JOURNAL NEWS: Bramson County Executive Campaign Used Same Media Firm That Cuomo Protected from Moreland Commision

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JOURNAL NEWS: Bramson County Executive Campaign Used Same Media Firm That Cuomo Protected from Moreland Commision

July 25, 2014 - 12:20

Elizabeth Ganga of the Journal News has an interesting "tidbit" about New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson:

In her article Buying Time under the microscope, she writes:

The media buying company Buying Time was the most prominently featured campaign-related company in the New York Times story this week detailing Gov. Andrew Cuomo's apparent meddling with the Moreland Commission...New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson also used the company extensively when he ran for Westchester County Executive against Rob Astorino last year. He spent more than $800,000 with the company for TV ads.

There are 16 Comments

We owe this to NY States 1 party system. I guess the residents brought this all upon themselves not that the other party is squeaky clean.
The problem is the fox is minding the Hen House so the games will continue. The democratic machine churns out the music no matter so the residents either continue to dance or move.
In general its a dirty little mess.
Mario Cuomo I never liked but at least he was honest.
Andrew I dislike and now know he is a dishonest but less than Boy Wonder who is just plain too smart for us all.
The inmates are running the prisons

NY is clearly a 2-Party State.

George Pataki (Republican) was the governor from 1995-2006.

Rudy Giuliani (Republican) was Mayor of NYC from 1995–2001.

Michael Bloomberg (Republican-Independent) was Mayor of NYC from 2002–2013.

Rob Astorino (Republican) is in his second term as Westchester County Executive.

The NYS Senate had been run by Republicans from 1939 to 1964 and then from 1965 until 2009. Then, in January 2009 the Democrats gained control, but in June 2009 lost that Senate majority following the defections of sleazy Jeffrey Klein, David Valesky and Diane Savino from the Democratic caucus, the Republicans regained control of the NYS Senate.

That was unfortunate for Westchester and New Rochelle, as otherwise Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins (Democrat), representing New Rochelle, would have been Majority Leader of the NY Senate, one of the 3 most powerful positions in NYS government. That would have been very good for New Rochelle and Westchester.

Hopefully, turncoat Jeff Klein will lose the 2014 Primary to Oliver Koppell.

If the Democrats gain control of the NYS Senate in 2015, then our Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins will become Majority Leader of the NY Senate, and she will be in a position to do much for the people of New Rochelle and Westchester.

Fortunately, once the Democrats control the NY Senate, the inmates will no longer running the prisons.

Guilt by association?

Personally I think Gov Cuomo's interference with his own Moreland Commission was foolish, at least politically and morally.

But I see no reason to associate Noam with that controversy, as you have not stated anything dishonest that 'Buying Time' did on behalf of Bramson.

However, if 'Buying Time' actually produced Noam Bramson's commercials, the problem is that the commercials were not very compelling, nor for that matter were Rob Astorino's commercials.

I would like to respond to both of your comments.

So let me get this straight; if you don’t vote in lockstep with the Democratic leadership you are a sleazy turncoat? Does that apply to the five democrats who voted against Common Core, which was initially supported by the Democratic leadership? If applied consistently, your condemnation defines Senator George Latimer as a sleazy turncoat for opposing Common Core.

While the two party system is a necessary evil, the mindset that once one is registered in a political party they must tow the party line, denying independence, is what resulted in the current corruption that is NYS government. Governors have resigned for scandals, many while in office, and the current governor is embroiled in a developing scandal because the primary political objective is to protect those who helped the current political power brokers get elected at all costs. Some might respond the “people” put them in office but the truth is the corporations, unions and power brokers who contributed millions to allow the politicians to get their “message” out are responsible for the current dysfunctional gang in Albany.

The winning “message” is usually a party line message crafted by the power brokers to protect their contributors while luring the faithful "blind mice” party liners to sign on to. That message is targeted at attaining public office regardless of what is best for the constituency. This was never more evident then the current day Charles Rangel fiasco. Rangel’s peers, in an overwhelming vote of 333-79, for ethic violations and financial misconduct, censured the 40-year representative. Yet the party line cronies helped the disgraced Rangel survive a primary challenge this past June.

