Eliot’s on the phone. . .


Gov. Eliot Spitzer called Assemblyman Greg Ball today to chew over the <a href=”http://www.thejournalnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070209/NEWS01/702090392/1026/NEWS10″ target=”_blank”>remarks</a> Ball made Wednesday afternoon during the comptroller vote. A spokeswoman for Spitzer said the governor did indeed give Ball a ring.

Ball, R-Carmel, stood up and told his colleagues they were “the most dysfunctional Legislature in the United States of America.â€? The freshman lawmaker was scolding them for voting for Thomas DiNapoli to be state comptroller. Spitzer wanted the Legislature to select from among three candidates recommended by a bipartisan panel. Ball did, going with New York City Finance Commissioner Martha Stark. A link to a video clip can be found in this <a href=”http://polhudson.lohudblogs.com/2007/02/08/ball-the-movie-or-at-least-a-clip/” target=”_blank”>post</a>.
In doing so, he also told the legislators gathered for the joint session that they had violated the public’s trust. His two minutes or so earned him boos, catcalls and shouts to resign.

Spitzer, Ball said, spent about five minutes on the phone with him. Ball said the governor jokingly questioned his presence in the chamber, wondering if he was old enough to be there and maybe he should’ve been in high school. Ball is 29.

“I just told him he has my full support,� Ball said.


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  1. Interesting. Greg Ball is certainly making an impact. Eliot Spitzer is doing a good thing by reaching out to like-minded reformers. To all those who said Greg Ball should not have made this speech because he was going to alienate his colleague’s, it looks as though Greg has made at least one friend, a much more powerful friend.

  2. Ball’s liberal detractors don’t have the intellectual honesty to admit that what Ball accomplished is a victory for his district. They are too set in the ways of the past to understand how politics works now. Hopefully, they all crumble – just like that dinosaur Sheldon Silver.

  3. Can we stop fawning over Ball for just one minute to realize the truth about what really happened? Greg got up and gave a speech similar to many speeches I have heard on the floor of the Assembly many times from names like Tedisco, Barraga, Stephens and Kirwan (All Assembly Republicans) to name a few. The only reason Ball made headlines is because a few morons booed at him. The reality is Spitzer’s candidate was nominated on the floor. Her name was in play for anyone to vote for. And about 55 people other than Ball also voted for her. She didn’t win. What exactly is the gripe here? Because she didn’t win enough votes? It happens. Time and time again. In my opinion, this is just another moment of Ball looking to get his name in the paper. And he got lucky that a few stupid people heckled him. If no one had booed, no one would have blinked an eye at Ball or his speech because it’s all be said before. Obviously not in the specifics of electing a statewide official. But Ball swore to uphold the constitution of the state of NY. The constitution fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your opinion, gives that power to the Legislature. But Spitzer got his chance – Martha Stark was nominated. Instead of focusing on getting his name in the news, perhaps Ball could focus on getting his name on pieces of legislation that he promised he would introduce and fight for in the Assembly – including the famed “Ball plan for School Property Tax relief” and Illegal immigration. Perhaps if he got up and railed about getting important legislation onto the floor of the Assembly, I would stand up and applaud. But here it is almost 6 weeks into his term and he doesn’t have one single piece of legislation introduced. At the end of the day, that is what Ball’s constituency needs. The Legislature is indeed dysfunctional and reform is important, but I really don’t think all this hoopla is necessary over a few boos and calling the Legislature the most dysfunctional in the nation. Get to work on legislation Greg, then maybe I will applaud you too. Until then, I will just sit back and try and ignore all the smoke and mirrors of a pr campaign that has nothing to do with improving the quality of life in the communities you represent.

  4. At least one Assemblyman from the area has some guts. Looks like George Latimer is, in Eliot Spitzer’s words, someone “who just raises his hand when he’s told to do so” by the political bosses. All talk when it comes to reform but no spine, none!

  5. Let’s face it. These yahoos up there in Albany spend all their time taxing the lungs out of the people, and then having cocktails to congratulate themselves. Even the cocktails are on us. They have the best health care available (for themselves) while everyone else can wander around in a maze of confusion and worry. They call themselves “public servants”, but what “servants” have all these lulus, lucrative extra committee income, fancy clothes, cars, and credit cards attached to the public pocket? How is it that they all seem to be rather well-to-do, especially the ones who stay there on and on? Servants? They spend their time passing laws about ipods in crosswalks, then they go do dinner. And not at the diner! It’s almost beyond belief.

