced that he would be a candidate for reelection during an event at an Irish restaurant in Yorktown Heights, flanked by new Westchester GOP Chairman Douglas Colety, Putnam GOP Chairman Anthony Scannapieco, Jr., and Westchester County Executive candidate Rob Astorino. [" [ St. Patrick's Day Brunch] ". " [ Ball for Assembly] ". Retrieved on March 16, 2008.] [cite episode
title = Ball launches re-election
url =
series = Evening edition
credits = Tara Rosenblum, Anchor
network = "News 12 Networks Westchester"
station = N12WC
airdate = 2008-03-16
] Ball highlighted the fact that his campaign had received the most money and more contributions from individual donors then any other incumbent minority Assemblyman in the last quarter of 2007. [" [ A1887. New Yorkers on the Ball] ". "New York Board of Elections". January 2008.] In a speech to supporters, Ball stated that "I'm a maverick Republican. I came into this business from outside the political machine. That makes me a target for Albany insiders."" [ Top stories: Westchester assemblyman kicks off election campaign] ". "News 12 Networks". March 16, 2008.]

In early May 2008, John Degnan, the former Mayor of Brewster, New York, announced he would be mounting a challenge to the freshman Assemblyman. [Risinit, Michael. " [ Ex-mayor challenges 99th's Ball] ". "Poughkeepsie Journal". May 12, 2008.] The Republican Assembly Campaign Committee issued a press release on Degnan's candidacy, stating that "There is no question that, unlike his opponent – who just last year ran with the backing of the Democrat Party – Assemblyman Greg Ball is a true Republican who has kept his promises. Greg Ball has been, and continues to be, a recognized leader in the fight to fix Albany by supporting real property tax relief, fiscal responsibility and the types of comprehensive reforms needed to repair a broken state government." [" [ RACC’S GOT GREG BALL’S BACK] ". "New York State [ Republican Assembly Campaign Committee] ". May 19, 2008.] [Risinit, Michael. " [ Ball has a friend in RACC] ". "The Journal News". May 19, 2008.]

In the September 9th, 2008 primary, Ball was overwhelmingly reelected by a 3 to 1 margin amongst Republicans. [Risinit, Michael. " [ Ball primary win upends attacks, Leibell] ". "The Journal News". September 11, 2008.] [Gross, Eric. " [ Ball by a landslide] ". " [ Putnam County Courier] ". September 10, 2008.] [Moser, Anna Lillian. " [ Ball crushes Degnan] ". " [ North County News] ". [September 11] , 2008.] [Risinit, Michael and Rojas, Marcela. " [ GOP voters overwhelmingly go with Ball over Degnan] ". "The Journal News". September 9, 2008.] He will face Degnan, who has the Democratic nomination, in the general election. [Risinit, Michael. " [ Ball rolls over Degnan easily] ". "The Journal News". September 10, 2008.] [Gross, Eric. " [ It wasn't event close: Ball wins big in primary] ". " [ Pawling News Chronicle] ". September 10, 2008.] [" [ Ball beats Degnan easily, but tensions persist] ". News 12. September 10, 2008.] [" [ Ball easily survives Republican primary challenge] ". " [ Mid-Hudson News] ". September 10, 2008.] [Rojas, Marcela. " [ Ball defeats Degnan by 3-to-1 margin] ". "Poughkeepsie Journal". September 10, 2008.] [" [ Ball defeats Degnan, both live to fight another day] ". "News 12". September 9, 2008.]

Unfair campaign practices

On July 9, The Westchester Fair Campaign Practices Committee, a group of volunteer members of the League of Women Voters, met to review a mailer distributed by the Ball campaign following complaints by his opponent. The committee found that 10 of 12 claims submitted were misleading statements made in campaign literature published in newspapers and issued as a mailer in June about his opponent, John Degnan. [Chase, Kelly, " [ Committee says some of Ball's claims unfair] ". "North County News." July 17, 2008.] Ball's ex-campaign manager and former legislative aide Matt Neuringer appeared before Westchester County Fair Campaign Practices Committee on July 8, 2008 to defend against charges that Ball's campaign literature was written to intentionally mislead voters. The committee reviewed a dozen complaints filed by Degnan about a Ball mailer, including the mailer's assertion that Degnan is being "backed by the powerful and corrupt interests that want to unseat Greg Ball." When pressed to identify those "powerful and corrupt interests," Neuringer refused to name names. Neuringer also dismissed complaints that Ball was inflating his own record as insignificant; the mailer stated that Ball was named Legislator of the Year by the National Rifle Association, when in fact the designation was given by the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association, an affiliate. [Risnit, Michael. " [ Fairness committee reviews Ball mailer] ". "The Journal News". July 9, 2008.] Another complaint included the mailer's assertion that Degnan's idea to give foreign ID cards to illegal immigrants in Brewster was no different than former Governor Eliot Spitzer's proposal to give drivers licenses to illegal immigrants. Degnan stated that his proposal was "an overture for discussion," and was not the same as Spitzer's plan. [Risnit, Michael. " [ Fairness committee reviews Ball mailer] ". "The Journal News". July 9, 2008.]

Following the ruling, Ball contended that the committee was biased, since it contained one registered Republican, one Independent, and eight Democrats, and has made similar rulings against other Repbulicans in the past. [Chase, Kelly, " [ Committee says some of Ball's claims unfair] ". "North County News." July 17, 2008.] Despite the ruling, on July 10, Ball again sent copies of the misleading mailer to voters. [Chase, Kelly, " [ Committee says some of Ball's claims unfair] ". "North County News." July 17, 2008.]