The party line lackeys may consider it "guilt by association" but the reporting of Bramson using the same media firm that Governor Cuomo uses and attempted to protect from the defunct Moreland Commission's corruption investigation is reporting that furthers the adage; Birds of a Feather FLOCK TOGETHER”!

Anthony Galletta is confused about my comment, so I am clarifying my statement so he can understand my point.

I do not believe elected officials should vote in lock-step with some 'Party Line' on various issues. I encourage elected officials to think for themselves and to vote in the interests of their constituent voting and non-voting persons.

The reason I referred to Jeff Klein as sleazy, has nothing to do with how he votes on legislation. I do not know how Senator Klein votes on legislation, and that is not the issue I raised.

The issue I raised, was that Senator Jeff Klein voted to prevent his own Democratic Party from placing a Democrat as the Majority Leader of the NY Senate, despite the fact that a majority of the NYS Senators are Democrats. Senator Klein did so, not to make NY a better State, but rather to increase the personal political power of Jeff Klein, in contradiction to the vote of the majority of NY State voters.

Therefore, I have advocated that Democrat Jeff Klein be ‘primaried’ out of office, much like what happened to Republican Eric Cantor. I advocated that Oliver Koppell would be a much better Senator than Jeff Klein. This is in regards to a mostly-Bronx Senatorial District that, until recently, included part of New Rochelle.

I know George Latimer, and think he has been a very good Senator and Assemblyman, so I do not understand why you brought him up. My own Senator is Andrea Stewart-Cousins and my Assemblyman is Steve Otis. Assemblyman Otis has been very effective in his first term. Senator Stewart-Cousins has been effective in her several terms of office, and will probably become NY Senate Majority Leader next year. Obviously, New Rochelle would very much benefit by having its Senator become Majority Leader.

Personally, I don’t believe in ‘Party Lines’, and in general the Democrats do not walk in lock-step with ‘Party Lines’. The past few years, I repeatedly, clearly stated on TOTS, that the NR Democratic Committee has no ‘Party Lines’ regarding any specific issues, and I accurately predicted that Echo Bay Forest City would fail to be approved by the City Council, despite 5 of 7 City Council Members being Democrats. I was proven correct when 6 of 7 City Council Members voted against Forest City, including all 6 City Council Members representing Council Districts.

Whereas there is no strong ‘Party Line’ among Democrats, the Republican Party, especially in Washington DC and in states other than NY, very much does follow ‘Party Lines’ in lock-step. The House of Representatives is a perfect example of Republican Party negligence, if not malfeasance, in this regard.

Speaker John Boehner refuses to put anything to a vote unless a majority of the Republicans supports that vote. If Speaker Boehner truly believed in democracy, he would put legislation to a vote of the majority of all the Congresspersons, even if a minority of Republicans contributed to the vote’s total majority. In comparison, when Nancy Pelosi was Speaker, she did put legislation to the vote, even if less than a majority of Democrats supported the legislation.

I do agree with you, that it is unfortunate that Corporations and Power Brokers have too much influence on our politicians.

However, within my lifetime, I have seen the influence of Unions greatly diminish, to the detriment of our economy and blue collar workers, and consider that unfortunate for the USA. It is no coincidence that the USA’s economy was at its strongest in the 1940’s thru 1960’s when the Unions were at their strongest, and Ultra-Wealthy families at their weakest. It is no coincidence that the USA’s economy has weakened since the 1970’s, especially among Laborers, during the same period that Unions have weakened while the influence of the Ultra-Wealthy has increased dramatically.

There is a great difference between the negative influences of Big Business Lobbies, and Union Lobbies. Big Businesses lobby to increase the influence of the already-overly-influential top 10% of Americans (let alone the top 1% who virtually run America’s economic and foreign policies). Unions lobby to provide some influence for the vast number of under-paid Laborers of Americans, including those Laborers who don’t join Unions.

Anthony Galletta, you have certainly failed to prove your false allegation, that Gov Cuomo’s elimination of the Moreland Commission proves Mayor Bramson is somehow guilty by association. It is you who are guilty of innuendo, by your associating Noam Bramson with the questionable acts of Andrew Cuomo.

