Letter: Large Campaign Donations 'Absurd'

Chappaqua resident writes in favor of Democratic state Senate challenger Justin Wagner.

(Editor's Note: The following is a response on Justin Wagner's recent campaign stop in Chappaqua, where he discussed the issue of campaign finance reform.)

I read The Patch’s coverage of state senate candidate Justin Wagner’s event in Chappaqua supporting campaign finance reform.

It is absurd that candidates for the state Senate can accept checks larger than $10,000 from anyone – even lobbyists. And for the politically connected, even that limit can be circumvented by using loopholes in the campaign finance law or by forming “independent expenditure” groups.

The system, as it stands, invites a kind of legalized bribery, and I admire that Justin Wagner has the political courage to stand up and call for reform.

I only recently learned that those of us who live in Chappaqua have been redistricted. I would encourage the people of Chappaqua to research both candidates as there are huge differences between Justin Wagner and Greg Ball. The only mail I receive from Greg Ball highlights the one issue he and Justin Wagner agree on and that is to protect the environment by preventing fracking. He never highlights the vast differences they have on every other issue.

For those who are concerned about fracking it should be noted that it is Greg Ball's party who controls the Senate by a seat right now and it is his party that prevents any anti fracking vote from occurring. If this issue it is important to you it will not be helped by Greg Ball's support but rather by replacing him which would change control of the state Senate and a vote on fracking could then take place.

