Letter to the Editor: In support of Noam Bramson for County Executive

Monday, November 4, 2013
by Richard Laster

I had the pleasure of first meeting Noam about four years ago, when we were exploring the possibility of his joining the Board of Directors of the Holocaust and Human Rights Education Center.  I was chairman of this organization at the time and Noam, the son of Holocaust survivors, was mayor of New Rochelle.  He was a natural to join our group.

I was clearly impressed by his proven leadership qualities, his interest and his sensitivity to people’s needs, and his love for the County and the environment.

We were fortunate to have him join our group and we benefited greatly from his logical and thoughtful approach to the issues of the day.

When I learned that Noam was a candidate for the position of County Executive, I made it my mission to help him because I felt he would be great for the county and for our community.

However, I’ve learned from years of business experience that when hiring an executive for a term of four or more years, it is important not to get carried away by my own judgment. It’s wise to check references first, and only then decide.

I did that conscientiously and I’m pleased to say that President Clinton supports Noam and so does Governor Cuomo, Senator Chuck Schumer and Representative Nita Lowey. 

In the last mayoralty election in New Rochelle, Noam won 75% of the vote—that’s even better than I did, when I ran for Town Board member in New Castle about ten years ago.  But this is not all.  The good people at the New York Times urged our support of Noam Bramson and so did the Editorial Board of the Journal News. 

I judge those references to be outstanding, so I can urge you to join me and thousands of others in casting your vote for Noam Bramson for County Executive.

Do you suppose it is possible that, in the quiet of the voting booth, even Mrs. Astorino will cast her vote for you-know-who?

Richard Laster is a 50-year resident of New Castle who has served on both the School Board and Town Board.

We encourage civil, civic discourse. All comments are reviewed before publication to assure that this standard is met.

Rob Astorino has been a incredible county executive and lilterally saved our county from Andy Spano’s destructive services (i.e. out of control services, HUD).  Can’t we please as a community put aside our own political leanings and simply do what is best for our community just for one day?

By Can’t We Put Aside Politics on 11/04/2013 at 8:56 am

Noam will raise taxes and destroy Westchester as we know it.

By tax and spend on 11/04/2013 at 10:47 am

Rob Astorino is the best INDIVIDUAL we have ever had running Westchester County. He has been doing his best to find a balance! He has never ever conducted himself in a MY WAY or THE HIGHWAY manner. In fact, Mr. Astorino has always, always, always, tried to keep the wheels of Government moving forward while trying to achieve a balance, and when possible to seek out opportunities to save the taxpayers of Westchester County a reasonable amount of hard earned money. No, no, no, I think everyone needs to come out and make sure that Mr. Astorino is sent back into his office – WE NEED HIM!

By Sir, I am a Democrat on 11/04/2013 at 11:05 am

1-2 Rob Astorino and Bill O’Reilly,

I am fighting the good fight on your behalf, but I must admit, for me, Election Day can’t arrive soon enough.

I am arguing, as per the Rob Astorino ad’s assertion that as Mayor of New Rochelle, Noam Bramson gave himself a free car even though the so-called Westchester County Fair Campaign Practices Committee claims that “The New Rochelle City policy of providing the mayor with a vehicle predates Mr. Bramson’s service in office, and he has never taken any action or cast any vote to obtain or enhance this benefit for himself.”1

I am arguing as per your ad’s assertion that, while mayor, Mr. Bramson gave himself healthcare for life even though the WCFCPC claims, “The terms of Mr. Bramson’s health insurance benefits were set prior to his service in office, and Mr. Bramson has never taken any action to secure or enhance them.”2

I am arguing as per your ad’s assertion that, while mayor, Mr. Bramson raised the sales tax in New Rochelle, even though the WCFCPC claims, “The sales tax rate in New Rochelle is the same today as when Mr. Bramson took office, except for a New York State-mandated increase of 1/8 of 1%.”3

I am arguing as per your ad’s assertion that, while mayor, Mr. Bramson raised the sewer tax in New Rochelle, even though the WCFCPC claims, “The City of New Rochelle has no authority over sewer district taxes, and the Astorino representatives agreed.”4

I am arguing as per your ad’s assertion that, while mayor, Mr. Bramson raised the library tax in New Rochelle, even though the WCFCPC claims, “The library tax in New Rochelle is proposed by the Library Board of Trustees and confirmed each year by the voters.”5

