OPEN LETTER TO CHUCK STROME: Never Said or Implied that Noam Bramson was Behind Liguori Letter to Parente

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Chuck,

You have sought through back-channels and through your radio show today on WVOX to take issue with my article about Brother Liguouri and his letter to Peter Parente on the grounds that it falsely states that Noam Bramson was behind or involved with the letter sent to Peter Parente. Setting aside that you ought to just contact me directly, per your on-air recommendation, I have read my post again. There is only one paragraph in the article that I wrote which mentions Noam Bramson.

Iona College President James Liguori, Mired in Embezzlement Scandal, Wades into New Rochelle District 3 City Council Race

The nakedly partisan political letter sent to a Republican candidate for City Council and cc'd to Noam Bramson, the de facto leader of the Democratic party, shows a picture of Liguori at odds with his public image. He comes off as a bullying cleric engaged in hardball politics more concerned with the bottom line at the college than the quality of life for residents....

Please explain how you draw from this that I have said or even implied that Noam was behind the letter. Like the rest of the article, the focus on this paragraph is on Liguouri's behavior. The mention of Bramson is in passing, to make the point that Liguori is bringing the de facto head of the Democratic party into what would otherwise have been a private communication between Iona College and a Republican candidate for City Council. To that extent, the mention of Noam Bramson is contained within a criticism of Liguori; your on-air statements are simply wrong. I wonder if you even read my article.

More to the point, I wonder why you care. Why are you even involved. The letter is not addressed to you, sent by you, does not directly concern you and you were not cc'd on it. How do YOU know that the Mayor was not involved in drafting or sending this letter? Did Noam or Liguori tell you that? If so, why were they discussing this matter with you and why would that prompt you to become the only public official who has commented on this matter. You say that Jared got the same/similar letter. How do you know that? And why is that not referenced in the letter to Peter? And where is it and how can it be proven it was sent last week?

More ironic, the last time I heard you mention Iona College was in the context of the United Water rate increase request and fire hydrants. You made public statements complaining that Iona College did not pay taxes but received city services including fire department services that depend on the hydrants -- statements consistent with concerns expressed in my article. It was my impression that we might AGREE that there is a problem with Brother Liguori's notion of "representation without taxation" and that his threats to try to bring out an imported student vote against local candidates who do not tow the Iona College line is disturbing.

At this point it strikes me as just as likely that any other letter such as a letter from Brother Liguori to Jared Rice would have been generated AFTER I wrote about the letter to Peter as a sort of CYA maneuver but as you have inserted yourself quite prominently into a political issue which seems to have nothing to do with your role as City Manager perhaps you can arrange for Brother Liguori or Jared Rice to provide a copy of a letter. Please do not tell me that it is not your place to get involved -- you have already been involved for the past two days and, as noted above, are the only public official who has made a public comment about the Liguori-Parente letter.

A final point, that Liguori would have also threatened Jared Rice does not make it OK for him to threaten Peter Parente. You would have to explain to me why, if Liguori was not acting politically he would send the letter just a few days before the election when waiting a few days would have allowed him to address his concerns to the winner of the special election with certainty rather than engage in a "drive by", firing wildly at both candidates, if what you have claimed about a letter to Rice is true. You'd also have to explain why he specifically raises the issue of the 2011 election?

In the meantime, given your professed concern for accuracy and ethics, I hope you will be willing to acknowledge in 2 weeks that your statements on WVOX were wrong, that my articles does not state or imply that Noam Bramson was behind the letter sent by Brother Liguori to Peter Parente.

Robert Cox
Managing Editor
New Rochelle's Talk of the Sound

Commenting on this Blog entry is closed.

Care4NewRo on Wed, 11/03/2010 - 22:08
Title: DOMINATION

This website is a joke. Mr. Cox should give back the money that he was given by Cynthia Lobo to TROLL her website. This elections shows only crazy out of whack republicans read this blog. Obviously the voters could care less about Talk of The Sound. Seems like this blog s a curse…Thanks for cursing the GOP ..HAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHA ! SO YOU KNOW. Delete my account I don’t care , next time I want to read a hate blog I can ask Jim Russell instead of looking at this thing  Its over baby!

Rob Baker on Wed, 11/03/2010 - 01:04
Title: Chuck Strome

While I am no fan of Chuck's baseball favorite (hint he supports a local team that is NOT the Yankees), I have known him for 18 years and never heard him once utter a politically partisan word. Usually when talk turns to partisan politics, Chuck runs in the opposite direction. Perhaps he wrongly concluded that NRTOS had implied the Mayor was involved in the letter in question (I agree with you, I did not infer it from your blog). I have no doubt that Chuck would have said whatever he felt was right, regardless which party the mayor came from. I don't condone the sort of thing suggested by the letter, but I do think the bigger picture is that Iona College really brings a lot to the table for New Rochelle. Call me naive, but I think there are bigger issues of importance than two guys trying to defend their home fields. I really enjoy reading your blogs; seems like a steal to get them free!

NR Fan on Tue, 11/02/2010 - 21:30
Title: Iona Letter

Just a thought - doesn't Brother Ligouri's letter violate IRS code? Tax exempt organizations are barred from politicing.

From the IRS website - "Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. Contributions to political campaign funds or public statements of position (verbal or written) made on behalf of the organization in favor of or in opposition to any candidate for public office clearly violate the prohibition against political campaign activity. Violating this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes. "

southside man on Tue, 11/02/2010 - 21:46

south side man,
I dont know Tax law that well, but that sure sound's correct to me ...
Maybe someone schould look in to that!!!!