Anti-Tea Party Crusader Noam Bramson "Thrilled" to be Endorsed by Founder of Westchester Tea Party

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Anti-Tea Party Crusader Noam Bramson "Thrilled" to be Endorsed by Founder of Westchester Tea Party

June 10, 2013 - 09:18

ImageNEW ROCHELLE, NY -- The Westchester County Independence Party Chairman Dr. Giulio Cavallo, a co-founder of the Westchester Tea Party, spoke glowingly about New Rochelle Mayor Bramson after the political party he runs endorsed Bramson for Westchester County Executive.

Bramson has "proven he can keep taxes low while making the investments we need to attract businesses and improve our business climate. That's a record I am proud to support," Cavallo concluded.

In expressing his appreciation for Cavallo's support , Bramson denounced what he characterized as Astorino's "divisive, radical right-wing record".

"We're obviously thrilled by the endorsement," said Barry Caro, the communications director for Bramson's campaign.

Not mentioned by Bramson or his campaign is Cavallo's leadership role in founding the Westchester Tea Party in 2009.

In 2009, the Westchester Guardian described a partnership with Cavallo and Guardian publisher Sam Zherka.

In January 2009, at a meeting in New Rochelle, Dr. Cavallo, the Westchester Independence Party Committee and Guardian Publisher Sam Zherka decided to join forces to organize the Westchester Tea Party, an anti-tax movement determined to reduce Westchester's bloated County Government.

On April 25th, the Tea Party Rally was held at the Westchester County Office Building; and an estimated three thousand angry and frustrated citizen taxpayers assembled to petition and protest against Andy Spano and his Administration for their "tax and spend policies" which had turned Westchester citizens into "the highest taxed citizens in America".

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Cavallo was on the stage and spoke to the crowd at the April 2009 Rally.

This is an interesting turn of events when you stop to consider the types of mischaracterizations and name calling that Mr Bramson and his supporters have been throwing around. The campaign du jour has been about labeling everyone not on board with the New Rochelle candidate's message as being right wing extremists and card-carrying members of the uber right wing Tea Party even though there is no basis for the insinuation. Everyone from Rob Astorino to Peter Parente to Ron Tocci have all been the subject of a misguided guilt by association that doesn't exist. We haven't seen anything that would suggest association with the Tea Party as the three gentlemen are, by their actions and deeds a Republican, a "proud republican" and a Democrat. Being subjected to the vagaries of a campaign hell bent on clouding the issue by tossing out knee jerk phrases about how scary and evil the Tea Party is to our way of life. Bramson supporters have been painting the picture of an extreme radical group in every corner of the room, and we should be afraid, very afraid. "Extreme agenda", "right wing obstructionist", "very offensive", it's all part of the portrayal.

Just look at some of these quotes and see if you can recognize the "dog whistle politics" going on:

From Talk of the Sound: City Council Votes to Remove Gadsden Flag from Armory:

New Rochelle Council Member Jared Rice -- who took credit for making the original complaint about the flag at a City Council meeting -- explained his view that the flag was divisive because it "represented a brand of politics that is very offensive to many people in America and many people in New Rochelle."

"A lot of people do take offense to [the Gadsden Flag]," added Rice.

"People died fighting under the Confederate flag too," said Council Member Barry Fertel as he associated Confederate atrocities with the Tea Party.

It was at this meeting that Peter Parente, a former candidate for City Council, stated in no uncertain terms, "I am a proud Republican".

New Rochelle Sound Report

Bramson said when asked if he feared the flag dispute could alienate him from veterans throughout Westchester. "This particular issue concerns the placement of political messages on public property …" (emphasis added)

New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson, a Democrat pursuing a run for county executive, said, "Although the Gadsden flag certainly has historic origins, in the present day it is also perceived by many as a political symbol of the Tea Party."

Rice is quoted saying: "[The flag] is very offensive to a lot of people in New Rochelle because it represents the Tea Party and the divisiveness created by that group".


From CBS News
"Some members of the public and city council have felt that flag was adopted by the Tea Party and took offense to having a political statement on public property" Strome said. Chuck Strome is the New Rochelle City Manager.

From the Daily Voice Mr Bramson states:

"Our country has many historic flags. This particular one is now widely recognized as am emblem of the Tea Party".

Bramson labels the President of the United Veterans Memorial and Patriotic Society a tea partier: "Tea Party supporters like Mr. Parente".

In the Journal News Bramson applied the same tactic:

"Astorino, who was painted as a Tea Party extremist."

In The Harrison Report Bramson defined the election in terms of the Tea Party:

"The choice in this election is between a plan of action that honors the mainstream values of Westchester, or a record of neglect that honors only the extreme agenda of the Tea Party", Bramson said.

Westchester County Board Chairman Ken Jenkins piled on the Bramson bandwagon in

Bramson has made his opposition to the Tea Party a central theme on his campaign web site


"Rob Astorino's extreme Tea Party views are out of touch and far to the right."