  6. Tessa, Tessa, Tessa….stop spinning and start paying attention.
    Spitzer, Sheldon Silver and Bruno agreed to a process. The process was that an independent non partisan commission would select up to 5 nominees for comptroller for the legislature to choose from.
    What Ball and others objected to was Sheldon Silver & Bruno welching on the deal they made with Spitzer. The original deal was made in the spirit of reforming the way NYS operates. Unfortunately, Silver & Bruno just couldn’t help themselves and had to return to their old, despicable ways.
    Stop spinning and start thinking. And applaud people like Greg Ball while you’re at it.

  7. My boyfriend? Uh, ok. Except I’m married. And have been for 15 years. But way to be a typical Ball supporter “Joe Torre.” Don’t look at the issue, don’t answer the tough question, just throw out ridiculous claims that make no sense.
    Ball is nothing more than a loud mouth who set about with an ambitious agenda to lower taxes and throw out the illegals. I just want to know if now that we have gotten all the kudos out of the way, if he could settle down and actually focus on those items. Because if he accomplishes that, I will become Greg Ball’s biggest supporter, both financially and from a volunteer standpoint in 2 years when he runs for Congress, since that appears what he is more interested in.
    For now, if getting booed on the floor of the Assembly does it for you guys, then you got what you wanted from Greg. In the meantime, I’ll wait for something of substance that actually impacts my life and the life of my children.

  8. Greg Ball, the newbie of the hour, exaggerated his last name by falsely seeking honor while hiding in a block-voting of his own. Last I checked, he didn’t blaze a trial of fiery independence and vote for Bill Mulrow, the only candidate that had actually run for the spot 4 years ago and well deserved at least some votes! There is no fraud worse than phony honor, phony integrity or phony reform. Greg Ball needs to re-read the Declaration of Independence where “sacred honor� was more prized than life, liberty and property, and eat a slice of humble pie for he rides a horse that doesn’t exist.

  9. ravi doesn’t seem to get it..the point was that ball did
    not vote for the choice of the majority in the state
    assembly..who he voted for is far less important than
    the fact that he thumbed his nose at the democratic
    leader and his politics as usual style of doing business
    but you wouldn’t know about that having come from the
    brooklyn democratic machine which is now under investigation
    for selling judgeships..have you been subpoenaed….????

  10. Edelman is right. It should come as no surprise that Ravi Batra is attacking a solid reformer such as Greg Ball. After all, Batra is no stranger to the dirty side of politics.

    Ravi Batra is good friends with disgraced assemblyman Clarence Norman, Jr. and he pressured Westchester elections commissioner and Democratic chairman Reginald Lafayette into giving his unqualified son a job over at the board of elections. Not to mention the slime he’s represented in court over the years, Batra is certainly not the first person that would stand up and applaud the actions of someone like Ball. In fact, had Batra been in the chamber while Ball was making his speech he probably would have been one of the hecklers. But he wasn’t there and so a couple of his closest friends did all the booing for him.

    Greg Ball is to be praised for what he did. Standing up and telling the legislature what they needed to hear was not something that could have been done by a weak individual. That’s something Mr. Batra should have thought about before he caved into the weakness of his itchy typing finger.

  11. Dominic J. Bucelli on

    I think Ravi Batras is just jealous of Greg Ball. I google-searched Batras and he does not seem like someone in a position to talk about cleaning up corruption. I didn’t vote for Greg Ball because I live in Tuckahoe but my wife and I are waiting for the opportunity to vote for a Greg Ball-like candidate over here. I don’t understand why anyone (except those who have something to lose) would be opposed to Greg Ball wanting to work with Gov. Spitzer to reform this state. That speech that he made was one of the most amazing things I have ever seen, it may sound corny but it made me think that there still may be hope for our state.

  12. What nonsense–Greg Ball, one of the few articulate legislators (have you really ever listened to either Bruno or Silver) is lambasted for, for once, calling like it is. The whole crowd of cronies of both parties booing a young good looking well spoken clean man. Can you imagine the phone calls of the lobbyists (who run the place).


