New Rochelle’s Mayor Moonlight #1 Individual Recipient of Lowey Largess

Written By: Robert Cox

We previously reported on Mayor Noam Bramson’s six figure sideline, working as a political consultant for Nita Lowey, but we were curious just how much $90,000 is for a sitting U.S. Congresswoman to dole out to a single individual? For some context, we took a look at all of the expenditures by Rep. Nita Lowey during the more recent election cycle to see how payments to Bramson compared to other campaign expenditures.


Mayor “Moonlight” Bramson

Even we were surprised to find that Noam Bramson was far and away the single largest individual recipient of Nita Lowey’s campaign money during the 2007-2008 election cycle. Federal Election records show that during that period during which Bramson was paid $90,000 he was sixth overall on a list of 301 recipients of Lowey campaign funds and at the top of all individuals. Of the entire $401,400 Lowey spent on campaign expenses, Bramson received an astounding 22.4% of the total. In fact, of all monies raised by Lower during the most recent election cycle — $1,394,481 – well more than five cents on the dollar flowed to Bramson. That’s some serious cash. In fact, the roughly $140,000 Bramson takes in each year is close to what a rank-and-file Congresswoman makes — $168,000. If the money keeps rolling in like this, Bramson would have to take a pay cut when the time comes to take Lowey’s seat.

Here is a list of all expenditures or people/organizations over $10,000 by Rep. Nita Lower during 2007-2008.

1. $208,460: AMS Communications (San Francisco, CA) – direct mail
2. $143,055: Democratic Congressional Campaign Cmte (Washington)
3. $126,203: Frost Group (Washington, DC) – fundraising consulting fee
4. $117,496: Impressive Paper & Envelope (Mamaroneck, NY)
5. $107,140: Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (Washington)
6. $90,000: Noam Bramson (New Rochelle, NY)
7. $66,808: Ditomasso, Kimberly (Breezy Point, NY)
8. $51,941: Peake Delancey Printers (Cheverly, MD) – postage
9. $40,322: Hilton Rye Town (Rye Brook, NY)
10.$35,200: Key Post Realty Corp (New Rochelle, NY)
11.$29,600: Mellman Group (Washington, DC) – Polling
12.$29,400: Direct Mail of New York (Buchanan, NY)
13.$21,794: Pcms Llc (Bethesda, MD) – Accounting
14.$21,110: New York State Democratic Cmte, New York, NY
15.$15,839: X2o Xaviars on the Hudson (Yonkers, NY) – catering
16.$15,800: Working Families Party (Brooklyn, NY)
17.$15,450: NGP Software, Washington, DC – software licensing fees
18.$10,000: NYS Democratic Senate Campaign Comm (Albany, NY)

26 thoughts on “New Rochelle’s Mayor Moonlight #1 Individual Recipient of Lowey Largess”

  1. yes it was peter korm.
    yes it was peter korm. Peter king writes a football article for SI. Thanks for the correction

  2. Speaking of certiorari.
    Speaking of certiorari. Bob, look into Peter King the former city manager. This guy from what i understand a has done 2 and he also found an obsure law so his pension would be raised. Call this guy on the carpet since he always has an opinion of what is goood for all but him.

    1. think you mean peter korn.
      think you mean peter korn. but good idea in any event as korn as just published a letter to the editor in last fridays hometown news on reassessment. lets see what he says to this blogger’s point.

    2. Public servant or
      Public servant or exploitation of public trust?

      A post on your website references former city manager Peter Korn. The post mentions possible certioraris filed by Korn and the increase in Korn’s pension due to an “obscure law.” The post is accurate and the devil is in the details. Peter Korn did successfully have his taxes reduced twice, once in 1997 and most recently in 2008. It should be noted that the 1997 reduction came during his employment as New Rochelle’s city manager adding insult to injury. Korn raised our taxes while lowering his!
      As far as his pension increase is concerned, Korn received an increase to his pension after police commissioner Pat Carol filed a grievance and achieved a settlement with the city which will pay Carol an additional $100,000 upon retirement. Once Carol settled Korn then evoked a similar clause in his contract which increased his pension. These are not civil servants they are money mongers.
      To his credit, city manager Chuck Strome did not file a grievance and had the clause in question removed from his contract.

  3. Warren Gross,
    I appreciate

    Warren Gross,

    I appreciate the ideas you have laid out. To get conversation started there has be a starting point. But your point about reassessment is backwards

    You write ” convince bramson that he is wrong about not reaassessing. i am afraid that he fears that property values will increase up north and decrease down south. so be it — fair is fair and certiorari contributes to the school budget.”

