August 31, 2010 -
At a Rally outside the Historic Putnam County Courthouse, site of Assemblyman Greg Ball’s April 15 Tax Revolt Rally that shut down Carmel and the original 2008 Tax Revolt against County Executive Bob Bondi’s Property Tax Hike, dozens of Tea Party Patriots gathered along with 2nd Amendment advocates, Right-To-Life advocates, and Taxpayer Watchdog Groups to announce their support and endorsement for Assemblyman Greg Ball’s campaign for State Senate, as well as Dr. Steve Katz’s campaign for Assembly.
Though the groups all focus on different issues, they represent a singular message of Core Republicans and Conservatives, a message that was delivered by Bill Bongiorno of Lewisboro, an active Tea Party leader. Ball’s campaign announced the official endorsements of the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association, as well as the Putnam County Fish & Game Political Action Committee. Ball’s campaign also unveiled the endorsement of Westchester-Putnam Right To Life Committee, Northern Westchester Rifle Association, Deer and Elk Farmers of New York, Westchester Bowhunters Association, and the National Rifle Association.
“The Tea Party is the lobby for We the People,” Bongiorno said in his endorsement of the candidates. “I am a member of the disenfranchised. I couldn’t get a call back from Congressman John Hall, or a meeting. Nobody was interested in my opinion about the Health Care Bill. We have elitists in Washington and in Albany who are only interested in putting money in their pockets, making deals with lobbyists.”
“Today, we are unveiling grass roots endorsements from individuals who represent the core of the Republican Party,” Ball said. “All of our opponents have the endorsement of the Albany Insiders, and the local political machine. I just want people to think very clearly, when the hand of Albany, or the hand of the local political machine, reaches down to pick the candidates, does that hand pick that candidate for their independence or willingness to shake things up? The insiders pick candidates because they know that candidate will be a follower and preserve the status quo. Well we stand here to end the status quo.”
“I plan to go to Albany to represent people like myself, disaffected tax payers beleaguered by overtaxation and overrepresentation,” Katz said. “I have had enough of it, and that’s why I’m running. I’ve had a ringside seat at the circus of the endorsement process, and Ii can promise you the insiders have endorsed their candidates for no reason other than to maintain the status quo and maintain their own power.”
“I am a working mom,” Odell said. “I was raised in a middle class family. I live here in the center of Putnam County and I get up every day like my friends and neighbors, go to work, pay the bulk rate, and all we get is insider politics pushing us around. I’m proud to stand here today with Greg Ball and with Dr. Katz, and I hope that the voters will recognize the intensity and the importance of what September 14 means for us as New Yorkers and as residents of Putnam County.”
“If we do not take New York back this time we can forget about it,” said Andree Monroe of Garrison. “While carrying petitions for non-endorsed and endorsed Republicans, I really got a chance to get out and speak with the public. One of the common concerns was, what can I do as one person? Well, it’s not one person–it’s united we stand, and divided we will fall.”
“So many people aren’t going to vote by party anymore,” said Bob Davidson, Vice Chairman of Pawling’s Conservative Party. “We’re not going to be dictated by party leaders. We’re not puppets on a string. I’m no Howdy Doodie. I want to know ‘How Do They Do It?,’ how do they spend their time in their elected positions? And that’s how I decide my vote. Tell all your friends, Stop, Look, Listen. Stop this insanity of the ever growing government, look at these candidates and look at their record over a long period, and listen to fresh voices.”
“September 14th will be the second American revolution at the ballot boxes,” Tea Party activist Bill Bongiorno said. “Greg Ball is a populist. He wins by populist votes. He has never been backed by any party. That’s the kind of person we want, and we must go around the party machines to get a person like him. “
“I’m a Republican,” said Ed Ciffone of the United Taxpayers of Yorktown. “Nick DiTomaso, who is standing here, is a Democrat. We’re an organization of non-partisan people who vote for the best candidate. and the reason we vote for them is they’re the same people as we are. That’s why we support Greg Ball.”
Despite not receiving the endorsement of any party, Greg Ball collected nearly 4,000 signatures–nearly 3 times the required amount–to force a Primary for both the Republican and Conservative nominations. In May, Ball criticized the illegal process by which the Republican Party endorsed its candidate. Today, Bob Davidson, a former Vice Chairman of the Pawling Conservative Committee, described a similar Conservative process.
“I have been the vice chairman of the pawling conservative party. i saw what happened without a caucus, without consulting any of us, where we’re all of a sudden given a new candidate. All of a sudden we have people running for office talking about their record over the last two years. I want to go back the last four years in office, and for every one of our questions, there we will find an answer. We have to stop sitting on the sidelines, carry the ball, and make this thing happen. We Conservatives have to get out on September 14th, write in the name “Greg Ball,” fill in that little dot if you have an absentee ballot, and please tell all your friends to do the same,” Davidson said.