Krystal Ball

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Krystal Ball
Krystal Ball (D), candidate for US House in VA-01.jpg
Ball in 2009
Personal details
Born (1981-11-24) November 24, 1981 (age 32)
King George County, Virginia
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Jonathan Dariyanani
Children Ella Marie, Lowell Maxwell
Residence New York, New York
Alma mater Clemson University,
University of Virginia
Occupation Small business owner, accountant, political commentator

Krystal Marie Ball (born November 24, 1981)[1] is a businesswoman, certified public accountant, and a co-host on MSNBC's The Cycle. She was the Democratic Party nominee for United States Congress in Virginia's 1st congressional district in the 2010 election, losing to Republican Rob Wittman.

Personal life, education and career[edit]

Ball's father, Edward Ball, was born in West Virginia and earned a Ph.D. in theoretical physics from West Virginia University. He is now a retired physicist from Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren.[2] Her mother, Rose Marie Ball, is an educator in King George County, Virginia. The name Krystal came from her father, a physicist who did his dissertation on crystals.[3]

Ball graduated with honors in 1999 as class salutatorian from King George High School.[2] Ball has a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Virginia. She also attended Clemson University for a year where she participated on the Varsity Women's swim team.[2] She is a business owner and certified public accountant.[4] Ball previously worked for the federal contractor CGI Group,[5] and traveled to Louisiana to assist in the courts' efforts to recover after Hurricane Katrina. While working full-time with the courts, she took night classes to earn her CPA certificate.[6]

Ball was briefly married to her college sweetheart Aaron Peterson in 2006.[7] She is currently married to Jonathan Dariyanani, and they have a daughter named Ella Marie, born in 2008, and a son Lowell Maxwell born in 2013.[5] On June 5, 2013, on the MSNBC cable news program The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, Ball announced that she was beginning maternity leave due to the imminent birth of her son.

2010 U.S. Congressional campaign[edit]

In 2010 Ball ran to represent Virginia's 1st congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives and was defeated by Republican incumbent Rob Wittman. Despite being defeated by a margin of 63.90% to 34.76%,[8] the former candidate was named by Forbes Magazine as number 21 on the magazine’s "The Top 25 Most Powerful Women Of The Midterm Elections".[9]

Political positions[edit]

Ball supported:

  • Education reform, including charter schools, using technology, alternative certification of teachers, and paying teachers six figure salaries.[10]
  • The 2nd amendment as ensuring individual gun rights (she is an NRA member). Ball has stated that she is "uneasy" about guns in National Parks.[11]
  • Supports a lifetime ban on lobbying by former members of Congress, banning lobbyist gifts, increasing disclosure, and establishing a new Independent Ethics Commission to investigate and audit influence by special interests.[11]

Of Ball's funding, 72 percent was from out of state donors.[12]

Political commentator[edit]

Ball has made multiple appearances as a political commentator and Democratic strategist on television news channels, including Fox News Channel, CNN, CNBC, and is a contributor under contract for MSNBC.[13][14] She is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post.[15]

On June 25, 2012, Ball became one of four co-hosts on a new MSNBC show, The Cycle, with Touré, Ari Melber, and S.E. Cupp. It replaced the Dylan Ratigan show where she was a regular guest on a panel of political pundits.[16]

In a video posted on MSNBC's website on April 5, 2013, Ball is shown asking her young daughter if she would "marry a girl" when she grows up.[17]

Controversial photos[edit]

In October 2010, Ball received national attention when photos taken six years earlier emerged showing her at a holiday party dressed as a "naughty Santa" sucking a red dildo attached to her then-husband's nose.[18] Ball admitted the photos depicted her, adding "of course it's embarrassing, but more than that, I'm pretty angry about it. I think this is incredibly sexist. I think it's outrageous."[19] In a response article published by The Huffington Post, Ball stated that "[s]ociety has to accept that women of my generation have sexual lives that are going to leak into the public sphere." She also attributed reactions to the photos as due to "this whole idea that female sexuality and serious work are incompatible" and expressed concern that accepting such conduct as part of politics would create a glass ceiling for women in politics.[20]

