The Record-Review – The official newspaper of Bedford and Pound Ridge, New York


Greg Ball questioned on torture tweet

Greg Ball on Piers Morgan, responding to questions about a controversial tweet.

On Monday night, Greg Ball appeared on Piers Morgan’s CNN broadcast. He was there to answer questions about a post he had tweeted the week of the Boston Marathon bombing.

Mr. Morgan asked Mr. Ball about his tweet, “So, scum bag #2 in custody. Who wouldn’t use torture on this punk to save more lives?”

“A lot of politicians are full of crap, scared of their own shadows and to say what they feel,” replied Mr. Ball. “I think that I share the feelings of a lot of red-blooded Americans who believe that if we can save even one innocent American life, including we’ve seen the killing of children, that they would use — and this is just for me — that they would use every tool at their disposal to do so.”

The conversation got heated in its three-minute span. “How you going to torture him?” Mr. Morgan asked.

“I mean, dude, you’re talking to a guy that supports death penalty for cop killers, terrorists,” said Mr. Ball.

“Yes, but how would you torture him?”

At one point during the discussion Mr. Ball sought to turn the tables on Mr. Morgan. “Before Osama bin Laden was shot, if you had 30 minutes in the room, what would you do? Would you play cards with Osama bin Laden? What would you do?”

“Let me put this to you —”

“No. You answer this,” Mr. Ball said. “If you met this scumbag —”

“I’m actually doing the interview, though,” Mr. Morgan said. “Will you stop being such a jerk?”

“Because you don’t like it when you don’t have another bobblehead that you can beat up and treat like a coward?” demanded Mr. Ball. “The reality is these men killed innocent men, women and children.”

On his Facebook page the next day, Mr. Ball reported that Mr. Morgan refused to shake his hand as he left the studio, and he called Mr. Morgan a “snake.”

On Fox News on Monday, Mr. Ball encountered a more welcoming interviewer. “Were you surprised people responded to it?” asked Gretchen Carlson, referring to his tweet.

Mr. Ball reiterated his advocacy of torture to save lives. “And I would be first in line,” he said. “This is how I feel.”

“I think a lot of people respect your candor, though they may not agree with you,” Ms. Carlson replied.

Mr. Ball was first elected to office in 2007, serving in the New York State Assembly’s 99th District until 2010, when he ran for New York State Senate against Michael Kaplowitz in the 40th District. In 2012 he ran again in the 40th District, whose boundaries were changed this year. The 40th New York State Senate District includes Pound Ridge, along with Mount Pleasant, New Castle, Mount Kisco, Cortlandt, Yorktown, Somers, Lewisboro, North Salem, Carmel, Southeast, Patterson, Pawling and Beekman. The district formerly included Bedford, now part of the 37th District, which is being represented by Democrat George Latimer.

Locally, in Pound Ridge, former Republican Town Committee chairman Frank Sisti and John Sauro, former chairman of the Northern Westchester Tea Party, each said they had no comment on the episode or the tweet.

“When I first saw it I was a little surprised, but knowing Greg, he is the type of guy, good or bad, he shoots from the hip, he says what he thinks,” said the current chairman of the Republican Town Committee, Joe Zaino. “It probably wasn’t the most appropriate statement, but I do like the fact that he stood by his comments. He didn’t try to backpedal like a lot of politicians would have. “

Mr. Zaino said he did not see the comments live, but watched a clip of the segment. “He said something controversial, whether you like it or don’t like it,” he said. “He was basically speaking for himself as a person and not speaking as a government official. He was speaking as an angry person about the situation.”

“Again, it might not have been the most appropriate statement, but I admire the fact that he knows what he said and he stood behind his statement and he takes whatever criticism is thrown at him,” added Mr. Zaino.

“Greg Ball has once again displayed his inability to have meaningful, mature conversation on important matters facing our nation,” said Roslyn Stone-Pollock, chairwoman of the Pound Ridge Democratic Committee. “He is far more focused on appearing tough or macho on national television than participating in a discussion on national security policy. While we are thankful that Mr. Ball is in no position to represent our nation, his behavior is embarrassing to the district, the legislature and the state of New York.”

On Tuesday, Mr. Ball sent out an email fundraising letter. “Did you see me take on Piers Morgan last night live on CNN?” Mr. Ball wrote in the email. “On most days, New York State is terrorist target #1, and playing paddy cake with mass murdering killers is not effective in my opinion. I am proud to stand by my original statement and put Piers in his place. Just like I stood up to Piers, I will continue to stand up for our American way. But I need your help

“With your support I will never back down,” wrote Mr. Ball. “For just $100, I would be honored for you to personally join me on May 1st for a great event at Primavera in Westchester.”

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APRIL 26, 2013

‘Pops, Patriots and Fireworks’

Pound Ridge/Scotts Corners

  1. Scotts Corner Market – Trinity Corners Shopping Center;  55 Westchester Avenue

  2. Pound Ridge Sunoco — 66 Westchester Avenue    

  3. Sam Parker Country Market — 257 Westchester Avenue    

Bedford Village

  1. Bedford Rexall Pharmacy — Hunting Ridge Mall; 424 Old Post Road  

  2. Village Green Deli — Village Green; Routes 22 and 172    

  3. Bedford Shell — Routes 22 and 172 (at blinking light); 848 So. Bedford Road

  4. Village Service Center —193 Pound Ridge Road (at Long Ridge Road intersection)    

Bedford Hills

  1. Bedford Hills Deli – 7 Babbitt Road    

  2. Bueti’s Deli – 526 Bedford Road (Route 117)


  1. NoKA Joe’s – 25 Katonah Avenue    

  2. Steger’s Paper Mill – 89 Katonah Avenue    

  3. Katonah Pharmacy – Katonah Shopping Center; 294 Katonah Avenue   

  4. Bagel Shoppe – Katonah Shopping Center; 280 Katonah Avenue    

  5. Katonah Sunoco – 105 Bedford Road

Mount Kisco

  1. Teamo/Mt. Kisco News – 239 Main Street    

Cross River

  1. Bagel Boys Café – Cross River Shopping Center; Routes 121 and 35    

  2. Cross River Shell Station – Route 35    

  3. Cameron’s Deli –  890 Route 35    

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