by Dennis King
May 27, 2005 - Yesterday the executive committee of the New York Independence Party announced it would endorse Mayor Bloomberg for reelection today - and the mayor said he would accept the endorsement. Regarding the anti-Semitic statement of party leader Lenora Fulani (which she defended on New York 1 News last month), Bloomberg spokesman Bill Cunningham said, "You donít hold 90,000 party members responsible for one personís comment."
Cunninghamís statement ignores the fact that the Independence Party is tightly controlled by an inner cadre of members of a political cult founded by Fulaniís guru, Fred Newman. The partyís core of volunteers are mostly Newman followers, except in some upstate communities; the partyís funds are mostly controlled by Newmanís New York county IP organization; the partyís lawyers are Newman followers; and top members of the Newman cult dominate the IPís policy and strategy decisions. The major state politicians all know this and are careful to attend the annual fundraisers of the Manhattan county IP.
In addition it is the Newman cult that receives the patronage and the personal donations from the mayor. For instance, their All Stars Project, a so-called youth charity, received an $8.5 million bond from the cityís Industrial Development Agency in 2002 after the Independence Party provided the margin of victory in Bloombergís 2001 mayoral race.
The Newman-Fulani group is a far more questionable outfit than the stateís political establishment is willing to admit. Members are under FBI investigation in California for charities fraud, and a complaint has been filed with State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer (himself an IP ally) alleging abusive treatment of teens in the New York program.
An internet document I released last week, "179 Questions for Lenora Fulani," also asserts that the group provided misleading information to the IDA while applying for the city loan, that it has a "sordid" history of indoctrinating and exploiting children and teens in previous programs, that it has used a quack form of psychotherapy on kids, and that it espouses bizarre theories on the family, sexuality and the nature of child abuse that make it an inappropriate recipient of taxpayer support. The document calls for City Council hearings to determine why the IDA staff did not perform adequate due diligence before recommending the loan, and whether or not undue political pressure was exerted by Mayor Bloomberg or Governor Pataki to secure the applicationís approval.
The "179 Questions for Lenora Fulani" (now actually 188 questions) is available at www.dennisking.org/fulaniquestions.htm.
Mr. King can be contacted at Wdennisking@cs.com.
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