Dan Ball is persona non grata at Well in the Desert in downtown Palm Springs.
Arlene Rosenthal, president, said Ball, a Republican candidate for the 36th Congressional District seat, is a “phony” and not welcome at the nonprofit organization. Well in the Desert provides daily nutritious hot meals, emergency food assistance, weekly supplemental food distribution and a wide array of services to the working poor, the homeless, seniors, the handicapped and others in need.
Former Riverside County Supervisor Roy Wilson once described it as “the safety net for the western end of the Coachella Valley.”
Rosenthal’s animosity toward Ball stems from a controversial fundraiser at Wang’s in the Desert, an Asian eatery in downtown Palm Springs. It is located next door to Well in the Desert’s Cooling/Drop-In Center at 441 S. Calle Encilia, which opened July 1, 2017. Wang’s was among those in the neighborhood that opposed its location.
Vocal protests erupted in the wake of the fundraiser. The restaurant was vandalized. Many protesters claimed Wang’s had sold out to a Republican and threatened to boycott the business. Throughout the controversy, Ball vigorously defended Wang’s even going before the City Council calling on it to calm the protesters and threat of boycott. As the controversy wore on, some protesters demanded to know where Ball stood on Well in the Desert and its Cooling/Drop-In Center.
A vocal Palm Springs resident and supporter of Well in the Desert, Matt Robinson, called on Ball via Facebook to take a stand and take a tour of Well in the Desert.
Ball never did.
“He doesn’t care about us or what we do,” Rosenthal told Uken Report. “He wants to be a politician who lines his own pockets. He doesn’t give a rat’s ass about us. I don’t give a damn about politics. I’m hesitant to believe in politicians in general except for all of the members of the Palm Springs City Council who have been so supportive – and Congressman Raul Ruiz. He is different from other politicians. He is kind, decent, gentle soul.”
Rosenthal said Ball never called her and never reached out to learn more.
“I would have given him a tour and shown him all we do,” Rosenthal said. “I don’t like a phony and people who use others for political gain.”
Ball told Uken Report he would be happy to take a tour anytime.
“No one ever called me,” he said. “Why didn’t she reach out to me? My cell number is on Facebook. I don’t know why they haven’t contacted me. I’m not going to ignore people.”
In February, the drop-in/cooling center was approved for another year and a half.