Krystal Ball

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Krystal Ball
Krystal Ball (D), candidate for US House in VA-01.jpg
Ball in 2009
Personal details
Krystal Marie Ball

(1981-11-24) November 24, 1981 (age 37)
King George County, Virginia, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Jonathan Dariyanani
ResidenceLouisville, Kentucky, U.S.[1]
Alma materClemson University,
University of Virginia
OccupationSmall business owner, accountant, political commentator

Krystal Marie Ball (born November 24, 1981)[2] is an American businesswoman and was a certified public accountant. She was a co-host on MSNBC's afternoon news/talk show The Cycle for the duration of the show's run from June 2012 to July 2015. She was also the Democratic Party nominee for Congress in Virginia's 1st District in the 2010 election, losing to Republican Rob Wittman.

Early life and education[edit]

Ball was born to Edward and Rose Marie Ball, a physicist and a teacher, respectively. The name Krystal came from her father, a physicist who did his dissertation on crystals.[3]

Ball graduated from King George High School and received a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Virginia. She also attended Clemson University for a year where she participated on the swim team.[4]


She is a business owner and previously was a certified public accountant prior to her license expiring in 2013.[5] Ball previously worked for the federal contractor CGI Group[6] and traveled to Louisiana to assist in the courts' efforts to recover after Hurricane Katrina.

In 2012, Ball launched a website calling for a boycott of advertisers on the Rush Limbaugh Show after Limbaugh's comments about Sandra Fluke.[7][8] The boycott attempted to get almost 100 advertisers to drop the show but eventually the boycott died out.[9][10]

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%,[11] 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".[12]

During the campaign, Ball supported education reform, including charter schools, using technology, alternative certification of teachers, and paying teachers six figure salaries.[13] She also called for 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.[14] Of Ball's funding, 72 percent was from out of state donors.[15]

In October 2010, while in the final stages of her Congressional campaign, 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 husband's nose and leading him around on a leash.[16] The event quickly became a launching point for Ball, resulting in her being called upon by various news organizations for her inputs on the challenges faced by women in today's society and political environment.

Political action committee[edit]

In May 2017, Ball created the People's House Project, a political action committee (PAC) purportedly working on behalf of Democratic causes.[17] However, in May 2018, McClatchy reported,

thus far, nobody has benefited more financially from the group than Ball herself. Of the $445,000 Ball raised for the group, she paid herself more than a third of that—$174,000—in salary, according to documents filed with the Federal Election Commission. The majority of her salary—$104,000—came in the first three months of this year alone. That's nearly eight times more than the nearly $22,000 the PHP has used to support its dozen endorsed candidates, some of whom have received just a single $1,000 contribution.[17]

According to McClatchy, PACs where the founders of the committee earn vastly more than is given in contributions to individual candidates are referred to as "Scam PACs".[17] Ball responded to McClatchy's reporting, saying that her salary ought to be $180,000 annually, but that because the PAC receives money in fits and starts, she paid herself a large sum in the first months of 2018 as backpay for what she should have earned in 2017.[17] Ball further explained the basis for her payments and the services the PAC provided to progressive House Congressional candidates in an interview on TYT Investigates.[18]


Hosts of The Cycle in 2013: Ari Melber, Krystal Ball, Touré and Abby Huntsman

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.[19][20] She is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post.[21]

On June 25, 2012, Ball became one of four co-hosts on a new MSNBC show, The Cycle, with Touré, Steve Kornacki, and S.E. Cupp. It replaced the Dylan Ratigan show in 2012, where Ball had been a regular guest on a panel of political pundits.[22] It was announced during the July 31, 2015 taping that The Cycle has been cancelled, as NBC revamped its weekday afternoon programming.

