Downstate Update: Greg Ball’s Opening Volley (SD-40)


The Tea Party often pays lip service to the benefits of giving back power to local communities.  But what happens when a community uses that power to do something the Tea Party doesn’t like?

Thanks to Senator Greg Ball, we now have an answer: they go nuts.

Instead of using his office to deal with the many grave issues facing New York State, Greg Ball has attacked his own constituents in the town of Phillipstown to demonstrate his fealty to the gun lobby and his tea party base.   Ball began his latest crusade after the town board modestly proposed banning concealed guns from town buildings.  The ban was proposed in response to an incident that took place less than a week after the Arizona shooting at a January town forum in Phillipstown where a man criticized the Town Board and added that he was “packing.”

Ball, in true Tea Party fashion joined with the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association (NYSRPA), an affiliate of the National Rifle Association (NRA), to intervene in a local matter and intimidate his constituents with a rally outside Town Hall on Thursday.  To make this spectacle all the more outrageous, Ball and his fellow travelers chose to rally for the “right” of gun-toting fanatics to deter public participation and bully their fellow citizens the same week that the state capitol was inundated with e-mails threatening to “pull a Gabby Giffords.”

The planned Astroturf Ball/Tea Party/NRA rally had been promoted aggressively to attract ideologues from around the state, many outside of Ball’s district (the Orange-Sullivan Tea Party openly recruited for the rally, as well as the responsible citizens at AR15.Com/AK47.Net) and outside of Phillipstown in an attempt to pressure the board.  Greg Ball, for his part, sent out the predictably inflammatory mailer above.

Carl Paladino was widely ridiculed for threatening to clean up Albany with a baseball bat.  Greg Ball, apparently, has decided that the thuggery of Paladino was too tame and has opted for weapons of a higher caliber.