By William McHale on 11/04/2013 at 11:13 am

2-2 When challenged as to why I support Mr. Astorino’s claims and not the WCFCPC which was established by the League of Women Voters in 1991 with the stated purpose “to promote a climate in which candidates conduct honest, fair and open campaigns, refraining from dishonest and defamatory attacks and without distorting the facts”, I refer them to the statement of Bill O’Reilly, spokesman for Friends of County Executive Rob Astorino: “We stand 100% behind our mailings. That committee is anything but fair; it consists of 11 Democrats and one Republican. Our mail is properly cited, as are all of our television ads. Noam Bramson is howling at his own record.”6

The problem I am having is that when I make this argument, I am the recipient of the howling. Nevertheless, I am staying the course, sticking with the “properly cited” mantra, and with a straight face claiming that I have the word of Rob Astorino and Bill O’Reilly. What more could one ask for?

1-5 http://www.faircampaignpractices.org/fcpcfindings.html  Then click: BramsonvAstorino083113.docx

6 http://polhudson.lohudblogs.com/2013/10/31/fair-campaign-committee-rules-7-times-against-astorino-campaign/

By William McHale on 11/04/2013 at 11:15 am

Noam Bramson has a team of thugs in van going around ripping up Astorino signs and placing his own down.  It is all over YouTube.  Why do you think they are doing that?  Because they want all of the union goodies back from the Spano era, like not CONTRIBUTING a DIME towards their healthcare.  For the sake of all of us here, PLEASE put the democratic politics aside and elect a true fiduciary…Pretty please…

By Mr. McHale on 11/04/2013 at 11:30 am

Mr. Laster,

I hope that first thing on Wednesday morning you and Chris Weddle will remove all the Noam signs that you have illegally placed all over town.

By no Noam, no way on 11/04/2013 at 11:33 am

Correction Mr Laster,79%, not 75%.

Bramson has served as the Mayor of New Rochelle since January 2006 and was reelected most recently in 2011 with a record-breaking 79% of the vote.

By William McHale on 11/04/2013 at 11:33 am

Mr. McHale,
Your politics is peeking out from behind your straight face, and you are becoming forgetful in your dotage. You forgot to mention that giant raise part-time Noam gave himself. Oh, and you forgot to mention the giant increase of the property tax in New Rochelle. And Bill O’Reilly forgot to tell you that the founder of Westchester’s Tea Party is working for Noam’s campaign.


By follow the money on 11/04/2013 at 11:45 am

“Noam Bramson has a team of thugs in van going around ripping up Astorino signs and placing his own down.”

And here we all thought it was Richard Laster and William McHale were stealing Astorino signs and replacing them—illegally—with Noam signs, when all along it was really Noam’s Tea Party manager doing it. Did Noam get Chris Weddle’s permission?

By no Noam, no way on 11/04/2013 at 12:24 pm

To Mr. McHale on 11/04/2013 at 11:30 am,

I am confused.

I am not sure whether to inquire if you are a distant cousin or to ask you to refrain from using my name when posting anonymous comments.

By William McHale on 11/04/2013 at 1:10 pm

Mr. McHale,

One thing is for sure. You are indeed confused.

By no Noam, no way on 11/04/2013 at 3:50 pm

Did someone say that Chris Weddle is the one who placed the I’m With Noam yard signs all over our town?  What happened to his issues with flouting?  It’s getting harder and harder to know who to trust around here..

By Robin Murphy on 11/04/2013 at 5:38 pm


You are right. I am confused. I am confused as to why you choose the role of the great and powerful Oz spewing venom while hiding behind your curtain. But that’s your right, my fellow American, so spew as you wish.

Meanwhile, the Journal News and the Examiner have weighed in with Bramson endorsements.



By William McHale on 11/04/2013 at 5:42 pm

Mr. McHale,

Better to spew all the facts and not just the ones you approve of.

By no Noam, no way on 11/05/2013 at 7:01 am

Yes, I saw those endorsements.  From the same publications that edited in Havana, Cuba and insist that the Benghazi incident never happened.

By To Mr. McHale on 11/05/2013 at 9:08 am

To the Victors,

Your preferred candidate won. My preferred candidate, Noam Bramson, lost.

Here’s part of Noam’s concession speech.

“It is easy to be gracious in victory. The test is whether we are gracious in defeat.

Rob Astorino and I have disagreed on many issues, but throughout this campaign, I have respected his skills as a competitor. I know that he and his family have sacrificed for his service. And as citizens of this great county, all of us should wish him success as he governs Westchester for the next four years.”

I look forward to re-engaging in four years.

By William McHale on 11/06/2013 at 11:46 pm

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