The 6th Candidate Forum at the Vestal Public Library was held on September 19, 2016. Several dozen people attended the event sponsored by the Americans for Restoring the Constitution (AFRTC) to hear candidates for Broome County Executive, State Assembly, State Senate, and the NY-22 Congressional race. Sharon Ball, challenger for the NY 52nd State Senate seat, was not able to attend that event but did promise to attend the October meeting of the AFRTC to answer questions of the public.
On October 17, 2016, Sharon Ball appeared to fulfill her promise. Speaking to a small gathering, Sharon Ball introduced herself and some of her policy positions. Much of what was stated mirrored similar comments given at 2 prior candidate debates and other events. Mrs. Ball did disclose her motivation to run, and her view on the problems facing the NY 52nd State Senate District.
Of particular note was the singular question about the economic policy that candidate Ball has proposed [See video]. At several events she has specifically noted that beautification and an emphasis on the arts were central to improving the local economy. How this would benefit the public, and how this would come to take place has been far less clear. The answer by Ball failed to clarify this, as several attendees at the October meeting had conflicting understandings of her answers.
Some felt that Ball was indicating an increase in social events, such as the very successful LUMA event in September that drew over 27,000 people. Others felt that Ball was advocating for an increase in dependence on economic grants from the State to support a larger presence of arts. None were sure how this would directly help individuals that previously were trained in non-arts industries to find new work or create such businesses.
We requested a follow-up to this economic question for clarification, immediately after Sharon Ball finished speaking as she was leaving the AFRTC event. Ball declined to comment on the record, referring back to the comments she had just made and directing us to her political pamphlet. As Ball stated, this was all that was needed to understand the full scope of her economic plans. The bullet points from the pamphlet state:
This does not answer the questions that surround the economic proposals of Sharon Ball. If anything, this increases the questions that need clarification. Such as, collaboration with whom? Investing funds from where? Is this money from increased reliance on the Governor and the State Legislature, or from new local taxes, or from cutting monies from existing programs? How exactly does beautification equate to increased jobs? How will the infrastructure investments differ from what is currently on-going, or be more effective than that from the Obama Stimulus? In reference to renewable energy, would this be a continuation of the 5 companies that entered the region via StartUp NY, which cost taxpayers 10 years of taxes to eventually create a planned 75 jobs?
None of these or other questions have been answered by Ball. She has also declined to provide the public with answers to these questions in an interview with us, or in response to our requests for articles. In fact, Sharon Ball, on October 17th, chose to lash out with an unfounded accusation of this company misquoting and editing interviews of unnamed politicians and candidates. Sharon Ball did not respond to our request for proof of this allegation.
M V Consulting, Inc. stands by the nearly decade long practice of providing ALL candidates and elected officials with unlimited timeframes to speak with the public via interviews and responses to our comments that have and continue to be published without edit. This policy is unique in the industry and unmatched to our knowledge. While some individuals may not like the political commentary and conclusions offered, there has never been a question of the accuracy of the facts presented. Equally, there has NEVER been a candidate or politician that has been denied the opportunity to provide the public with comment in any medium of their choosing by this company.
While Sharon Ball has attempted to distract from the critical questions facing voters in considering their choice for the NY 52nd State Senate race, we again continue to request a response to our questions. We additionally offer Sharon Ball the opportunity to do an interview, which will be published without edit, as remains our policy.