I do not think a 2-Party System is inherently evil, and in the USA and UK, it has historically been necessary and effective. When one looks at republics such as France, Italy or Israel, it is obvious that nations of many political parties, tend to be unstable and incompetent. I’d perhaps blame that instability problem on parliamentary systems, except that the UK tends to have stable governments, and is a 2-Party System. Of course the worst situations are 1-Party systems such as in fascist Russia and Syria, or Communist China.

I have little knowledge of Common Core, and don’t know whether I agree with its objectives and policies, or not. I do think Public Education is one of America’s greatest priorities. But, I do not follow the policies of NR Board of Education closely, as I have no children in school. I believe its very much in the interest of parents of current and future students to closely monitor and influence the policies and effectiveness of NR public schools, as well as monitoring the NR School District.

Certainly, our schools are obligated to give the best education possible, and to encourage greater knowledge of Math, Science, English, Civics, Economics, History, Geography and the Arts. Without such education, our students would be less competitive in our current and future economic environment. Knowledge of Civics, Economics, History and Geography are a serious necessity to a well-functioning democracy.

I do not know what Common Core’s objective is, regarding any of those subjects. Perhaps you can enlighten me, as to your own perspective on that, and as to what your problem is with Common Core.

Brian, where do I begin? Once again your overly verbose and rambling post is flat out erroneous! I am not confused by anything; it is you who is back-peddling.

Let’s get out of the fairytale world of the Emerald City and deal with reality. In justification of labeling Senator Jeff Klein “sleazy” for changing the majority in the senate you state, “Senator Klein did so, not to make NY a better State, but rather to increase the personal political power of Jeff Klein…” Isn’t an elected official’s job to best represent their constituents? Don’t the constituents of the most powerful elected officials receive considerations that that constituents that the party-liners do not? The peons have to tow the party line to receive a few crumbs for their constituents. So, by breaking away from the democratic majority and doing EXACTLY what you encourage elected officials to do, “I encourage elected officials to think for themselves and to vote in the interests of their constituent voting and non-voting persons.” Senator Klein thought for himself and did what he believed was best to serve his constituents.

By stating, “I repeatedly, clearly stated on TOTS, that the NR Democratic Committee has no ‘Party Lines’ regarding any specific issues, and I accurately predicted that Echo Bay Forest City would fail to be approved by the City Council, despite 5 of 7 City Council Members being Democrats. I was proven correct when 6 of 7 City Council Members voted against Forest City, including all 6 City Council Members representing Council Districts.” You are clearly naïve or blind to the history of Echo Bay. For years both Tim Idoni & Noam Bramson conspired to demolish the NR Armory and fatten the pockets of Forest City. They violated the Armory deed and gave control over the Armory to Forest City. The aforementioned democratic mayors controlled EVERY vote preceding the last votes where a bi-partisan group, led by Councilman Tarantino, killed a bad project. If not for Mayor Bramson’s disgraceful behavior towards Councilwoman Shari Rackman’s independence, Forest City might still be moving forward. In the end, even handmaiden Fertel abandoned SS Bramson Forest City.

The biggest farce is your statement that, “ general the Democrats do not walk in lock-step with ‘Party Lines". You go on to state, Democrats do not walk in lock-step with party lines and there is no strong party line among democrats? Here is a reality check; OBAMACARE! Do you remember how it was passed? In the dark of night, behind closed doors EXCLUDING republicans if memory serves me. Remember this insightful quote, “we have to pass the bill [ObamaCare] so that you can find out what is in it”? What about the democrats pushing through the nuclear option? Reversing a decades old position to allow a simple majority judicial appointment as opposed to the long-standing 60-vote requirement? It was the democrats who instituted the 60-vote rule in 1975 when the democrats gained control of the senate. The democrats couldn’t play by their rules so they changed the rules.

Brian Sussman, you need to re-read my post. I never stated or accused Governor Cuomo or Mayor Bramson of being guilty of anything. I stated birds of a feather, democrats Cuomo & Bramson, flock together; used the same media buying company (Buying Time). This is done for many reasons; to bargain for pricing and most importantly to solicit major campaign contributions regardless of party. In the end, it is you who misinterpreted both Ms. Ganga’s reporting and my post as something they were not.