Laura Porter

Chappaqua NY 10514

Anymous August 27, 2012 at 04:38 PM
Justin Wagner is lying check out his campaign disclosure report http://www.elections.ny.gov:8080/plsql_browser/filer_contribution_details
Kevin Zawacki (Editor) August 27, 2012 at 04:53 PM
Ball and Wagner had an interesting clash lately over an email -- details are here: http://southeast.patch.com/articles/ball-wagner-clash-over-email-poll
Chapp Dad August 27, 2012 at 05:10 PM
Seriously? Another Democrat calling for campaign finance reform? What a joke. Last presidential election I recall then candidate Obama protested the unfairness of it all. He was of course concerned that Hillary would out raise him and if he should become the presidential candidate (which he did) he was convinced he couldn’t raise the money necessary to run against the Republicans. Of course that all changed when the money started rolling in. Obama was the first presidential candidate in the general election to renounce public campaign financing in the history of the legislation so that he could go on to out-raise McCain three to one. We hear all this indignation from Democrats because the Supreme Court allowed corporations to give money to Super Pacs. Funny though that Democrats never had a problem when unions give like amounts (even more) than corporations. Dems have a problem when the Koch Brothers support Republican PACS but they are fine when George Soros does the same for them. Wagner is another with empty promises and transparent motivations.
Patty K August 27, 2012 at 07:25 PM
Ms Porter- You "admire Wagner’s political courage"? I agree with John Doe - As soon as accepting political donations works in their favor and not their opponents they change their tune. Just like Obama. To your misguided statement that Mr Ball's party controls the Senate and therefore is responsible for the current situation, let me remind you that during the first 2 years of Obama presidency the Democrats controlled the White House, The Senate and the US House of Representatives. The Democrats had for almost 2 years a filibuster proof super majority and had the power to block fracking, reform immigration, reform taxes, pass REAL environmental legislation, close GITMO, and multiple other important issues. Instead the Democrats who had all the power passed a stimulus package that didn’t stimulate a bloody thing and Obamacare that is an unmitigated disaster. It was Obama, Pelosi, Reid, Frank and the rest that is responsible for the stalemate. They chose not to work with the other side of the aisle and when the midterm elections came they lost their mojo. Fracking is not a Democrat vs Republican issue. Multiple states like PA, ND, TX, CO, OK, AK, and MT all have Democrats in favor of fracking. Whether you agree or disagree that fracking provides jobs and energy independence you cant disagree that people vote. Politicians (Dems and Reps) are beholden to the almighty voter. So it is not only Republicans in the Senate holding up fracking reform its also Democrats.
Anymous August 27, 2012 at 10:18 PM
Mr. Wagner campaign disclosure report proves he is a liar http://www.elections.ny.gov/recipientstext.html
Jane B August 28, 2012 at 02:00 PM
Patty K, Ms Porter was talking about the NY State Senate -- the Senate that Justin Wagner is running for? And where the republicans have a majority? So you are the misguided one, I am afraid. Ms. Porter's statement is correct.
Jane B August 28, 2012 at 02:13 PM
We have got to get Ball out. He is an embarrassment to NY State. He ex girlfriend was granted an order of protection against him for stalking, he groped a waitress in an Albany bar, and he voted against equal pay for women and against the right to choose in the senate -- and his record on jobs and guns is even worse. Read here: http://blog.timesunion.com/capitol/archives/30131/senate-gop-hits-greg-ball/ How can a woman with any self respect defend him here? We have got to get him out. To top it all off he is being investigated by the Westchester County DA for impersonating Justin Wagner on an email blast to voters. Even the republicans don't like him! http://www.lohud.com/article/20120814/NEWS/308130077/Justin-Wagner-Greg-Ball-email-broke-law?gclid=CL6TtLDAirICFWUQNAodWUYAdw
Patty K August 28, 2012 at 03:22 PM
To Jane B - were you this adamant about getting Bill Clinton out of office when we learned of his groping of Paula Jones? What of his affairs with Gennifer Flowers and Monica Lewinsky? You Democrats still treat Bill Clinton as a hero and rock star. Did you question Hillary's lack of self respect for staying with him or did you vote for Hillary. You need not answer- we know you did.
Chapp Dad August 28, 2012 at 06:08 PM
Jane B- if i am not mistaken the NY State government has been dominated by Democrats for as long as I can remember. Governors Spitzer, Paterson, and Cuomo all Democrats. The state Assembly is overwhelmingly Democratic and up until the midterm elections the NY Sate Senate was also majority Democrats. Fracking is not new. It has been going on in our nation for years. Modern fracking techniques were introduced in 1997 and in 2003 our neighbors in PA started fracking in the Marcellus Shale region. Fracking possibilities in NY have been in the works since 2005. There were at least 5 years of a Democratic controlled Assembly and NY Senate that could have legislated against or imposed tough sanctions. They - the Democrats - did NOTHING. It's time to stop blaming Republicans for all that is wrong and time for Dems to take some responsibility.
Rose Rowland August 28, 2012 at 07:06 PM
Why are you signing yourself anonymous?
Jane B August 28, 2012 at 09:12 PM
You are mistaken. Please check your facts before being such a know it all. The NY State Senate has had a Republican majority for 45 of the last 47 years (since 1965). You also conveniently forgot to mention Pataki's 3 terms as governor. There were never 5 years of the NY senate and assembly controlled by Dems during the past 47 years. So, what was your argument again? I can see why you use the name John Doe!
Bill August 29, 2012 at 12:10 AM
Here's the latest from loser Ball. http://www.lohud.com/article/20120828/NEWS/308280068/Greg-Ball-directs-staff-produce-letters-editor-attacking-opponent
Patty K August 29, 2012 at 05:23 PM
Jane - while John Doe appears to have some facts incorrect you can not deny that the general election of 2008 (just as fracking became headline news and of major concern to New Yorkers) saw Democrats take over the majority of the NY Senate. So they did in fact control the governors mansion, Asembly, and Senate. They continued to hold majority until the gang of 4 Democrats staged a "parliamentary coup" and inserted a Republican as majority leader. Technically Democrats still had majority. The point is , and I agree with J Doe, is that Democrats did nothng about fracking when they had the chance - so stop blaming them for everything. I agree - its time for Dems to take responsibility and stop blaming others. BTW - you never did respond to me about your loyalty and admiration for the Clintons. Its ok for Bill to grope and Hillary to have no self respect because they are Democrats - right? But if a Republican should be accused you turn righteous.
Jane B August 30, 2012 at 12:35 PM
I do not condone Clinton's or Ball's behavior with women, but at least Clinton's exploits (while sleazy) were consensual -- and you cannot say that about Ball's groping and stalking. This is the last comment I will make here, because I think the only people reading this are the Ball staffers who are participating in this chat. We have new evidence that Ball is morally bankrupt and unfit to serve as a state senator: As Bill mentions above, in case you missed the front page of the Journal News yesterday, he directed his staff to produce bogus letters to the editor! And if that weren't bad enough, he was dumb enough to send the email he sent to his staffers to the Journal News. You just cannot make this stuff up. See you at the polls!


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