To The Editor:
This year, I took time from my business and my money and invested both in the campaign for Justin Wagner for State Senate. Although I like Mr. Wagner and I have high hopes for his useful career as a State Senator, I must admit that my main motivation is my complete dissatisfaction with our current State Senator, Greg Ball.
For quite some time now, I have felt that Senator Ball is not the man I want representing the Hudson Valley. He seems to be a bully who cares more about his ownambitions than serving the needs of his constituents.
It is no secret that Greg Ball is a dyed in the wool Republican who seems to vote the straight conservative line, nomatter what the cost to his constituents. In fact, various sources on the Internet report that he has been named the mostextreme Republican in the State Senator for two years in a row. And the Republican Party definitely seems to be view him as astrong partisan. Why else would I have a glossy expensive mailer arriving in my mailbox, every afternoon, for the past month onwhich is printed “Paid for by the New York State Republican State Committee?”
The first reason I am working against Greg Ball (and the most important to me) has to do with his opposition to the proposed health insurance exchange proposed by Governor Cuomo. This insurance exchange would bring New York intocompliance with the Affordable Care Act and allow New York to access the necessary federal funds alloted.
As the NY Times pointed out “With 2.6 million (my emphasis) uninsured residents, a popular Democratic governor and tens of millions of federal dollars at stake, New York would seem to be one of the least likely states to join a growing revolt in the nation’s capitals against facilitating a federal overhaul of health care. (NY Times, Thomas Kaplan, Sept. 11, 2011).
However, in that same article,Senator Ball is described as follows: “State Senator Gregory R. Ball of Putnam County described his resistance as his duty as a Republican . . . ‘I would fight very vociferously to make sure that we’re not seen as implementing and expediting Obamacare,” Mr. Ball said.
And then, noting hopefully that President Obama could lose his re-election bid to a Republican who opposes thehealth care overhaul, he added, “We could be looking at a change of administrations.’”
Really?! His duty as a Republican?! What about his duty to his uninsured constituents - a group whose numbercontinues to grow as the economy limps along -who would benefit from this program?
When I was in my 20s, I worked for a collection agency that collected overdue bills for hospitals and doctor’s offices. I twas my job to call people and dun them to pay their medical bills. Over and over, I heard horror stories about people who had no health insurance because of job loss or pre-existing conditions or simply being unable to find anything in the marketplace they could afford.
The truth is, in this country, we have a broken health provision system which forces people into bankruptcy in order to save their own lives. This is morally unacceptable. I wish the Affordable Care Act was stronger, frankly, but for Senator Ballto reject the benefits of this Act on behalf of his constituents - simply for reasons of political loyalty - is appalling.
The second reason Senator Ball has caused my blood pressure to rise this year is his method of campaigning. I called Senator Ball a “bully” because he engages in what I can safely call “bully politics.” It is a method of campaigning that stoops to the very lowest and most vulgar level imaginable.
Senator Ball engages in name calling, devious statements and outright lies. He has done this throughout his career and every time it appears to work, he seems to be encouraged to become even worse. Ifwe let Senator Ball win, using these tactics, we are condoning the same type of nasty partisan politics which is slowly bringingour state and national governments to a grinding halt.
I cannot believe that the people of the Hudson Valley – educated, intelligent, thinking and compassionate people –would want to be represented by this man. Senator Ball seems to have forgotten President Kennedy’s message. Kennedy said “Ask now what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country!”
Senator Ball’s version of this appearsto be “Ask not what I can do for my constituents – ask how I can use my constituents to further my own ambitions.”
We need a change. We need a proper representative for the Hudson Valley. Vote out Senator Ball and vote in JustinWagner – a man who will work for his constituents – rather than expecting them to work for him.