    The fear here is that property tax in the south end and wil go up. Bramson would like to reassess for it would lower prperty taxes in the North End, his power base. But reassesment does not bring in more money it just switcheds teh tax burden around. It has to be done county wide.

    1. thank you — perhaps you are
      thank you — perhaps you are right. i appreciate your insights and would profit as others here would on your views of the need to press the city fathers on reassessment. i have contacted kyriakou in albany and he is very much in favor of updated reassments. it seems to be a mixed bag in communities around ours. what are your views and thanks again for your additiional insighes

      warren gross

    2. i forgot to add that you are
      i forgot to add that you are of course correct on the switching of the tax burden. based on your thoughts, i wonder why noam does not reassess if it would help him in the north end. he has publically stated on several occasions that there is no need to do same. i have to find out from him what his exact views on reassment are at this point. my lengthy earlier blog states my views why he hasn’t agreed to reassess and you have, as I stated above, taken a different path, and caused me to think again. Yet it almost seems as if we are in agreement when I reword the material. still hope you offer your comments on topic soon.

      re: another blogger’s comments, I am a pragmatist by nature and we weren’t going anywhere until capelli stepped in. he does what all venture capitialist do; cuts the best possible deal for himself possible. withouut him we still would be playing the develop downtown game with nothing to show for it. so he is more of a plus than a minus since noone else stepped up to the plate and did much of anything. what i think we agree upon –even if in different time periods — is that once new roc managmeent was leveraged, it should have cut betters subsequent deals and played a stronger hand than before. i prefer what he has done to our old fort apache at huguenot. the pressure now belongs to what you say I think about a lack of skill and expertise on board –we need more from our administrators and planners, much more. maybe you would agree that the forest city people are really a potential large issue for the city; they are slicker than an icy winter street. and, trust me, you ain’t seen nothing yet when the city finally wakes up to the impeding financial issues around funding a rapidly deteriorating capital expense budget in the school district. for openers our high school is unparalleled in size for one of a city of our size. ward is stretched to the nines, etc.

      maybe it is time we all took a deep breath and looked at what the coming issues are coming to mean in the months and years ahead financially and othewise.

      I would very very very much like to hear what our councilmembers are sayiing individually on all of these matters; reapportionment, capital expensing, tax base, etc… we have a reasonably good idea of where the mayor and his business manager are, now what about the others.

  4. Hey Warren
    Can you tie the

    Hey Warren
    Can you tie the guy to Cappelli deals and favors up the Whazu?
    What about can you tie him to parcel 1A being a disaster visually and economically to New Rochelle besides vacant.
    Can you tie him to giving Forest City property owned by the residents of New Rochelle. The Armory deeded to the Citizens of New Ro for Recreational use.
    Can you tie him to LeCount Place being a poor example for development and probably not being built.
    How about can you tie him to Emminent Domain threats on that property and boarded up buildings and stores now and for the next years.
    How about can you Tie him to the New Rochelle IDA forking over Tax incentives and Pilots for 50 years to Apicella for Cappelli’s war chest further exposing and advancing a bad deal with New Roc Associates.
    The guy has layed down with some dogs and now you can’t find the ties to him having fleas.
    This guy has screwed the Citizens of New Rochelle and the pain will be felt for many years. Too bad he did it with good intentions because he refused to take good sound advice and now he may in fact get the Tar and Feathering he deserves.
    I tie him to all of this plus his inability to not hold the line on property taxes in this miserable economy. So you like him good but he stinks for NR.

    1. hey anonymous. you take
      hey anonymous. you take intelligent positions but respectfully i disagree on whether the majority of the initiatives were incorrect. What happened in most of these cases is a procedural failure to follow up appropriately on terms and conditions around his investment and incentive strategies. Lets understand that this city was dying a slow death; torn between an illusion that it could be a Larchmont and the fact that its growth suggested something else (a white plains for example). the non-ending nostaglis about the good old days coupled with a lack of proper attention to an integrated residential and commercial center simply had to lead to something dramatic. And it did; Capelli, Apocella, Trump got relatively common venture capital investment deals which would at some point build up the tax base. the administration’s problem is that they failed to recognize that after a period of time (say at renewal or renegotiation) that they held a much stronger hand than at development time and failed to capitalize on this fact. for example, the changes to new roc center could have been negotiated in such a way to bring forth necessary concessions — meaning capelli, the best of the bunch in terms of urban partnering, would have built an ice arena if properly pressed. All we had to do was to press and find a location.