By now you should be thinking "OK, I get it, Tea Party 'Bad' and Noam 'Good" for Opposing the Tea Party."

That's what Bramson wants you to think.

So, how does Bramson and his posse go from an organized berating of the radical views of this evil empire known as The Tea party -- if you believe the rhetoric -- to enthusiastically accepting the support and assistance of the co-founder of the Westchester Tea Party?

How do you suddenly align yourself with the antithesis of your core beliefs and polar opposite?

We all know politics does make strange bedfellows. This could be considered a last ditch effort, a Hail Mary pass if you will, for the man whose legacy for New Rochelle is the bag you're holding. So I guess anything goes at this point.

Hard as it may be to justify any of this behavior, at least Mr Cavullo is clear about what he expects. He states it pretty directly in this Newsday article:

"I believe that if I help you, I should get the first crack at any position."

Hypocrisy can afford to be magnificent in its promises, for never intending to go beyond promise, it costs nothing - Edmund Burke

There are 39 Comments

I'm speechless I need time to get my thoughts together.

"Bramson has proven he can attract businesses and improve our business climate."
Julio Cavallo

Julio, just how many more 99cent stores popping up on the main drag in New Rochelle can this "improved business climate" handle?

“The choice in this election is between a plan of action that honors the mainstream values of Westchester, or a record of neglect that honors only the extreme agenda of the Tea Party,”

Noam Bramson, The Harrison Report

Great piece, John.

If one cares to chronicle "a record of neglect that honors an extreme agenda" take a ride down Main Street in New Rochelle.

"Bramson has "proven he can keep taxes low while making the investments we need to attract businesses and improve our business climate. That's a record I am proud to support," Cavallo concluded."

Bramson has never earned a dime from the Private Sector unless you count Campaign Donations from Crooked Developers looking to be repaid with IDA Pilots and Tax incentives.
That said besides attracting those developers by off loading the burden on the Tax payer what has he exactly attracted. New Roc City? What is that?
LeCount Place? Bramson Blighted.
Trump Cappelli? Half empty no retail.
Avalons? Tax Payers picking up the tab for EIS under reported school Children.
He wants to bring all of this to the County level.
If he does good luck.
If he is not successful we get to keep him hear and expand the .99 cent Store economy.

Where are Noam's council puppets now? How come Fertel & Rice are not criticizing Bramson for taking the backing from Westchester Tea Party founder? They were all outraged about Tea Party messages related to Gadsden Flag (with bogus claims), but don't seem to care when their buddy Noam hooks up with Tea Party supporter Cavallo. Bramson, Fertel & Rice -- total hypocrites. It is all politics, all the time, with them.

I see no reason for you to falsely declare that any of the NR City Council Members are hypocrites because of Noam Bramson's endorsement by the Independence Party. That's an honor to be proud of.

Are you aware that the new TOTS policy is that you are supposed to post using your real name?

So your point is that the Westchester County Tea Party Co-Founder prefers Noam Bramson to Rob Astorino, and that you are upset about that?

With all due respect Brian, you're the only one on this site that supports Bramson. What is your goal? To convince everyone Bramson is good for the County? It is not going to happen.

Robert Cox's picture


You are confusing active commenters, using their own name, to post on this site with the people who are reading this site.

Brian may be the only Bramson supporter to engage in debate on this site but he is hardly the only reader of this site who is a Democrat and Bramson supporter. Every member of the City Council reads this site. Most school board members read this site. Mostly everyone in the leadership of the City reads this site and that includes many Democrats.

I give credit to Brian for being (so far) the only Democrat to use his own name and give a full-throated defense of his views.

I am not interested in suppressing the views of anyone on this site. If they want to talk about New Rochelle issues on TALK of the Sound they are welcome to do so.

I would suggest you come up with a better counter-argument than "no one here agrees with you". I do not expect everyone to agree with me and I do not agree with everyone who posts on this site but the values that imbue this site are all about disagreeing but defending the other person's right to disagree.

I would take that one step further -- that we can disagree without being disagreeable.

I just posted something very similar to your post and took the liberty of stating what I thought was your perspective on the purpose and usefulness of TOTS at

Immediately afterwards, I discovered your own Post at which better states what I was trying to say.

Thank you for explaining yourself, and the purpose and goal of TOTS.

John Brian has convinced me.
I am in for Higher County Taxes, Bike Lanes to nowhere. Pilots and Tax Abatement's for Corrupt Developers so that I can help offset their costs.
I want and need forced Government Green Practices rather than practices that provide value.
I also notice that most of the .99 cent stores are in New Rochelle and I want and need more throughout the County. Please Brian convince others why we all need More Bramson.

Many people read TOTS, but only a handful post here.

Why is that most TOTS readers do not Post here?

Its because most people reading TOTS don't want to be insulted by ultra-conservative extremists who rant against persons with rational, main-stream, moderate beliefs. In the past, such ranters hid like cowards, behind bogus indentities, but now the TOTS policy has changed so as to require Posters to identify themselve by their real names.

