Pataki Endorses Reformer Ball for Senate seat he Once Held;
Ball Calls on Kaplowitz to Return $313,341.97 in Tainted Funds
Former Governor George E. Pataki today endorsed Greg Ball for the New York State Senate during a joint news conference where the pair called for sweeping reforms in Albany to clean up the economic mess created by $14 billion in new taxes and to root out the corruption that has thrived under one-party Democrat rule.
“I am pleased to endorse Greg Ball for the Senate and know he will provide the leadership we need in Albany to cut taxes, create jobs and clean up our government. I represented this district, and continue to call it my home, and urge my friends and neighbors to make a proven reformer like Greg Ball our next State Senator,” Governor Pataki said.
“I am honored to stand here with the former Governor because it’s essential that we seize this opportunity to reverse the culture of corruption in Albany and start doing right by New York’s families. Governor Pataki was a steady hand in times of crisis, and he accepted the responsibility he had as Governor to lead New York, reduce taxes, and make our State a better place to live and work,” Ball said.
The pair spoke out about the need to restore checks and balances to Albany, which has recently been beset by scandal and corruption. Just yesterday, the Inspector General released an explosive report showing the extent of the corruption within the New York City-dominated Senate Democrat conference.
“The fact is that one-party rule doesn’t work, whether it’s in Albany or Washington, D.C. It’s critically important that we put Republicans back in charge of the State Senate so we have a voice here in the Hudson Valley. Greg Ball will be an advocate for change, and the outspoken leader we need,” Pataki said.
According to official documents, Ball’s opponent received more than $300,000 from the Democrat Senate Campaign Committee which is led by John Sampson, who was ripped in the Inspector General’s report for possible criminal activity.
“My opponent should give back every dime of the tainted money he received from the same Democrat leaders who are now being investigated by the United States Attorney’s Office for possible crimes. We can’t clean up Albany if we send the same old politicians there to represent us. I will fight like hell to stamp out corruption so New Yorkers can have faith in their government once again,” Ball said.
Pataki once held the same Senate seat Ball is now running for before winning three terms as the State’s chief executive. During his 12 years in office, the Governor cut billions in taxes, created record surpluses and put in place a number of budget and governmental reforms that increased transparency. He also was a champion for protecting the State’s cherished natural resources.
Pataki and Ball both grew up on family farms and came from working class roots in the Hudson Valley. The 40th Senate district includes Westchester, Dutchess and Putnam counties.
Inspector General’s Explosive Report Links Kaplowitz to $313,341.97 in Tainted Funds
Today, the State Inspector General released an explosive report, directly linking Legislator Kaplowitz to over $300,000 in tainted campaign contributions (Finance Report attached). Already, one Democrat Senate candidate, Joanne Yepsen, has vowed to return all contributions from the scandal-scarred leaders as has Eric Schneiderman, Democratic candidate for Attorney General.
The state Inspector General’s report said that Senate leaders John Sampson, Malcolm Smith and Eric Adams traded influence for campaign cash—money that’s being used to pay for “Tax Hike Mike’s” election. The I.G. plans to refer the case to prosecutors.
Striking in this report is the Kaplowitz-Schwartz connection. Indicating the close kinship between Kaplowitz and Schwartz, before Larry Schwartz headed to his 6-figure job in the Governor’s Office, where he was intimately involved with the Aqueduct Fiasco, Kaplowitz was the architect of a sweetheart payoff to give Schwartz, his friend who was also at that point a county employee, a $83k payout for unused sick and vacation leave.
“These leaders, including Westchester County Government’s own Larry Schwartz, form a growing list of ‘Tax Hike Mike’s’ friends, colleagues and supporters, who put themselves first, and taxpayers and voters last. The I.G.’s report highlights the pervasiveness of corruption in Albany, all the way up to the highest levels of Senate leadership, all individuals whom ‘Tax Hike Mike’ supports, and from whom he has accepted support in return. The buck stops squarely on Kaplowitz’s lap and it’s time for him to stand up and show the people how serious he is personally, and professionally, about ethics and reform,” said Ball.