      The Echo bay business disturbs me as well. as a vetern, I am not concerned over the armory because I have been in a number of similar structures before shpping out. any guy who fought for this country (at least in earlier generations) did so to protect family and community. the city should of and still should provide a suitable replacement for the armory if it must go, of equal size and statute, dedicated to the community, with a proper memorial for the men and women who served and featuring the anchor as its flagstone. That is where the spirit of the men and women would best be served. I have no respect for the echo bay initiative — i do not like forest, nor this guy napersack or napersink taking over newsletters, etc….. he has done nothing for the community. this is a case where we should intercede, open the armory now if we need to in order to honor past commitments (i am always concerned why few if any city critics made a point of this prior to the echo bay development issue). all of a sudden it is an issue; it wasn’t when it was a haunted house and storehouse for habitat. see, like noam, no one is perfect.

      you are not correct on the le count project. that is attributable to the economy pure and simple. when things open up, so will that.

      You are a bright and concerned person, and you said something very important in your criticism. My major concern with noam bramson is that he has a very narrow circle of advisors. he needs to broaden his base. the people he is closest to in my judgment don’t do him any favors by encouraging him to restrict his outreach. you, me and others have to get him to broaden his base or suffer future consequences of not being elected.

      For what it is worth to you, my experience in urban planning indicates the following major issues that I would suggest be brought up for consideration

      1. the school district is a disaster and a drain on both the commercial and residential tax base.the board and administration must be replaced.
      2. the city advisory base must be broadened to accept a much wider circle of input — all communities must be represented.
      3.strome must develop and deliveer a short and long range plan of needed initiatives — including school construction and present them openly to the public.
      4. a negotiation and renewal negotiatino strategy must be developed and enacted for all new roc developers.
      5. forest city must make enormous concenssions or be replaced. in turn the mayor and some others must not see this project as the “savior of new rochelle.” it is not — it is anything but that. they need to emotiionally unbundle and look at it from a busines basis.
      6. lighten up on capelli and make him more of a resource. he has made major contributions to the hospital, police, school, etc.. he “wets his beak” but acts honorably. make sure the other developers do as well
      7. convince bramson that he is wrong about not reaassessing. i am afraid that he fears that property values will increase up north and decrease down south. so be it — fair is fair and certiorari contributes to the school budget.
      8. we are a small city verging on large. stop dreaming about being larchmont — come up with a residential and supporting commercial plan for downtown new rochelle. the former will bring the latter.
      9. if you are going to use eminent domain — fish and cut bait. don’t do what idoni did with ikea as it was wrong from either end of the equation.
      10. jim killoran of habitat for humanity has introduced a tram — portland oregon is one of the most progressive cities in the us and they solved their transportation and parking problem by trolley and tram. less cars on the road means less parking. why isn’t someone in city hall thinking outside of the box.
      11. archbishop demarchi of brooklyn (or demarco) and mayor bloomberg came up with a great plan for the closing of some of the diocese schools. why hasn’t our school district done a deal with archbishop dolan/cardinal egan to use the blessed sacrament school (elementary) to relieve overcrowding
      12.lots lots more

      here is the point we all bitch and moan, we are critics but we don’t seem to offer much in the way of ideas and support. Identify yourself, and I will sign on as your aide to help you get some things done. i say this honestly, because while I don’t agree with some of what you say, you sound like a fair person.

      warren gross

      1. When was the last time
        When was the last time Cappelli did a deal that did not contain a Brownfeld deal that was a huge winfall for him and a loss for taxpayers? When was the last time he did a deal where there wasn’t a Pilot or Tax abatement? When was the last time he did a deal and behaved with integrity by doing what he said he would do. Now when Bramson lays down with [bad actors] like this he firstly does not have the skills nor has he gone out and surounded himself with those who do have those skills. And of Course as a Mayor or as a City they have to follow guidelines that Cappelli does not have to when he does a business deal. You said he is just wetting his beak. The guy has never acted as a partner in dealing with New Rochelle, he acts as a paracite and eats away at the host. Since us tax payers are part of the host some of us don’t like it. Bramson has gone to the same well over and over without the skills and level playing field that is honed and used in the private sector. Cappelli has been taking candy away from a baby and you say beak wetting. Our Part Time Cerimonial mayor should not be doing business with Lou Cappelli because he is outmatched and the tax payers get the screws put to them.