Hopefully, the new policy will encourage more TOTS readers to also Post here. I believe Bob Cox wants this site to be one of rational discussion, and not merely a place to post various propaganda and insults.

Nonetheless, despite your inaccurate declaration, there has been other Posters at TOTS, preferring Noam Bramson to Rob Astorino.

I don't have to convince anyone. Despite your wishes, hopes, and your misunderstanding of the Westchester electorate, it is likely that in 2013, Noam Bramson will be elected County Executive, Tim Idoni will be reelected County Clerk, and Janet DeFiore will be reelected District Attorney.

"...ultra-conservative extremists who rant against persons with rational, main-stream, moderate beliefs."

You must be joking or hitting the booze. First of all, I am not an "ultra-conservative extremist" and neither is Rob Astorino. In fact, I am neither republican or democrat. I am for the best candidate. As far as Bramsom possessing "rational, main-stream, moderate beliefs", nothing could be further from the truth. Indeed, he has virtually no supporters for his "transit-oriented development/Echo Bay" deal except for a few of his cronies up the north end. Whenever there is a publice meeting concerning Echo Bay, all he can say is that there is a "good deal" of support among the "silent majority." Where is this "silent majority?" Furthermore, people like Peter Parente who have been fighting to save the armory are hardly "ultra-conservative extremists."

Bramson is a power-hungry dictator who wants to ram his notions of what Westchester should be down the throat of every taxpayer. He wnts the position as a stepping stone into Congress because he knows he can't get there from New Rochelle. In order to win his congressional seat, he needs to accomplish something that he can claim as his own. Right now, the only thing he can set his teeth into is GreeNR,aka the "sustainability" plan, aka Agenda 21. That "plan" requires him to build residential units around transit hubs. This "plan" he is "experimenting" with is being financed by the taxpayers of NR and perhaps soon, Westchester County. There is not one bit of data that this dictator has put forth which even remotely suggests his "plan" will be financially beneficial to the taxpayers. It is all a theory that will have to play out for at least 20 years before anyone can determine if it was "right" for Westchester. More importantly, this "plan" he is pushing is significantly hurting middle class property owners who are struggling to stay in their homes.

As far as I am concerned, if government cannot invest money into economic development polices that produce revenue for the community, then it should stay out of the real estate business. Finally, Bramson is criticizing Astorino for what? Because he reduced the County workforce? Because he eliminated unnecessary County programs and services? Because he wants County employees to contribute to health care? These seem to be the things that Bramson is criticizing and you are labeling "ultra-conservative" yet they are the exact same thing Bramson did in NR. The only difference is, NR had the money to keep services going but it blew it on failed residential development projects. At least Astorino hasn't cut services to pad the pocket of some rich developer. At least Astorino listened to what the people who elected him wanted.

Rob Astorino is certainly ultra-conservative.

Anyone thinking that moderate Noam Bramson is very liberal, would themselves have to be very conservative to arrive at that conclusion.

Certainly both major political parties have shifted to the right over the last 40 years, and liberal elected officials are fairly rare in modern politics, even in relatively liberal Westchester.

You refer to Noam's wish to become a Congressman. He cannot do so, unless a Westchester Congressperson retires. New Rochelle's Congressman is Eliot Engel while northern Westchester's is Nita Lowey. Neither has announced retirement, so there is no opportunity for Noam to run for either seat. So your theory is misplaced.

Nixon coined the phrase 'silent majority'. What it means is that most voters don't publicly advocate issues, but do vote on them. New Rochelle's voters' beliefs are demonstrated at the election booth. Noam was elected in landslides in the last two elections, and that is what indicates he has the support of the 'silent majority'. You cannot rationally dispute that, although you might dispute it anyway.

Bramson cannot be a dictator, because he has no executive nor administrative powers, and has only one of seven legislative votes on the City Council. No matter how much you fantasize, your stated allegations of a dictatorship have nothing to do with reality.

You convince no one, and only damage your causes, by making obviously false claims, and by your frequent personal attacks on reasonable persons you disagree with. It is apparent that your 'support' of causes are merely an excuse for you to make immature personal attacks of the kind I recall from Junior High - what we used to call 'rank outs'.

Anyone ranting about New Rochelle's GreenNR or 'Agenda 21', would have to be extremely conservative, so I get the impression you are very conservative, and far more so than most of the people of NR or Westchester.

And and anyone thinking the USA or NR is legally compelled by the UN, towards 'Agenda 21', is living in Alice's Wonderland.

The bottom line is that, like everyone else, you are entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts, and you need to recognize the difference between cold reality and your fuzzy fantasies.

I have my own reasons for wanting to see Astorino kicked out of office, and I don't need Noam or anyone else to draw my own conclusions. What I dislike about Astorino, is that he is bigoted against low income people, has attempted to violate Westchester's obligations under a USDC SDNY Federal court civil rights settlement, and that Astorino wants to destroy Playland to benefit the personal bias of some wealthy conservatives living in or near Rye. I also dislike Astorino because he eliminated necessary County programs and services.