Ball's book Reversing the Apocalypse: Hijacking the Democratic Party to Save the World was published in 2017, in which she argued that the Democratic Party needed to return to its New Deal roots by emulating Franklin D. Roosevelt and advocating a more economically interventionist agenda than it has done in recent decades.[1]

In 2018, Ball, along with conservative radio talk-show host Buck Sexton, hosts a new show called Rising at The Hill.[23]

Personal life[edit]

Ball is married to Jonathan Dariyanani, and they have three children: a daughter Ella Marie (born 2008), a son Lowell Maxwell (born 2013), and a daughter Ida Rose (born 2017).[6][24]


  1. ^ a b Craig, Berry (6 April 2017). "Krystal Ball book: Dems must rekindle the spirit of FDR to reverse the 'apocalypse' of Trumpism". Daily Kos. Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  2. ^ "Player Bio: Krystal Ball – Clemson University Official Athletic Site". Archived from the original on October 17, 2010. Retrieved August 29, 2010.
  3. ^ Weiner, Rachel (October 7, 2010). "Krystal Ball: Bloggers who posted my photos are 'sexist and wrong'". Washington Post. Retrieved April 27, 2012.
  4. ^ Cook, Phyllis (May 27, 2009). "Krystal Ball is running for Congress". The Journal. Archived from the original on January 9, 2014. Retrieved January 9, 2014.
  5. ^ "Candidate Biography and Q&A: Krystal M. Ball". Daily Press. October 10, 2010. Retrieved November 7, 2010.
  6. ^ a b Chelyen Davis (June 28, 2009). "Krystal Ball gets started early in bid for Rob Wittman's seat". The Free Lance–Star. Archived from the original on January 23, 2013.
  7. ^ Palmeri, Christopher (March 6, 2012). "Limbaugh Radio Show Faces Backlash from Social Media as Advertisers Flee". BusinessWeek. Retrieved April 29, 2012.
  8. ^ Yakas, Ben (March 4, 2012). "Politicians, Advertisers Unimpressed With Rush Limbaugh's Apology". Gothamist. Archived from the original on November 6, 2017. Retrieved April 29, 2012.
  9. ^ "98 Major Advertisers Dump Rush Limbaugh, Other Right-Wing Hosts".
  10. ^ Siegel, Robert (March 8, 2012). "As Advertisers Flee, Is Limbaugh Losing That Much?". All Things Considered (audio and transcript). NPR. Retrieved May 23, 2013.
  11. ^ November 2, 2010 General and Special Elections Unofficial Results Archived November 3, 2010, at the Wayback Machine November 2, 2010
  12. ^ [1]"Most Powerful Women in the Mid Term Elections"
  13. ^ Krystal Ball – the Future of The Hill's Most Beautiful, Matthew Stabley, NBC Washington, May 14, 2009
  14. ^ Issues Krystal Ball for Congress Archived August 30, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ "Congressional Elections: Virginia District 01 Race: 2010 Cycle". OpenSecrets. April 25, 2011. Retrieved August 7, 2011.
  16. ^ Amira, Dan. "At Least One Candidate for Congress Has Fellated a Reindeer Dildo Nose – Daily Intel". Retrieved August 7, 2011.
  17. ^ a b c d "Is Krystal Ball's PAC a fresh approach or a get-rich scheme?". mcclatchydc. Retrieved 2018-05-09.
  18. ^ "Ask The Candidates" — Krystal Ball Fires Back At Reporter, Defends People's House Project,, retrieved May 15, 2018.
  19. ^ Pershing, Ben (September 11, 2011). "Krystal Ball: From scandal star to professional pundit". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 1, 2011.
  20. ^ "Super Tuesday Gives No Definite Result". CNBC. March 7, 2012. Retrieved April 28, 2012.
  21. ^ "Krystal Ball". Huffington Post. Retrieved April 28, 2012.
  22. ^ Stelter, Brian (June 21, 2012). "New MSNBC Show Will Feature a Panel of Political Pundits". The New York Times. Retrieved June 27, 2012.
  23. ^ "Rising with The Hill's Krystal Ball and Buck Sexton". The Hill. Retrieved June 14, 2018.
  24. ^ "Krystal Ball and Jonathan Dariyanani hold daughter Ida Rose at Politicon in Pasadena, California". July 29, 2017.

External links[edit]