  5. Clueless to the news are we?
    Clueless to the news are we? Millions of dollars were needed to address the myriad of issues that involve the City and its waterfront. (Sewage treatment/management, environmental management, Davids Island cleanup, Echo Bay wast management (pcb’s, oil spills etc.) are the most significant). PCB’s are obviously NOT an overwhelming threat or major health risk – just look at the many beaches, shoreclubs, marinas, and boating organizations all along the city’s coast. Umm, noones hiding from toxic poisons SO I think its safe to say that Chris Selin wasnt placing children in harms way when she engaged them in the PCB “testing” that you reported above.

    1. I have to say, you ARE
      I have to say, you ARE clueless to the news when you talk about PCBs. The very nature of these contaminants will provide for a scenario as you described. You CAN have beaches, clubs etc.,right around the corner from a contaminated area and not have the same exposure levels present. The minute you disturb this “muck” you risk expanding the contaminated area. Has anyone substantiated the clean up in and around the area except for a pronouncement from ConEd? By the way, what is an “overwhelming threat”? PCBs are SO pernicious that there are restrictions on seafood caught in New York Harbor to this day, from over 50 miles upriver, from an industry that hasn’t used them (PCBS) in 40 years. As for Chris Selin, I know her, she’s a wonderful person, but, she is NOT an environmental engineer and it’s my opinion that if this was true it was a big mistake. So, since your comments lack any grasp of reality, I would say, yes, you are clueless.

      1. Your right PCB’s were dumped
        Your right PCB’s were dumped by GE in Troy NY and the entire 100 miles of the Hudson below it is considered a “Superfund Site” because of the Rivers dynamics. This spring GE will begin a one BILLION DOLLAR clean up after spending millions fighting and denying for 25 years.. Sound familure? The PCB’s in Echo Bay are far more toxic and only the Con Ed site itself was partially cleaned. Two daily 9 foot tides and two converging storm drains make that area just as dynamic. Why would anyone think a site like that is static? OR not need the same vigilance as the Hudson with less beaches, fishermen, boaters and access to the PCB’s by people? Some local politicians even signed a petition to have the Hudson dredged YET burry their heads in the sand over Echo Bay.

  6. The constant attacks on
    The constant attacks on anything and everything New Rochelle related do not bode well for Cox whose blog “The Talk of The Sound” claims to be the voice of the community. 99.9% of Cox’s energy goes into spreading negativity and stirring up controversy. I frankly cannot find an example that would prove otherwise

    1. I cannot think of a single
      I cannot think of a single time that I or anyone who contributes to this site has ever claimed or even imagined that Talk of the Soun is “the voice of the community”.

      BTW…I put up a post yesterday about the kids who were inducted into the National Arts Honor Society. It was pretty much a rip and read from a district press release. Other people have contributed non-controversial, positive articles like Salesian High School’s open house and the Iona College Student PR organization that hosted an event for tweens at the Boys and Girls Club.

      Instead of complaining that my posts are not sufficiently positive why don’t you put the same energy you put into complaining about other people’s posts into putting up your own posts. If all of the people who complained that I do not write “happy” stories about New Rochelle or the public schools were to simply write up and publish such stories themselves this site would be full of those sorts of stories.

      You will find that we will more than welcome such stories.

    2. I don’t see how pointing out
      I don’t see how pointing out details about how things are going here is a bad thing. Our founding fathere fully believed that it is only through racous debate will we find what’s best for ourselve. Unless, of course, you prefer keeping your head in the sand.

    3. What are you afraid of? I
      What are you afraid of? I can’t imagine everything is perfect around here so why can’t anyone speak out? Maybe you’ve been brainwashed to keep your mouth shut and do what you’re told. That’s not good enough for New Rochelle. If you don’t like the site, why do you keep coming back ? It’s funny, you spout out about the things you don’t like and defend the things you do like. Wow, that’s just like the people on this site. YOU’RE ONE of US ! Welcome brother!

    4. Not controversial enough. I
      Not controversial enough. I say off with their heads. OR at least they belong in jail. How dare they promote and exploit development in Echo Bay when they know to this day it’s a “Superfund Site.” They refuse to warn people or post warning signs to keep children off the toxins. A site that clean up workers are required to wear toxic space suits and respirators. Their behavior has given people a false sense of security and cost the city millions in lost revenue. How dare they allow children to remain in harms way?