I have a lot more confidence than you, that the intelligence and enlightenment of New Rochelle's and Westchester's voters, will result in the election of Noam Bramson for County Executive in 2013. But we'll find out in five months, who the voters prefer.

Let me lay out some facts Brian, and you correct me where I am wrong.

NR main-stream residents wanted quality shopping and tax generating commercial development. Instead, we were told by Bramson that we need residential density in the downtown area. I have watched many, if not all, of the council meetings over the last 10 years or more and can't remember one person coming forward at Citizens to be Heard asking for 5000 new residents in the downtown.

NR main-stream residents have been complaining about the high property taxes. Instead of reducing taxes or toting the line, we now have a library tax, and a garbage fee.

NR main-stream residents did not ask for reduced services. We received cuts in public safety to the point where the moral of both police and firefighters is at an all time low. The tax dollars saved by these reductions have been used to pay for more residential development projects.

NR main-stream residents did not ask for the city yard or the armory to be neglected for the last 10 years. Now, according to Bramson, because the city did not have the money to maintain theses properties they both must be torn down at considerable expense to the taxpayers.

NR main-stream residents did not ask for the Echo bay development in its current form. yet we are being told that this is a needed project for NR despite ample evidence that it isn't. For one, we have not been told how the City will deal with the mud flats that these buildings overlook. For another, where is this wonderful view of the water front that is suppose to benefit ALL NR residents? And where are the FACTS that show the people who rent these apartments will abandon their cars and walk to the train station?

NR main-stream residents have been told by Bramson that we need 5000 new residents in the downtown in order to make NR sustainable 20 years from now. No one in NR went to Bramson and said this is what we need or want. This is his theory based on his affiliation with the Urban Land Instistute of Westchester/Fairfield who incidentally, the ousted Section 8 Administrator, Susanne Marino, was a member of.

NR does need retail, commercial development and quality, affordable housing for people earning between $35,000 to $50,000 a year. He has yet to address the significant housing shortage for people in these income brackets. Again, the middle class in this country are being dismantled and people like Bramson are only making matters worse by not dealing with issue.

I have continually asserted that New Rochelle downtown is over-populated, short of convenient parking, and that what we need is a more commerce downtown.

But unlike yourself, I recognize the nature of our NR City Charter, and that the primary responsibility falls on the City Manager and the City Council. Our Mayor’s actual power is one of seven votes on the City Council. So we can criticize the entire NR city government, but must recognize that our City Charter confuses many citizens. I wish you would join me, in advocating our City Charter be amended to eliminate the office of City Manager, to make the Mayor the Chief Executive and Administrator, and to remove the Mayor from the City Council, while creating a seventh City Council District.

I believe most of New Rochelle’s construction plans originate in the Department of Development, and that’s where I place the blame. The Buildings and Housing Bureaus are divisions of that Dept of Development. It’s all designed backwards. The Department of Development should cease to exist, and it’s function should be of a smaller, less influential governmental entity that is either a subset of the Law Department or of a new Department of Buildings and Housing. Preserving our existing buildings should be primary, while destroying them on the pretense of development should be secondary.

Regarding Property Taxes, I am very sympathetic, and do speak up on that issue, at NR Democratic Committee meetings, and in direct conversations with Council Members. Obviously, if federal, state and municipal taxes continually rise perpetually, they would eventually reach 100%, but of course that is an illusion and will never occur. In reality, we need to create a new paradigm for paying for our government services, but unfortunately no one seems to be doing so.

Perhaps most main-stream residents are complaining about high taxes, but they also recognize the reality of government costs increasing to provide necessary and desirable public services. Each year, the general, board of education, and library elections demonstrate that the voters willingly accept those tax increases. Ironically, it is the owners of New Rochelle’s less expensive properties, who do the loudest complaining.

Although he moral of our Police and Fire Dept civil servants is low, that doesn’t mean that our citizens perceive lesser services. Personally, I think New Rochelle has more than enough Police, but that they need to be more on foot patrol downtown. As I perceive it, the NRPD’s problem is that there are too many expensive high level police at desks, and not enough police on the street, and that equation needs to be changed. I am much more concerned about understaffing the NRFD.

I have never supported moving City Yard, nor destroying the Armory, nor supported Forest City Echo Bay in any of its incarnations. My perspective is that NR’s various development proposals would occur no matter who is Mayor.

I support Noam Bramson running for County Executive, and would support him again if he ran for Mayor. I don’t blame Noam for New Rochelle’s problems, nor do I necessarily credit him for its solutions. As I keep posting here, Noam has no executive or administrative powers, and has only one of seven city Council votes, and his main success is of building a consensus among the varying opinions of the City Council Members.

Regarding NR’s need for affordable housing for incomes in the range of $35-50,000, that was something originally championed by Councilman Jim Stowe, and currently by Councilman Jared Rice. If you go to Brook St, you can see those units being developed. Building and preserving permanent affordable housing has long been a major interest of mine.