  13. proudtobeindependent on

    Doing the right thing isn’t limited to Democrats or Republicans. This time Greg Ball did the right thing, good for him. Once he gets a few more weeks under his belt, hopefully he will do some more good things. He is certainly off on the right foot. Let’s hope he doesn’t get a big head and lose his hunger for reform.

  14. My comments about Greg Ball above, standing alone, are much harsher than I intended. My complete comment is posted in response to Richard Brodsky’s answers to The Journal News.

    In fact, had Greg voted for a candidate of his choice rather than in a voting bloc of his own, I would have joined the happy chorus of folks struck by a 29 year old with a backbone blazing a trial all his own, albeit, the legislative branch, by its constitutional design, acts best in a 2-party voting bloc when working with a unitary executive.

    Since my stand-alone comments here do seem harsher, I will answer the questions posed as penance:
    1. Consultant- No, I disagree; it matters that he voted in a bloc of his own while denigrating others for doing same. (Hopefully, that improper finger-pointing is merely youthful exuberance.) No, I have not been subpoenaed in the recent investigation. However, as any lawyer, I am ethically bound to assist the self-policing function of our profession, and do.

    2. JC- your first point I have answered. I am quite thankful to Reggie for having my son intern for him while in college, and then have a summer job; I think it helps to have our children have a work ethic as well as learn the reality while majoring in college on the same topic. I disagree that it takes strength to hide in a voting-bloc. Governor Spitzer is quite right in his wonderment of Greg’s age and being a member of the assembly.

    3. Dominic J. Bucelli-is absolutely correct. I am so very jealous of Greg Ball’s full head of hair. As to his accomplishment of being elected to the Assembly at his tender age, I’m impressed. I, in fact, think that Governor Spitzer has brought a Jack Kennedy-type excitement to New York, and maybe, as a result Camelot could come to New York.

    4. Rick- Since your comments echo Dominic’s, I have responded above.

    Question: why does JC refer to “consultant� as Edelman as in Mike Edelman? If so, then I understand the consultant-comment better given his tremendous political capabilities and nexus to untainted honor and integrity!

  15. The real Greg Ball can be seen in this video that the Journal News has a link to. Greg Ball threatens a person in his district and then asks the man if he was molested when he was a child. Greg Ball sounds like a man who man have two sides, he concerns me, Greg is not who and what you see.

    The 2 minute tape can be seen at the following website.


  16. Way to dredge up old news Mr. Ron Santana. Greg Ball has apologized, repeatedly, for making those comments and for stooping down to the level of the instigator Bob Buckley (the man who taped the exchange). At the time of this incident, Mr. Ball claimed that Bob Buckley was intimidating campaign volunteers outside of the Mahopac library prior to a debate. Having lived in Brewster for over 14 years and being involved in politics I know Bob Buckley and I know that he is quite the bully. Of course, that does not excuse Mr. Ball’s reaction to him. I did see Bob Buckley out campaigning for Sen. Vinnie Leibell for the general election and noticed how nasty he was to one of Mike Kaplowitz’s volunteers for simply handing out brochures. Unfortunatley, this tape is cut-up and so we’ll never know the full story of what Mr. Buckley did and/or said to Mr. Ball to provoke such a reaction. Nonetheless, this is old news and your attempt to make it anything more is pathetic, at best.



  18. Apparently you do know know Mr. Buckley, I have never seen him drink and I do see him at many functions. Ball and his cohorts will lie and create situations that fit their needs and then cry wolf. Whatever happened to Ball’s campaign office being broken into? Was that another staged act on Ball’s part? Greg Ball is not the person some believe he is. Given time, Greg’s will true colors will surface for the public to see.

    Greg will make some noise and get some press, but at the end of the day, he will be judged on what he has done for his district or what he has not done because he was unable to deliver for the district he represents.

  19. There is only one way to reform NYS’s government: It is for individual legislators (in the majority of each house) to agree to reform, and then to speak up and stand up to the leadership. It can, and does, happen. In fact, that is why we now have Tom DiNapoli. (Shelly wasn’t the only one who felt like he got stiffed.) I would have been more impressed with Greg Ball if he was in the Assembly majority. I applaud him, but it’s true that had nothing to lose giving that speech.

  20. Michael Linder on

    These old eyes have never seen an honest politician until they saw Gregg Ball at a parade in Mahopac. The time and attention he gave me showed that he cared about what he was doing. He spoke with conviction and when I saw this speech on News channel 12 I saw that same Gregg Ball going after the corrupters in Albany.