Read the words and don’t let political affiliation affect your knee-jerk political response.

Now please sit down and take a deep breath. I just read that Governor Cuomo will endorse Senator Klein in the upcoming primary that you desire Klein to loose. Sorry Brian.

Tim Idoni had nothing to do with Forest City, nor was Idoni involved in plans to demolish the NR Armory.

Those plans occurred after Tim Idoni became County Clerk, and while Noam Bramson has been Mayor.

Forest City was cancelled by 6 of 7 Councilmembers, 4 of whom were Democrats. It would only have taken those 4 Democratic majority votes to eliminate Forest City.

If the bipartisan group had a leader it was led by Democrats Ivar Hyden and Shari Rackman. I appreciate that the 2 Republicans concurred with the 4 Democrats.

Here is a quote from 1997 in reference to the Armory and waterfront development from a local news article written by Eve Heyn; "Mayor Tim Idoni said the city would always maintain public waterfront access but it may want to make the site available to a private developer for a waterfront project. At that time, the city would reopen negotiations with the state."

The City accepted the Armory under false pretenses and failed to meet their contractual responsibility of maintaining the building. The City sanctioned police & fire training in the Armory which contributed to further deterioration of the building. I know we agree on preserving the Armory but don't allow your blind defense of fellow democrats to cloud the facts.

There is nothing in your quote, that indicates Tim Idoni advocated demolition of the Armory, nor demolition of anything else. In fact your quote doesn't even mention the Armory nor does it mention City Yard.

And to "maintain public waterfront access but it may want to make the site available to a private developer for a waterfront project", doesn't indicate demolition and could well indicate restoration.

I don't blindly defend anyone, but you do appear to blindly attack Democrats. Try not to stretch the truth with false or misleading allegations.

Robert Cox's picture


Your understanding of how it came to pass that the Echo Bay development deal with Forest City was defeated is uninformed.

I do realize that being uninformed has never prevented you from having an opinion but for readers who might be confused, there were many moving parts and lots of factors that came to play over an extended period of time and those who REALLY know what happened are not talking.

You are right that 4 Democrats and 2 Republicans voted to kill the deal with Mayor Bramson the sole "yes" vote.

Prior to November the votes lined as Noam, Barry, Jared, Shari v. Ivar, Lou, Al and it was Shari who swung her vote against the project. Jared and Barry changed their vote, according to The Sound Report, at the direction of the Mayor in order to salvage their own futures when the community had so obviously turned hard against the project. I would also point out that the resolution Shari was supporting was brought by Al Tarantino with support from Ivar and Lou.

Missing from your analysis is WHY the votes lined up they way the did for a while, then changed and then changed so more. That had a great deal to do with many people NOT on City Council and a slowly building consensus that the deal was simply not a good deal for the community; that consensus reached critical mass in the fall of 2013.

I will just say these things did not JUST HAPPEN.

In the end, a small group of people came up with a plan to turn around an ocean liner, acted on the plan and then let the tides do the rest.

Noam was outfoxed. And part of outfoxing him is not disclosing how it was done.

I see no facts in your statement that contradicts me, despite your stated belief that you are contradicting me.

I stand by my accurate statement, that Forest City was cancelled because of the votes of 4 Democratic Councilpersons. Their 4 votes were the majority necessary to cancel the Forest City.

Although Councilpersons Tarantino and Trangucci correctly voted to cancel Forest City, it would have been cancelled without their votes, because of the votes of Hyden, Rackman, Rice and Fertel.

Although I might be a bit sarcastic here, I am accurately stating the reality, that the Democrats could have cancelled Forest City without the votes of the Republicans, but the Republicans could not have cancelled Forest City without the votes of the Democrats.

I take a lot of credit myself, for advocating against Forest City and against the demolition of the Armory and against moving City Yard to Beechwood as far back as 2006. When did TOTS or United Citizens first speak up against Forest City?

I repeatedly spoke up against these projects to the various Councilpersons who have served during that time, directly and at NR Democratic Committee meetings, and have talked with many voters about these projects, even before Councilpersons Tarantino and Trangucci were elected.

