Nicole Katz, wife of Assemblyman Steve Katz (R-Yorktown), has posted a YouTube video in which duct tape is placed over her mouth as a metaphor for being censored by state Sen. Greg Ball.
The video, entitled "The Salad Bully," was posted on Saturday and has since been viewed more than 1,600 times. The video was posted following a negative comment Nicole Katz left on the senator's Facebook page on Dec. 8. After that she was unfriended and blocked on Facebook by the once close political ally to her husband.
Although the video doesn't mention Greg Ball, Nicole Katz can be seen at her Yorktown home's dinner table along with friends Robin and Gary Murphy of Chappaqua and their daughters. Robin Murphy is serving salad to everyone else who praises her salad until she reaches Katz, who says "This is great Robin, just one thing, I don’t like black olives. I really prefer green olives."
Robin Murphy then takes offense at the comment and slaps duct tape over Katz's mouth.
"How do you like my salad now, Nicole?" Murphy said, and the video ends with the sentence "To silence criticism is to silence freedom."
Katz, who would have regularly posted on the state senator's Facebook page, said she had posted a comment disagreeing with his post that criticized Congressional Republicans. Her comment was deleted and soon after she was unfriended. Her phone calls to Ball have not yet been returned, she said.
"The Senator is trying to manipulate the public opinion," she said and has since heard from others that they have had their negative comments removed from the Facebook page as well.
Katz's husband, Steve Katz was elected to the New York State's 99th District seat last November. His seat was previously held by Ball before he ran for state senate. Both men would often hold press conference together and Katz had reportedly donated money to his campaign.
There is no mention on Ball’s Facebook page about the controversy and when asked about it, his office issued the following statement:
"Social Media like Facebook is a routine staff function and not the Senator's focus. Senator Greg Ball is focused on job creation, lowering taxes and serving as the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security. Right now the Senator is proud to have maxed out at 5000 friends, with over 400 pending requests, therefore we encourage everyone with an interest to simply "LIKE" his fan page- www.facebook.com/ball4ny- and join the dialogue."
Katz said that as an elected official, whether Ball is maintaining the Facebook page or his staff is, it is done at taxpayers' expense, and there should be an obligation not to edit the dialogue.
"I hope that this will certainly be a wake up call to any elected official not to attempt to distort the perception of public opinion," Katz said.
Editor's note: The article has been updated since its original publication to include Nicole Katz's comments.