To the extent that “the middle class in this country are being dismantled”, I cast no blame other than on Wall Street for destroying our economy several times between 2000-2013. That’s a national, not local issue. The people and government of New Rochelle have weathered the national economy very well, and much better than most municipalities throughout NYS and USA.

Brian, for once I agree with most of your points. About the only thing I can't accept is that Bramson is not to blame. There is no need to repeat my views on that because they have already be made. I will say Bramson is orchestrating sustainable development in NR and wants to push on the county as whole. He calls sustainable development GreeNR which is nothing more that a code name for Agenda 21. Agenda 21, as you may know, is an attempt to deprive us of our civil liberties. It is a global plan for a new world order. A world order in which we be crammed into densely packed high-rise developments that are concentrated around transit hubs. It is an attempt by the government to tell us how much air we can breathe, how much water we can use, where we can live, what type of transportation we can use, and how we educate our children among other things. It simple terms, it is government seeking to exert more control over human beings. In the end, the ones who benefit from Agenda 21 are the developers and the big corporations that are a part of it. More disturbingly, the people are being lied to about what it is by people like Bramson AND he is using our tax dollars to fund it. I do not trust Bramson and if the people of Westchester are smart, they will very closely at what it is he is trying to sneak passed them.

My same posting ended up posted twice due to a computer glitch, so I have removed the redundancy here, and replaced it with this message.

My main concern about government violating our civil rights, relates to things like the USA spying on the Associated Press, our Phones and the Internet, all without the due process and free speech guaranteed us by the US Constitution.

I disagree with you regarding Agenda 21. In no way is the USA or NYS or New Rochelle obligated to Agenda 21, and it is completely voluntary. If the New Rochelle city government wishes to be involved, that is not due to an obligation, but rather a choice.

I dispute Agenda 21 being a so-called New World Order or a major violation of civil rights. In fact it could well increase civil rights.

Of course, one person's increased civil rights might reflect reduction of another person's civil rights. I always note that, when one person is complaining about wanting to improve their quality of life by banning something, it usually ends up reducing another person's quality of life. There's almost always a trade-off.

In that regard I am very critical of NR City Hall forcing downtown deli's to close by 11 pm, when they should be allowed to remain open at least until 1 am and probably 24 hours. I don't like City Hall stepping on my right to get a good sandwich at the deli of my choice, at night.

But I think it is very important that the government be involved in how we educate our children, but only as long as the government doesn't force aburdities such as creationism on our children. I think our government should mandate more education in civics and history.

And I think it is important that the our laws be used to prevent segregation and other obnoxious bias from hurting people and our society.

I'm sure most Americans would agree with me that government involvement is necessary to protect our air, water and land from becoming polluted. It is obvious that when corporations or governments cause or condone pollution, they are violating the civil rights of all of us, including future generations.

I am unsure as to whether you are one of those people who believe a government job is somehow inferior to a private job, but I am not.

The government has continuously been involved in American industry, commerce and transportation, as far back as the American Revolution. It financed the invention of interchangeable parts by Eli Whitney, construction of buildings, roads, canals, railways, bridges, powered boats, aircraft, rockets and education. The USA would be a weak second-rate country if it weren't for our government's involvement it all of that and much more.

There are many services we are better off getting from the government than from private industry. Free Enterprise has been unable to provide full employment since the mid 1920's, so government is also needed to provide jobs. To a wage earner and family, a government job is as good as a private job.

I truly doubt that most Westchester voters share many of your stated concerns about the government. I think Rob Astorino wore out his welcome in a single term, and that Noam Bramson will be elected County Executive in 2013. My prediction is that Noam will win about 52% with Astorino getting about 47%. We will have to wait until election day to find out.

Maybe Bramson will win, maybe he won't. But if he does, he will be ousted with disgust just like Andy Spano when Westchester residents get fed up with the tax increases that are used to fund bonded debt for transit-oriented development projects.

As far as Agenda 21 (GreeNR), Bramson wants to preserve open space and reduce traffic by stacking and packing people into cramped high-rise buildings close to transit hubs. Like Echo Bay and Avalon, the cost of constructing these buildings is in one way or another being passed off to the taxpayer. Avalon has an unprecedented 30 year tax abatement and Echo Bay was a land give away with $25 million in bonded debt that the taxpayer will be saddled with. Meanwhile, many of the taxpayers are middle income people living in modest homes struggling to keep up with the high cost of living. They cannot afford to retrofit their homes with green technology. Nor can they afford to keep up with ever-increasing property taxes that are increasing largely due to the lack of retail and the bonded debt NR has accumulated.

Moreover, in case you don't know, the American dream is about having the freedom of choice, and it often associated with home ownership that symbolizes a degree a prosperity among the middle class. Bramson wants to force people away from home ownership by significantly limiting what private home owners can do with property while making it easy, and changing zoning laws, for big developers who want to build high-rises near transit hubs. The only problem is that his plan is not panning out. NR still has not filled Avalon or the Trump Tower, and as the economy improves, more people will shy away from renting and once again want to own their own home.