During that same time period, I effectively advocated against real estate reassessment in New Rochelle, based on the fact that reassessment would create havoc by relatively lowering the taxes of the wealthy North End, by increasing the taxes of the poorer South End.

Noam wasn't outfoxed. He just didn't realize there was never much support for Forest City or destroying the Armory. I witnessed very few Democrats advocating for that demolition and construction.

Mayor Bramson and the few Democrats that did advocate it, echoed to each other, creating the false illusion they believed, that there was wide public support for Forest City, when most voters either had no opinion or were strongly against Forest City.

There is an important lesson here, for all politicians. Despite a politician's closest associates and supporters loudly encouraging a specific policy, that doesn't mean the voters support that policy. And even if a large portion of the public hasn't spoken out against a policy, that doesn't mean that policy is popular among the public.

Once again you allow your opinion and blind defense of Democrats to cloud the facts. Your statement: “I stand by my accurate statement, that Forest City was cancelled because of the votes of 4 Democratic Councilpersons. Their 4 votes were the majority necessary to cancel the Forest City” is absurd and in no way “accurate”. It is true that a four-vote majority of a seven-member council decides the fate of any motion. That said, the first four votes, either yay or nay, rule. In this case the first four nay votes came from districts 1, 2, 3 & 4. Two Republicans and two Democrats represent those districts. Once the four-vote majority is reached, the remaining three votes, districts 5 & 6 along with the Mayor’s vote are moot.

IF your goal is to be accurate, a Republican introduced a motion to kill the Forest City Echo Bay project, I believe a fellow Republican seconded it and a four-vote bi-partisan (two Republican / two Democrat) sequence sealed the projects fate. The final vote was a super-majority 6-1 against but as reported, the final vote included flip-flops from Democrats for political considerations.

The BI-PARTISAN "Core-Four" that truly killed Forest City was Tarantino, Trangucci, Hyden & Rackman as Rice & Fertel flip-flopped on the final 6-1 vote.

Bob Cox is correct in that there were many moving parts, secluded from the public, that had to align in order for this BI-PARTISAN effort to kill a bad deal. It was refreshing to see a BI-PARTISAN majority work for the betterment of New Rochelle.

I apologize to TOTS readers for the length of this reply and I apologize to Brian Sussman as I presumed that a person of your stature, a self-proclaimed NR historian and a Save Our Armory (SOA) supporter, would understand the significance of former Mayor Tim Idoni’s 1997 statement. Since you are claiming ignorance, I will spell it out.

You are WRONG on two levels; 1) in 1997 the Echo Bay project, under former Mayor Tim Idoni, comprised 26 acres including the 3-acre NR Armory site; 2) the reason Idoni states renegotiation with the State would be necessary is because signing the Armory over to a private developer would violate the deed stipulation for public use requiring the City to renegotiate the deed. If your selective memory is functioning, you should remember that Mayor Bramson, without a vote from council, sent a home rule request to then Assemblyman George Latimer to amend the Armory deed to allow the City unrestricted ownership to allow private, non-public use of the Armory. As usual this was attempted during the closing hours of the Assembly session and in the wee hours of the morning but thankfully SOA supporters got wind of the backroom attempt to sabotage Armory preservation and squashed Bramson & Latimer's best efforts (

That combined with the fact that no developer would agree to and the City’s absolute refusal to mandate NR Armory preservation in their Request For Proposal (RFP) or in the Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) granted to Forest City should make it clear that the City never intended to honor the deed. The City had no intention of honoring the letter of the law nor the clear intent of then Governor Pataki as stated in his press release. Governor Pataki is quoted as saying, “By providing a public park on the banks of the Long Island Sound, we can make this beautiful natural resource accessible to children and their parents."

Let’s not forget another recent Bramson debacle, in 2012, a party line 5-2 City Council vote awarded Good Profit, a fruit stand / restaurant proposal, the right to negotiate a deal with the City Manager on the Armory property. This project failed to acquire basic financial backing and fizzled by the way side not to mention that one member of the Good Profit group had ties to Mayor Bramson’s wife. This proposal would have required the State renegotiation Idoni acknowledged in 1997. City council railroaded this feeble project through, along party lines, slighting a NR Veterans’ proposal to construct a Performing Arts Center that would satisfy the deed.