“This type of activity demands the strongest condemnation by any candidate running for State Senate, candidates of every political stripe, as well as voters and taxpayers. As State Senator, I will arrive in Albany as the greatest nightmare of Albany’s dysfunctional status quo. I will never hesitate for one moment to stand up, regardless of political party loyalty, to do what’s right, and restore the public’s trust and confidence in their state government.”
In addition, the stunning revelations that Senate Democrat leaders refused to answer questions so they wouldn’t incriminate themselves in this investigation and gave answers that were at odds with the evidence, shows there are still more questions than answers. How long has Legislator Kaplowitz, with a personal and close connection to Larry Schwartz, had knowledge of the details about what his corrupt Albany backers were doing, and why did he not do anything to stop it? From August 13th until September 30th, Legislator Kaplowitz accepted $313,341.97 in tainted campaign transfers and contributions into his account.
The report shows the extent of the corruption and illegal activity by the Democrats who run the New York State Senate, the same leaders who have handpicked ‘Tax Hike Mike’. The IG’s report confirms that Senate Democrat leaders, top staff and others, including Malcolm Smith and John Sampson, took actions that showed “militant indifference” to the public interest, leaked confidential information and accepted hundreds of thousands in campaign contributions from those who were seeking to influence the process.
Ball said early this morning:
“Several months ago, the ‘Hand of Albany’ came down and picked my opponent. That ‘Hand of Albany Insiders’ did not pick my opponent for his independence or his willingness to shake things up. That hand, the hand of Senators Smith and Sampson tapped ‘Tax Hike Mike’ on his shoulder for one thing: to maintain the status quo, a status quo in the wasteland of Albany where the insiders supporting my taxing- and spending-addicted opponent have turned shifting around large sums of money into a professional sport. Today we find out that the Inspector General has issued a report linking Kaplowitz to over $313,341.97 in tainted campaign transfers. And just like the Democratic candidate for Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman did, ‘Tax Hike Mike’ needs to stand up for ethics and reform and the law and return that money, today.”
Just last week, the Ball Campaign exposed a taxpayer funded pay-off scandal involving “Tax Hike Mike” and Doc Cavallo. According to publicly available records, Westchester’s Independence Party Chairman Giulio Cavallo landed a $55,000 per year “no-show” job with the State Senate Democratic Committee in return for delivering “Tax Hike Mike” the Independence line. Kaplowitz was asked to join Assemblyman Ball in asking for an full investigation of this matter, yet Legislator Kaplowitz refused to do so.
In the wake of this new report, directly linking “Tax Hike Mike” to one of the largest scandals in New York State history, and proving the old maxim that “absolute power corrupts absolutely”, Kaplowitz must follow the lead of a handful of his colleagues who have immediately returned the toxic funds. Some candidates with tainted funds in their accounts, like Democratic State Senator Eric Schneiderman, running for Attorney General, have returned these tainted assets. In fact, Democrat Eric Schneiderman immediately announced that he was returning $76,000 in campaign donations from the Senators mentioned in the report “to avoid even an appearance of conflict.” Today, the Ball campaign calls on Legislator Kaplowitz to do the same. Immediately.
“These assets are tainted and smell of impropriety, and just as other candidates of his same party are now standing up ethically and returning the money, I demand that Legislator Kaplowitz must do so as well. It is now public knowledge that these findings have been referred to the United States Attorney’s Office and the New York District Attorney so criminal charges can be considered, and they should conduct a full and thorough investigation. This is exactly why we need term limits, a proposal my opponent does not support. This is exactly why we must outlaw all outside income for legislators, another proposal my opponent refuses to support. And this is why we need real teeth and enforcement power for ethics and campaign violations, so we can kill the culture of incumbency, incompetency and corruption in Albany that is running our state into the ground. It’s time for ‘Tax Hike Mike’ to sign the pledge demanding an investigation into the $55,000 no show job, and to immediately return the $300 thousand dollars in toxic and tainted campaign funds.”