    God Bless Gregg Ball!

  21. to mr batra…the mere fact that you could argue
    that a man with no financial experience who doesnt
    know a hedge fund from a mutual fund, could be
    put in charge of 145 billion dollar pension is
    testment to the hypocracy of the new york state
    democratic party in that they have been throwing
    darts at the republicans for years based on
    favoritism, halliburton etc..which I don;t necessarily
    disagree with . However when it came their time to
    select a comptroller that the public could have
    confidence in, they instead chose to reject three highly
    qualified candidates, candidates that the assembly
    originally agreed to select from, and chose to hide
    behind their “constitutional” authority to break their
    word, pick a political hack, and undermine the
    confidence of the public..all because shelly silver
    wants to mark his territory….In the end however,
    Mr. Batra, your new shiny governor Elliot the Good
    will shove it up Shelly’s tookis (sp)..by getting
    two or more republicans in the Senate to switch and
    getting the senate to agree to the reforms he
    wants and to remove the speaker..you can take
    that prediction to the bank…preferably banco popular!

  22. With Governor Eliot Spitzer came Jack Kennedy-like energized air, and hence, Camelot seemed on the horizon. I would love to have New York become Camelot, and Governor Spitzer can usher it in to a happy State.

    Your example of Haliburton doesn’t work, as Tom DiNapoli was only voted “up” with overwhelming support from both Democrats and Republicans. Even lacking that, Haliburton couldn’t pass Tom DiNapoli’s clean-life test. Haliburton is however lucky to have able leadership capable of navigating profits in a war that ships home precious body bags that had so much more life, love and promise left.

    What we all welcome is for New York to be better and a shining example across our great land. Call it reform; call it what you will; so long as honesty, merit and the rule of law are celebrated, all of us win!

    Oh, and Mike, I’m a fan of your views and insights…


  23. Judging state legislators on how they deliver for their districts is part of the dysfunction.

    They are supposed to set public policy that applies uniformly across the entire state.

    Too many state laws apply just to certain regions of NYS.

    Go to http://www.assembly.state.ny.us/leg .
    Click on “New York State Laws” at the right side.
    Type your favorite upstate county name into the search box.
    Pick an obscure title from the search results.

    In the search details, you will find too many instances of:
    “In the counties, cities, towns and villages of Favorable,
    Unfavorable and No Opinion …”

    That’s not right.

  24. Runs from it now... on

    Spitzer, Ball said, spent about five minutes on the phone with him.

    I just told him he has my full support Ball said.

  25. Somers Republican on

    Probably rehashing this old stuff to show that after one and one-half years…Ball is still making the same empty promises….and he is just like Spitzer….what is the saying that great minds think alike? Ball better watch out with the power hungry personality….look what it did for Spitzer.

  26. the consultant on

    greg appears to have the support of the leadership of
    the republican side of the assembly..if they like him
    what is the problem ..clearly there is not a lot a member
    of the minority can do with silver as the leader..

  27. ball is the consummate do-nothing politician. just alot of smoke and mirrors and power thirsty ambition. i agree with ‘somers republican’, there are many parallels with ball and spitzer. to start, they’re both egomaniacs. and, mike aka ‘the consultant’ don’t be so sure that the republicans in the assembly all support ball. someone should dial up republican assemblymen joel miller, bob oaks or joe giglio (just to name a few) and see what they think of him… i’d bet a pretty penny they wouldn’t speak of their college in such glowing terms…

  28. Joel Miller is an ultra liberal republican, worse then Howard Mills. I don’t know about the other two but I can’t imagine Miller speaking well about most of the Assembly Republicans, especially Ball, Tedisco, and Amedore, who are ultra conservative.

  29. the problem is that the republican conference doesn’t take a vote before tedisco opens his mouth to speak on behalf on them. if that were the case, ball would never have seen tedisco in his district and racc would be silent on this primary. for whatever reason, tedisco has decided to make ball a shining example of the assembly republicans and gives them all a bad rap in the process…

  30. fyi, miller is a moderate guy, not liberal and he is the consummate go to guy in albany to get things done for his constituents and the people of new york.

    you can’t even compare ball to miller. one is an egotistical self-promoter with neanderthal views and the other is a true statesman who gets the job done…