Former City Manager, Peter Korn, one of two people responsible for arranging acquisition of the NR Armory penned a Letter to the Editor in which he states, “There was no desire at any time to utilize or preserve the Armory building.”

Finally, on the subject of Armory destruction, I would direct you to your 2012 comment on Talk Of The Sound,
“Considering where we were six years ago, I am encouraged that the Armory still exists, and that the City Council is at all attempting preserve it. Our real loss was Ft Slocum in the 1970-80's, something that was an unforgivable crime. Let’s not repeat it.”

Game, set, match!

On the matter of me attacking democrats, I challenge anyone whose beliefs and or actions are not supported by facts or anyone who does not represent the will of their constituents regardless of political affiliation. I publicly challenged the NR Republican Party when they flip-flopped on strong mayor by debating both Jim Maisano & Kathy Conroy on WVOX. I also supported and displayed a large lawn sign for State Assemblywoman Amy Paulin. Our core beliefs are at opposite ends of the spectrum BUT Ms. Paulin puts constituent service above politics; for that reason she received my vote.

While I accept the fact that I have conservative views and am a registered Republican I have worked with and fought against all parties. I worked with Senator Klein when I was co-chair of the SOA Committee with former Democratic Councilwoman Linda Levine and blasted Senator Klein when Bramson and Latimer used Klein as a pawn in their failed attempt to hijack the NR Armory. I once switched my political registration to Independent/non-affiliated and was mocked by members of the NR Democratic Party when I attended their public Democratic meeting. A near riot developed that night as then Mayor Idoni acknowledged my presence and incited the group against me prompting the meeting to be adjourned and moved to a private residence. To his credit, Chairman Arnold Klugman defended my right to attend. Since that night, the NR Democrats meet privately and have denied certain registered Democrats the right to attend their meetings.

Anthony, don't confuse your opinions with actual facts.

We are in agreement that Noam Bramson strongly supported Forest City, and made no effort to preserve the armory.

But you're opinions regarding Tim Idoni, are unsupported by facts.

1991 was the last At-Large City Council Election. In 1991, I actively campaigned against Linda Levine's reelection, but did campaign in support of Alex Eodice for City Council.

In 1991, Linda Levine campaigned against that year's referendum both changing the At-Large City Council to representation by Council Districts, and against replacing the appointed office of City Manager with an elected Executive Mayor who would no longer be a legislator on the City Council. Linda Levine had also sued New Rochelle, to abort that referendum.

In 1991, Alex Eodice advocated both replacing the At-Large City Council with one of Council Districts, and replacing the City Manager with an Executive Mayor.

In the 1991 Election, incumbent Linda Levine lost to newly elected Alex Eodice.

The referendum resulted in our changing the City Council from fully At-Large to Council Districts, with the exception of our Mayor being the single At-Large Councilmember.

The referendum resulted in retaining the office of appointed City Manager, leaving New Rochelle voters unable to directly determine who is our city's Chief Executive, and leaving us with a confused lack of separation of governmental powers. That is Linda Levine's legacy to New Rochelle. I can see why she flocks together with Jeff Klein.

Brian, I attempt to avoid long posts because people shy away or skim-read responses missing important FACTS as you apparently did when you read my I apologize comment.

That said, I will make this short & sweet for YOU by re-quoting then City Manager, Peter Korn, one of two people responsible for arranging acquisition of the NR Armory, under MAYOR TIM IDONI:

“There was no desire at any time to utilize or preserve the Armory building.”

I can no longer beat a dead horse that you refuse to accept is dead.

When former City Manager Peter Korn states “There was no desire at any time to utilize or preserve the Armory building”, he is referring to himself or perhaps the City Council or the People of New Rochelle.

There is nothing in that quote indicating that he was referring to Tim Idoni, and it's just as likely Mr Korn was referring to Anthony Galletta.

Our chief executive was City Manager Peter Korn, not our legislative Mayor.

Anthony, it's clear that you have been beating a dead horse all along.