Noam Swinging Wildly to Explain Away Yadira’s Cappelli Problem

Plus, my debate article is now free

Noam Swinging Wildly to Explain Away Yadira’s Cappelli Problem

HEAD’S UP: I have updated my article on the NRLWV debate with video and more, and moved it out from behind the paywall, so it is now free to read, replete with fireworks, and free to share. Enjoy 😉

Yadira Melt Down at New Rochelle Dems Candidate Forum

Noam Tries, Fails to Deflect Yadira’s Cappelli Problem

Somehow, Noam and Yadira have gotten the idea that she is being unfairly targeted over her taking $60,000 from Louis Cappelli. In their mind, Yadira is the victim. It’s the poor little rich girl syndrome — she has every endorsement, all the party volunteers and all the money, and she is still whining. If subscribers care to explain their logic, I refer you to the comments section below.

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Yadira threw a hissy fit on Monday after the LWV Moderator asked a simple question about transparency and taking corporate contributions. She ignored the one question everyone knew would be asked, then held back tears as her opponent answered the question, at which point she lashed out at her opponent for running in the primary (the entitled little rich girl) and casting a vote in the County BOL that had nothing to do with the question. More than anything, what she demonstrated was that she does not have the maturity, let alone the temperament, to be Mayor. She behaved like a spoiled brat who if elected will have a tantrum if she does not get her way.

Mayoral candidate Damon Maher sent out a mailer a few days ago that addressed my reporting that Yadira Ramos-Herbert received a $60,000 dark money direct transfer from the Westchester County Democratic Party on May 18. At the time the mailer was sent, the WCDC had still not filed its legally required (and two weeks late) campaign finance disclosures, so the Cappelli connection was not verified at the time. I knew, as you can see from the header photos in my series, all based on Yadira gazing lovingly at Trump Plaza, built by Louis Cappelli in partnership with Donald Trump.

The mailer went out a couple of days after Damon forwarded my original article to his email list, which the Working Families Party denounced as a smear tactic.

In a phone conversation earlier this week, WFP Chair Peter Bernstein told me he did not dispute the facts, noting that developers are the ones with the money, even mentioning Cappelli as the probable source of the $60,000, before the WCDC filed its campaign disclosure report (hint: they all knew as did I). He labeled as fearmongering, my describing accurately that Yadira has struggled to raise money because Noam’s base, North End Jewish Democrats, are concerned about Yadira’s association with Jamaal Bowman, who many Jewish voters view as anti-Israel. Bowman endorsed Yadira in the middle of the Cappelli controversy.

The email blast and mailer are damaging to Yadira’s campaign because she has run on two main talking points, with the most important (in her words) being affordable housing followed by transparency.

The Cappelli money shows how hollow her commitment is to affordable housing and transparency: taking large, undisclosed sums in campaigns cash from Westchester’s king of luxury housing. All the money funding her campaign (she was in the red until the $60,000 hit her account) is now Cappelli money which, is in part, Trump money. In all of her time on City Council, she had supported every Cappelli project — and every luxury housing project. She even pushed through the Starbucks drive-thru (under orders from Noam Bramson as a favor for a real estate investor, a story for another day).

There is no getting around the fact that, while posing as a fighter for progressive causes, she is beholden to the special interests, especially developers like Louis Cappelli.

As NewROAR News reported this week:

Cappelli has a number of projects completed and/or in the works in New Rochelle–at 50 LeCount Place (The Standard), 339 and 327 Huguenot Street (The Enclave 1-2), and 247 North Avenue (former Planned Parenthood property) –and has received millions of dollars in tax breaks from the city’s Industrial Development Agency. He is also RXR’s General Contractor for Tower B at Church and Division Streets.

All of these Cappelli projects are marketed as luxury housing and two of them have not a single affordable unit in them. Two projects are literally named “The Enclave”, not exactly a welcome mat to prospective affordable housing tenants.

My story of the $60,000 from Cappelli has gotten legs with stories in the Journal News, Yonkers Times, New Roar News, and City & State (Albany) not to mention my reporting on Talk of the Sound and Words in Edgewise plus chatter on WVOX and various Facebook groups so Yadira/Noam is in damage control mode as seen in his recent blog post:

Yadira has run a positive, issue-oriented campaign. By contrast, her opponent, Damon Maher, has pushed out unfiltered negativity about local Democrats, about me and the City Administration, even about community volunteers. His attacks on Yadira have been particularly ugly and unwarranted, exemplified by a standard “hit piece” that arrived in mailboxes just yesterday. This is unfortunate and unnecessary. Primaries, by definition, entail competition among friends, who usually share a broad set of values and have stood together in prior contests. Some restraint is in order, and I will refrain from responding to Damon in kind.