He cannot control or predict human behavior and that is what he is trying to do at the expense of taxpayers. Like I said, his sustainability plan is based on limited research and a theory. He lacks the facts to backup his theory. If he had focused on retail and commercial development perhaps NR would have had the revenue it needed to maintain the city yard and the armory and we wouldn't be footing the bill for a new $25 million city yard and the 20 year abated echo bay project. Bramson needs to have his ego deflated because this sustainability plan, also referred to as SmartGrowth, and a variety of other names, is nothing more than a cover for Agenda 21.

Again, Agenda 21 is a government plan to rob Americans of their freedoms by limiting where they can live, how they commute, and how they utilize their own property. If you like living in China, then perhaps you should move there. But I personally do not want to see my neighborhood surrounded by high-rise buildings and densely packed. That is what it is becoming thanks to Bramson's policies. He has no concern for the longtime NR residents who have broke their backsides to own a home in the suburbs. He will take their homes in a heartbeat to foster Agenda 21 (GreeNR) through eminent domain just like he is doing on Beechwood Avenue to build the new city yard, which is being built so that Echo Bay can be built, and Echo Bay is part of his sustainability plan, which he wants to be his crowning jewel. Nothing else matters but his success. He only has to please the power elite, which in Westchester, is the democratic party. Nobody else matters.

I will point out one more thing to you Brian. Bramson can't stand TOTS or Bob Cox and would like to see both of them go away. He hates them because they are a thorn in his side. Bramson does not like his dictatorship scrutinized and he wants free reign to do as he pleases with little or no opposition. Bramson silenced Bob Cox when he was on WVOX and he will do what ever he can to make sure Bob gets as little information as possible. Bramson only wants people to know, what he wants them to know. Nothing more. This is NOT how an open government that cares about the people is suppose to behave.

Robert Cox's picture


I believe the point of this article is pretty clear -- that Bramson (along with Jared Rice and Barry Fertel) brought this City into a tizzy for two months, injecting race as an issue, bringing all sorts of unwelcome media coverage, over their supposed concerns over a historical American flag that they claimed represented the Tea Party. The words they used were "offensive" and "divisive". The basis for the claim that the Tea Party is "offensive" is hardly their stated goal of lower taxes and smaller government but a dog whistle based on the claim that the Tea Party is really a group of white racists angry that a black man is President. This is the coded language Noam, Jared and Barry have been using. It is why Barry mentioned the Confederate flag.

Bramson's "thrill" in accepting the support of the founder of the Westchester Tea Party suggests that he did not really find the flag offensive and does not really believe that New Rochelle veterans are white supremacists.

That Fertel and Rice are intimately and actively supporting Noam and have also not expressed any concern at support from Tea Party founder Cavallo suggests their supposed concerns about the Gadsden flag were not genuine as well.

This article merely points that out and begs the question: can you trust a candidate who takes one extreme position one day and then takes the opposite position another day...all within a period of weeks?

My view is "no".


Once the Gadsden Flag was removed, it became a non-issue to the Mayor and other City Council Members and the City Manager.

The Gadsden Flag issue, either way, has never been meaningful to the vast majority of voters in New Rochelle.

Within New Rochelle, it is a few Republicans and Tea Partiers, and mainly TOTS, where the Gadsden Flag is an issue. Posters at TOTS imagine and exagerate the importance of the Gadsden Flag, currently in New Rochelle, and historically in the USA, as it's a very obscure oddity, that lost what little importance it had by 1776.

I personally see the national Tea Parties as a combination of Anti-Taxers and Anarchists.

It is the national Republican Party, itself, in DC and in other States' governments, that frequently advocates racist, anti-ethnic, and anti-immigration sentiments and policies. This has been the GOP policy since Nixon established his 'Southern Strategy' and Reagan enhanced the concept of getting elected by advocating bigotry.

I must add, that in New Rochelle and Westchester, any racially, ethnically or sexually bigoted citizens are more likely to vote Republican than Democrat. That fact paints other, non-bigoted Republicans as birds-of-a-feather flocking with the real bigots.

As such, the New Rochelle & Westchester Republican Party, by association with the national Republican Party, suffer from what I have referred to as the Pepe Le Pew problem.

Evidently, the Westchester Independence Party has wisely chosen to reject the Republican candidate for County Executive, so as to disassociate itself from the stench of bigotry that most Westchester voters associate with the Republican Party.

I am unaware of any 'extreme' positions of any of the current members of the NR City Council or of our City Manager. As I understand it, their position is that the only flag that is automatically entitled to be on our municipal flagpoles is the American Flag, 'Old Glory'.

In my own opinion, other flags that might be entitled to flown on our NR municipal flagpoles, include the NY State Flag, NR City Flag and the MIA/POW Flag, but only if our City Government chooses to do so or if obligated by law.

I know of no extreme positions of Noam Bramson. Our Mayor is quite mainstream and moderate. Mayor Bramson is very good at building a consensus.

