Controversial New York Pol Gets the Boot

By E.J. Kessler

Published September 23, 2005, issue of September 23, 2005.
  • Print
  • Share Share

The ousting this week of an unpopular ally, New York Independence Party leader Lenora Fulani, is expected to bring about some benefits for New York’s Republican mayor, Michael Bloomberg.

Fulani, an erstwhile Marxist and perennial fringe candidate whom many New Yorkers consider antisemitic, was a leader of the Independence Party’s downstate faction. She and five associates were voted out of the state party executive committee September 18 at a party confab in the New York state capital, Albany. The ousting occurred after her refusal to recant remarks stating that Jews “had to sell their souls to acquire Israel” and “function as mass murderers of people of color” made her position untenable.

Bloomberg and some other New York Jewish politicians, including Democratic Senator Charles Schumer and Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, had courted Fulani for her party’s endorsement despite her history of such rhetoric. With a platform of electoral reform, the Independence Party has become the Empire State’s third largest and a rich source of votes. Bloomberg in particular, who gained almost 60,000 votes on the party’s ballot line — more than his margin of victory in 2001 — lavished attention and money on Fulani’s faction. His support of Fulani earned him barbs from the New York State Democratic Committee, which called on him to renounce the party’s support.

Two weeks ago, Spitzer told Independence Party brass that he would not accept their ballot line if Fulani remained in the party; this sealed her departure. But when Fulani got the boot this week, pundits saw many feet doing the kicking — including, possibly, those of Bloomberg.

“This is ‘Murder on the Orient Express,’” said City University of New York political scientist Doug Muzzio. “Everybody is rejoicing. Everybody could have had a hand in it, but several probably did. Clearly, [Bloomberg] is not displeased with this. Now the party’s line is not tainted.”

However, others questioned whether Fulani’s ouster from the state party committee was all that meaningful.

Fulani “still controls the well-funded, well-organized Manhattan [Independence] party, one of the few chapters with any real members,” The New York Observer’s Politicker blog stated. “That’s the one that’s backing [Bloomberg] in force, and so this move doesn’t really affect his relationship with the party.”






Find us on Facebook!
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.