Even those who think well of Damon (as many of us do) still conclude that Yadira’s temperament and skill set are much better suited to the specific demands and responsibilities of the mayor’s office.

The guy riding on his high horse here is the same guy who sent a last-minute, unattributed (i.e., illegal) mailer about an opponent's child support payments; who took a female colleague into an empty room, cornered her and screamed at her loud enough to be heard outside until he got his way.

The same guy who had a sustained ethics complaint finding just last year for his pressuring the City Manager to appoint him Development Commissioner.

GUILTY: New Rochelle Ethics Board Finds Mayor Noam Bramson Violated the City Charter, a Misdemeanor

The same guy who preemptively dropped out of the race for Mayor after the District Attorney announced she would not pursue felony criminal charges against Noam for political corruption.

DA Closes Ethics Referral Review On New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson

The only reason Yadira is even running is that Noam was forced out of office by a Grand Jury investigation based on sustained ethics charges.

“I am incredulous that Noam Bramson is lecturing anyone on the necessary temperament to be Mayor,” said former Council Member Shari Rackman. “This is the same person who spent the better part of a day trying to manipulate the outcome of a vote (Echo Bay) by putting undue, unreasonable pressure on a City Council member on the day of that important vote and then, when I did not vote his way, took me in a room, locked the door, and bullied me by screaming in my face. He was so unhinged that I feared for my safety.

Former New Rochelle Councilwoman Breaks Silence on “Waterboarding” by Mayor Noam Bramson over 2013 Echo Bay Vote

Noam Bramson calling a fair and accurate mailer an ugly, unwarranted “hit piece” is laughable. In his race a few years ago, he sent out an illegal, anonymous mailer (it did not state “paid for by Friends of Noam Bramson”) after planting a scurrilous story involving his opponent’s children in a local newspaper.

Even the mafia knows to leave the families out of it — not Noam.

Noam goes on to make a toothless veiled threat: “I will refrain from responding to Damon in kind”.

Damon has accurately stated publicly in an email blast, a mailer (with his name on it), and in a televised debate that Yadira took $60,000 in dark money that was later revealed to be from Louis Cappelli. This is not a smear tactic. It is fact based on campaign disclosure records. Unless Noam is suggesting that Damon took tens of thousands of dollars from real estate developers laundered through a third-party as Yadira has done, he cannot respond in kind.

NOAM: Yadira has run a positive, issue-oriented campaign

So, what are her issues? Yadira’s number one issue, according to her, is affordable housing. Her number two issue is transparency. Nothing says transparency and affordable housing like taking $60,000 in dark money from a wealthy developer, his family, and his employees.

Her entire campaign is now financed by Louis Cappelli, Westchester’s premier developer of luxury housing, notably the Ritz-Carlton and Trump Tower in White Plains and Trump Plaza in New Rochelle.

  • Those mailers she has been sending? funded by Cappelli
  • Her website and social media? funded by Cappelli
  • Her rotating political consultants? funded by Cappelli
  • Those campaign workers handing out palm cards? funded by Cappelli

NOAM: Damon Maher, has pushed out unfiltered negativity about local Democrats, about me and the City Administration, even about community volunteers

Noam is referring to Damon pushing out an email linked to my article: Unprecedented $60,000 Dark Money Infusion for New Rochelle Mayoral Candidate. The article says that Yadira took $60,000 in dark money (true), that until May 18, her campaign has struggled to raise money (true), Noam is orchestrating Yadira’s campaign (true), that Noam sought and obtained a list of developers from the development office for fundraising purposes (true), that many Noam supporters will not support Yadira because of her relationship with Jamaal Bowman (true), that her appearance at a Nation of Islam event offended many Jewish voters (true).

Yadira and Noam need to stop playing the victim as if Louis Cappelli put a gun to their head and made her take his money.

Here is my message to her: “Yadira, you wanted the money, you took the money, you are spending the money, so do everyone a favor, put on your big girl pants and stop your whining about the damn money”.


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