I do consider Rob Astorino to be an obnoxious extremist, when it comes to his bigoted position against Westchester County's legal obligation to create 750 housing units for lower income families, and regarding his irrational desire to destroy Playland. Astorino is extremely divisive and un-cooperative.

Robert Cox's picture

I think it was pretty clear that I was not using the term "extreme" to connote an "extremist" political position but that Noam was very far to one side on the issue of his opinion of the Tea Party that it was basically an illegitimate, xenophobic, racist movement that is beyond the pale and that not only is anyone associated with it a bad person but anyone who does not aggressively denounce the Tea Party in the same terms is effectively a Tea Party supporter and thus also a racist not fit to be part of public discourse. In other words, on a scale of 0 to 100 Noam is at a "0", where 0=100% opposed to the Tea Party and anyone even remotely associated with (by which he means not denouncing it).

Is there some debate on this point that Noam is fully anti-Tea Party in all of his rhetoric over the past few months? I would call his position on the Tea Party extremely to the negative side of the scale. He sees it as very bad.

And Dr. Cavallo is the co-founder of the Westchester Tea Party.

And so this begs the question: can you trust a candidate who takes one extreme position one day and then takes the opposite position another day...all within a period of weeks?

He hates the Tea Party all year long except in the past week when the Westchester Tea Party endorses him. Then he is silent.

You used up a lot of words to make a pretty wide arc around addressing the point of the article and the question I asked.

They way I interpret that is that you do not want to directly answer that question or address the point of the article -- that Noam climbed into bed with the founder of the Westchester Tea Party after months of heated anti-Tea Party rhetoric.

Personally I view the Tea Party as something popular in the southern, mid-western and western parts of the USA, in particular to the rural, less-educated parts of America. I believe there are very few Tea Party advocates in Westchester, and an even lower percent in New Rochelle.

I have no opinion on what Noam's beliefs are regarding the Tea Party. It's of little interest to me, as I don't take the Tea Party seriously.

But of course, there is no actual political party in NY State called the Tea Party. My impression is that the so-called Tea Party, throughout the USA, is a faction within the Republican Party.

Noam received the nomination of the NYS's Independence Party. I see no reason to consider the Independence Party to be the same thing as the Republican Party or Tea Party. In fact, I am certain that most NYS voters who registered as enrolled in the Independence Party, actually thought they were registering as independent of any political party. That is to say, most voters who registered as Independence Party, thought they were registering as non-affiliated with any political party.

I cannot comment more to your satisfaction because I don't follow the activities of the local Tea Party, and am not informed as to what it represents in Westchester, and how it may differ from the Independence Party.

This is typical for Bramson. He will do anything to get elected. Winning is all that matters. If he doesn't throw mud at his opponents, he is contradicting himself to get support from anyone he can. The man has no ethical boundaries. And what do County residents get if he wins? Higher taxes. So far he hasn't named one thing he will deliver if he wins. About the only thing he touts is his economic development plans but he doesn't have one project under his belt. The only thing he has on the table is echo bay, and that project he wants passed despite considerable public opposition. So in short, if he is elected county executive, he will do what he wants despite what the public wants. Another closed minded politician.

There is not enough soap in the 15 CVS's in New Ro for Noam to wash this one off. But, In 2 years the New Ro GOP better not be seeking the Independence Part endorsement. Cut ties to these minor parties that only speak for their party bosses.

Robert Cox's picture


I see no reason why the GOP would not want the Independence Party line within the context of this article.

The Tea Party groups across the country are not as characterized by Noam Bramson, Jared Rice or Barry Fertel. Their basic position is lower taxes and smaller government and setting aside cultural issues like gay marriage or abortion as they advance those issues. I do not see anything inconsistent with the GOP aligning with the Tea Party or, in this case, the Independence Party leader who founded the local Tea Party. Neither the GOP generally nor Astorino specifically has attacked the Tea Party or attacked their opponents for being members or supporters of the Tea Party.

Noam has done this repeatedly and so his embrace of Cavallo is noteworthy.

You are apparently opposed to allowing cross-party endorsements. That's fine but until the law changes, everyone has to play by the rules that exist.

The issue you are raising is a non-sequitir to this article.


Instead of trying to take me to task read what I wrote. I said the New Ro GOP. As a news man I would have thought you would have read their (new ro gop) posts calling the Westchester Independence Party pigs and sell outs. Dont blast them and the ask for support two hears from now. That to me is pretty "sequitur"

Robert Cox's picture


First, it would not be a good assumption to expect that I have read something even on my own site. I am often too busy producing content to read other content. We have the magical internet; you can provide a link or links to reference some other content on the web.

Second, even if I knew, without providing the links or otherwise providing context, there is no way for the reader to follow your argument. It just pops out of nowhere based on your assumption that I and all other readers would somehow know about what you read.

Third, even if the New Rochelle GOP is railing against Cavallo or the Independence Party that is hardly a reason for every other local GOP or the County GOP or Astorino to forego the Independence Party nomination and really this article is in a broader context.