Rush Limbaugh Show Boycott[edit]

In 2012, Ball launched a website calling for a boycott of advertisers on the Rush Limbaugh Show after Limbaugh's comments about Sandra Fluke.[21][22] The boycott attempted to get almost 100 advertisers to drop the show but eventually the boycott died out.[23][24]


  1. ^ "Player Bio: Krystal Ball – Clemson University Official Athletic Site". Retrieved August 29, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c Cook, Phyllis (May 27, 2009). "Krystal Ball is running for Congress". The Journal. Retrieved Jan 9, 2014. 
  3. ^ Weiner, Rachel (7 October 2010). "Krystal Ball: Bloggers who posted my photos are 'sexist and wrong'". Washington Post. Retrieved 27 April 2012. 
  4. ^ "Candidate Biography and Q&A: Krystal M. Ball". Daily Press. October 10, 2010. Retrieved November 7, 2010. 
  5. ^ a b Chelyen Davis (June 28, 2009). "Krystal Ball gets started early in bid for Rob Wittman's seat". The Free Lance–Star. 
  6. ^ Krystal's Story Krystal Ball for Congress[dead link]
  7. ^ "Peterson-Ball". The Free Lance-Star. July 16, 2006. 
  8. ^ November 2, 2010 General and Special Elections Unofficial Results November 2, 2010
  9. ^ [1]“Most Powerful Women in the Mid Term Elections”
  10. ^ Krystal Ball – the Future of The Hill's Most Beautiful, Matthew Stabley, NBC Washington, May 14, 2009
  11. ^ a b Issues Krystal Ball for Congress[dead link]
  12. ^ "Congressional Elections: Virginia District 01 Race: 2010 Cycle". OpenSecrets. April 25, 2011. Retrieved August 7, 2011. 
  13. ^ Pershing, Ben (September 11, 2011). "Krystal Ball: From scandal star to professional pundit". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 1, 2011. 
  14. ^ "Super Tuesday Gives No Definite Result". CNBC. 7 March 2012. Retrieved 28 April 2012. 
  15. ^ "Krystal Ball". Huffington Post. Retrieved 28 April 2012. 
  16. ^ Stelter, Brian (June 21, 2012). "New MSNBC Show Will Feature a Panel of Political Pundits". The New York Times. Retrieved 27 June 2012. 
  17. ^ "MSNBC Host Asks Her Daughter If She Would ‘Marry A Girl’ When She Grows Up". Mediaite. 5 April 2013. Retrieved 6 April 2013. 
  18. ^ Amira, Dan. "At Least One Candidate for Congress Has Fellated a Reindeer Dildo Nose – Daily Intel". Retrieved August 7, 2011. 
  19. ^ "9 Pictures of a Politician Sucking a Dildo Attached to a Man's Nose". October 6, 2010. Retrieved November 7, 2010. 
  20. ^ "Krystal Ball: The Next Glass Ceiling". Retrieved November 7, 2010. 
  21. ^ Palmeri, Christopher (March 6, 2012). "Limbaugh Radio Show Faces Backlash from Social Media as Advertisers Flee". BusinessWeek. Retrieved April 29, 2012. 
  22. ^ Yakas, Ben (March 4, 2012). "Politicians, Advertisers Unimpressed With Rush Limbaugh's Apology". Gothamist. Retrieved April 29, 2012. 
  23. ^ "98 Major Advertisers Dump Rush Limbaugh, Other Right-Wing Hosts". 
  24. ^ Siegel, Robert (8 March 2012). "As Advertisers Flee, Is Limbaugh Losing That Much?". All Things Considered (audio and transcript). NPR. Retrieved 23 May 2013. 

External links[edit]