  7. I cannot support tieing
    I cannot support tieing Lowey’s contributions and Bramson’s consulting fees to the notion of whether or not New Roc has a full or part time mayor. Voters have voted down the referendum changing the mayoral status in the past and it hasn’t stopped any of the mayors in my many years of residence here to act in any capacity other than full-time mayor. We have enough public spirited citizens and city councilmen who could easily bring this up for a reintroduction onto the ballot if there is an appetite to do so.

    We have many many issues to address here as do other cities and towns especially during these dark hours. We have a non-functioning school district, unrest re: echo bay, loss of businesses, etc. and that is where our energies should lie.

    I will continue my personal support of Noam Bramson until there is evidence that he deserves otherwise. What is great about this country is our ability to form into a loyal opposition while still working together for the greater good. Yes, I wish Noam would expand his inner circle of advisors beyond Barry, Howard, Kissinger, and others, but I feel that day will come when he sees the value of Obama’s approach to broaden his advice base. Lets handle things here in a priority basis and go after the more divisive rather than the lesser issues.

    Again, good for Bob Cox for opening up the windows to make this more transparent. I looked at Nita Lowey’s list of stimulus ideas, etc. and they seem to reflect what most of us would value and want.

    Let’s do what we can to bring mayor, manager, council and others closer citiwide — maybe Noam can resurrect what he did when first elected and that is to get out into the community more

    warren gross

    1. Warren,
      Both you and Noam


      Both you and Noam Bramson will be happy to know that this is the last in my little triptych on this topic. If it is not clear, I could care less that he is working for Nita Lowey on the side or how much money he makes. What I do care about is when he uses his office to attack residents (and contributors to this site) in some puerile attempt to defend the leadership of the City School District of New Rochelle. As he has now discovered, that is a game the cuts both ways.

      I am fed up with people like Bramson who cynically use the children of New Rochelle as human shields to deflect even the slightest criticism of the school district. I go back to Bramson’s absolutely disgraceful Op-Ed in August, mentioned in my previous post, where he tells readers that any criticism of the South End schools cannot be valid because he sends his own kids to the public schools without disclosing that he lives in the North End and that his kids will go to North End school. I have never had an issue with Noam Bramson until that moment but he revealed a great deal about himself when he trotted out his children, lied about them, all to defend an indefensible position in the Journal News.

      As far as I am concerned, until he corrects the record in that Op-Ed and apologizes for his not-so-oblique criticism of the South End parents cited in the piece, I am not going to accept anything he has to say at face value. With all due respect, Warren, nor should you.

      So, until that day arrives, all I can say is…you want him? You can keep him.

      1. thanks bob, i prefer to help
        thanks bob, i prefer to help him if i can. i prefer to help you in any way as well. you are both assets in my mind. just one point — people’s views do change and noam has had second thoughts on the district, at least that is my view. a little support from movers and shakers such as you might be all that is needed to get him and the council even more involved. stay the course, my unmet friend.

        warren gross

      2. I would love to hear more
        I would love to hear more about this:

        “people’s views do change and noam has had second thoughts on the district, at least that is my view”

      3. You’re clogging up a system
        You’re clogging up a system which has been in place for many many years and will continue to be in place when you are good and gone from New Rochelle.

  8. With any luck Boy Wonder
    With any luck Boy Wonder forgot to claim the income with the IRS. What the hey its money provided by a sister of the Washington Elite so maybe he took it upon himself to make it exempt from Federal Taxes. I wonder if the FOIL would allow you to obtain a Copy of Bramson tax filing for the years in question. Lets face it the Citizens are asleep especially in the North End when it comes to the Fair haired boy from New Rochelle. I would call this double dipping or at least a reason to visit his salary as Partime Ceremonial Mayor. I believe his 90K should go to 45K and we can use the 45K for another Truck for Coleman or something…
    He is just following in Geitners foot steps maybe…

  9. Nita Lowey appropriated
    Nita Lowey appropriated hundreds of millions of dollars in Long Island Sound studies. I even met with her at my former marina to try and convince her that the PCB issue needed to be addressed. Once her friend Criss Selin had school children try to test the PCB area for clarity with black and white wooden discs, but I stopped them. You don’t use children in toxic areas to promote your political agenda. In any case one would be hard pressed to find what happened to all those hundreds of millions of dollars spent on Long Island Sound studies. Wonder how many millions were spent on black and white wooden discs?

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