T.P.O. controversy

On August 26, 2008, a local newspaper known as "The Putnam Times" published court documents surrounding the break up between Ball and a Washington, D.C. woman in 2003. Ball blamed his Democratic challenger John Degnan for hiring private investigators for the newspaper article. [" [ Westchester pol cries foul at alleged smear campaign] ". "News 12". August 26, 2008.] Ball stated both he and the woman both filed for orders of protection following the end of their relationship. In November of 2003, both Ball and the woman asked the court to dismiss their complaints against each other, which was done without determining whether what they claimed in their complaints was true, or just two people "venting after the messy breakup of a romantic relationship."Rojas, Marcela. [" [ Ball denies violating court order] ". "Poughkeepsie Journal". August 26, 2008.] Ball told "The Daily News" that "It was just a heartfelt breakup where both parties jointly requested a 'cooling off' period, and the entire matter was mutually dismissed. My life is an open book, and always has been." [Blain, Glenn. " [] ." "The Daily News". August 26, 2008.]

While "The Putnam Times", a local partisan paper, incorrectly reported that Ball violated the order of protection by following the woman to Israel on July 20th, "News Channel 12", a regional network, pointed out that order of protection was filed six days earlier on July 14th, and court records state Ball traveled to Israel on June 20th. ["News 12" reported that "In addition, Ball wants the FBI to step up an investigation of allegations he made last year, accusing Leibell of publishing a newspaper article, which incorrectly claimed Ball violated an order of protection brought by a former girlfriend after they broke up.] [ [ WC pol levels new charges against opponent] ". "News 12". September 3, 2008.] "The Poughkeepsie Journal" also later pointed out that there was never a criminal restraining order, and the documents printed by the "Times" was actually a temporary order of protection, which anyone can request.

mear campaign allegations

Following the revelations that Ball's ex-girlfriend filed for an order of protection against him in 2003, on September 3, 2008 the "Journal News" reported that Evelyn Perrault, former member of Ball's staff had accused him of sexually harassing her in a letter sent to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver detailing the incident. [" [ Former staff member says Ball sexually harassed her] ". "The Journal News." September 3, 2008.] "News 12" analyst Mike Edelman called the report "not credible," and many questioned the timing of the complaint, as the forme staff member waited a year to write the letter until a few days before the primary election. [Risinit, Mike. " [ Attacks, accusations build in primary battle] ". "The Journal News". September 7, 2008.] Dan Weiller, a spokesman for Assembly Majority Leader Sheldon Silver, would not acknowledge that the letter accusing Ball of harassment actually existed, although he said if it did, it would prompt an investigation by the counsel for the Assembly majority. [Risinit, Michael. " [ More on the sex harassment accusation in the 99th] ". "The Journal News". September 4, 2008.]

The previous day, Ball had released e-mails from from his former Chief of Staff, which stated that Perreault was ready to "go forward with a lawsuit and 'embellish' some of the details," calling the letter to Silver into question. [Risinit, Mike. " [ Ball alleges smear, denies harassment.] " "The Journal News". September 4, 2008.] Ball said the letter was part of a "smear campaign", and that the ex-Chief of Staff was a "mole" for State Senator Vincent Leibell, who was backing his primary opponent. Ball released a taped phone converstaion between the ex-Chief of Staff and a local political candidate, where his former deputy stated he was working for "the senate" to "neuter" Ball. [Risinit, Michael. " [ Former staff member says Ball sexually harassed her] ". "The Journal News". September 3, 2008.] Although at first, the ex-Chief of Staff denied working for the senate to "The Journal News", the next day, he admitted it in another article, but Senator Leibell denied any conspiracy.Risinit, Michael. " [ GOP primary candidates locked in bitter spat] ". "Poughkeepsie Journal". September 7, 2008.]

After Ball was easily reelected in the September primary, Degnan told "News 12" he would consider toning down his negative campaign.

Electoral history

Election box begin no party
title=New York State Assembly, 99th district, 2008 – Republican Primary]
Election box candidate no party with winner
winner = ✓
candidate = Greg Ball (I)
votes = 4,788
percentage = 73.1%
change =
Election box candidate no party with winner
winner =
candidate = John Degnan
votes = 1,762
percentage = 26.9%
change =
Election box turnout no party
votes =
percentage =
change =
Election box endElection box candidate with party link
party = Republican Party (US)
candidate = Greg Ball
votes = 20,956
percentage = 50.8%
change = Republican hold
Election box candidate with party link
party = Democratic Party (US)
candidate = Ken Harper
votes = 17,155
percentage = 41.4%
change =
Election box candidate
party = Independence, Conservative
candidate = Willis Stephens, Jr. (I)
votes = 3,228
percentage = 7.8%
change =
Election box begin no party
title=New York State Assembly, 99th district, 2006 – Republican Primary" [ September 12, 2006 Primary Vote Assembly Districts] ". " [ New York State Board of Elections] ". Retrieved on February 22, 2008.]
Election box candidate no party with winner
winner = ✓
candidate = Greg Ball
votes = 5,165
percentage = 70.4%
change = Challenger pickup
Election box candidate no party with winner
winner =
candidate = Willis Stephens, Jr. (I)
votes = 2,176
percentage = 29.6%
change =
Election box turnout no party
votes = 7,341
percentage =
change =
Election box end


External links

* [ Official Homepage: Assemblyman Greg Ball, 99th District of New York]
* [ Ball for Assembly Campaign Website]
* [ Campaign events for Assemblyman Greg Ball]
* [ Picasaweb Albums for Greg Ball]
* [ Center for the Study of the Presidency Fellows Publications]
* [ - Ball campaign website that encourages legal hiring pratices.]
* [ Project VoteSmart - Assemblymember Ball]
* [ League of Women Voters Smart Voter Guide: Greg Ball]

NAME = Ball, Greg
DATE OF BIRTH = September 16, 1977
PLACE OF BIRTH = Pawling, New York

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