I will add that I just saw a flyer in the mail from Astorino asking for registered members of the Independence Party to sign nominating petitions for Rob Astorino and only Rob Astorino. I do not see anything wrong with this; in fact, Astorino is going around Cavallo in doing this.

Astorino IndependenceParty

Until Cavallo backed Noam, the antithesis of his beliefs from 4 years ago.

This Post is a reply to John D'Alois's Post "Maybe Bramson will win, maybe he won't" below at:

The column width there is too narrow, so I have posted my reply here, to make it and answering Posts easier to read:

Most Americans have never heard of Agenda 21, and would be unconcerned if accurately informed about it. Its purpose, and the USA’s obligations are certainly not what you have been led to believe. I don’t know what your own source of information is, and I suggest you post a link to the text of that source. I realize you have posted links to opinions at YouTube, but I'd like to see text, and preferably some facts if available, and not just interpretations.

You misunderstand the nature and purpose of Agenda 21, as well as the fact that the USA has no obligations to comply with it. I am quoting from the link I have posted.

“Agenda 21 is a non-binding, voluntarily implemented action plan of the United Nations with regard to sustainable development. It is a product of the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1992. It is an action agenda for the UN, other multilateral organizations, and individual governments around the world that can be executed at local, national, and global levels.”

“The United States is a signatory country to Agenda 21, but because Agenda 21 is not a treaty, the Senate was unable to hold a formal debate or vote on it. Since Agenda 21 is not a treaty, it is not considered to be law under Article VI of the U.S. Constitution.”

I believe your own interpretation of the American Dream is unusual, and not the meaning most Americans would describe. But then again, there is no precise definition of the American Dream, and its meaning has continuously changed over hundreds of years and will continue to change as our society progresses. I suggest your read the information at the following link:

“Historically the Dream originated in the mystique regarding frontier life. As the Royal Governor of Virginia noted in 1774, the Americans "for ever imagine the Lands further off are still better than those upon which they are already settled”.

“The ethos today implies an opportunity for Americans to achieve prosperity through hard work. According to The Dream, this includes the opportunity for one's children to grow up and receive a good education and career without artificial barriers. It is the opportunity to make individual choices without the prior restrictions that limited people according to their class, caste, religion, race, or ethnicity. Immigrants to the United States sponsored ethnic newspapers in their own language; the editors typically promoted the American Dream.”

“Historian James Truslow Adams popularized the phrase "American Dream" in his 1931 book Epic of America:

“It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position.”

“Martin Luther King, Jr., in his "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" (1963) rooted the civil rights movement in the black quest for the American Dream:

"We will win our freedom because the sacred heritage of our nation and the eternal will of God are embodied in our echoing demands ... when these disinherited children of God sat down at lunch counters they were in reality standing up for what is best in the American dream and for the most sacred values in our Judeo-Christian heritage, thereby bringing our nation back to those great wells of democracy which were dug deep by the founding fathers in their formulation of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence."

The American Dream goes beyond the limits of religion or specific religions, but ML King Jr was a Christian Reverend, so his interpretation is understandable. Obviously the American Dream is available to all Americans of all religions, as well as agnostics and atheists.

“The term is used in popular discourse, and scholars have traced its use in American literature ranging from the Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, to Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884), Willa Cather's My Ántonia, F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby (1925), Theodore Dreiser's An American Tragedy (1925) and Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon (1977). Other writers who used the American Dream theme include Hunter S. Thompson, Edward Albee, John Steinbeck, and Langston Hughes. The American Dream is also discussed in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman; the play's protagonist, Willy, is on a journey for the American Dream.”

I fully doubt that most, if any of those authors would agree with you on the meaning of the American Dream.

The Statue of Liberty has a 19th century poem attached to it, written by Emma Lazarus, that also describes the American Dream:

“Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

I am looking into getting some speakers to come to NR and inform the public what Agenda 21 is, what roll ICLEI has in implementing the plan, and how it will affect our future. I also suggest that if Bramson is serious about limiting our dependency on the automobile, then he should lead by example. He should give up his cars and move into Avalon to show people his way of life is acceptable. He should have the entire city workforce live there and contribute to the local economy. They can get rid of their cars and walk to City Hall. I have nothing against sustainability, but don't build high-rises at taxpayer expense and tell others how they should live while living among the northend elite. Better yet, build a high-rise on Pinebrook Boulevard and fill it with section 8 recipients and see how fast CTBH turns into a shooting match. All the people who aren't affected by this tyrant's policies want him in office. Frankly, I wouldn't let clean my doghouse. I respect your opinion Brian, but you are not going to change my mind about him and I see no reason to continue this back and forth. Best wishes.

You are inaccurately using my name as your reference for your lengthy response. I believe you are responding to the other John D'Alois commonly referred to as John Imburgia :-O

No problem fellas and when I grow up I would be proud to be like John (whatever the last name would be)!
I do have to say, confusing the names says so much more than the lengthy posts. Maybe there's a psychcologist that could interpret that one. I suppose its good to know other are thinking of you.

Back to work everybody - these aren't the droids you're looking for