From: "PEDRO MARTORI"
Subject: EXTREMIST POL'S SHADOW WORLD
Date: Mon, 29 Jul 2002 04:51:57 -0400
NNTP-Posting-Date: Sun, 28 Jul 2002 16:45:49 EDT
Organization: Bell Sympatico
EXTREMIST POL'S SHADOW WORLD
By JEANE MacINTOSH
July 22, 2002 --
SHE'S been accused of anti-Semitism, anti-Americanism and fraud -
but to Gov. Pataki and Mayor Bloomberg, Lenora Fulani is a
powerful political ally.
Fulani - a quasi-Marxist, two-time presidential candidate -
helped take over Ross Perot's Independence Party. She now sits
atop the influential third party, doling out coveted endorsements
and access to its critical ballot line; the governor and mayor
court her support.
Still, Fulani remains deeply tied to a shadowy web of
controversial therapeutic and cultural nonprofit groups that seem
to run in tandem with the supposedly independent Independence
She is founder of the All Stars Project, an arts group for
inner-city kids, and a supporter of its sister organization,
Fulani is on staff at the East Side Institute for Short Term
Psychotherapy, where she practices "social therapy," a
controversial discipline that believes political activism can
"cure" emotional problems.
Public records and internal documents obtained by The Post
* The three groups publicly court mainstream politicians and
educators - and count Fortune 500 firms and HBO as major All
Stars sponsors - while privately preaching an anti-establishment
plan to "storm the barricades" of an "enemy" that controls
politics, public schools, television and religion.
* The purpose of All Stars and Castillo are "first and foremost
revolutionary, not aesthetic," according to an internal document
entitled "Why We Do Cultural Work."
"If theater is your primary concern," reads one passage, "this
isn't the best place to be."
* East Side Institute members have a "two-year plan" to
"infiltrate" Long Island with "social therapy" by capitalizing on
relationships with wealthy North Shore residents, a Newsday
reporter, a cable TV show and the South Oaks rehab hospital,
* The groups claim no political affiliation on tax forms. But 27
of 35 key directors, officers and employees of the Institute, All
Stars and Castillo are Independence Party contributors, election
records show. Insiders of the three groups ponied up $55,000
AMERICAN tax laws prohibit electioneering by nonprofit groups and
strict rules about nonprofit staff who could be perceived as
acting on behalf of a political organization.
Spokespeople for both All Stars and East Side Institute said they
would not comment on documents they had not seen.
All Stars, Castillo and the East Side Institute all operate out
of the same building at 500 Greenwich St., share staff and
contribute to each others' coffers.
In 1999, for example, the All Stars gave a $34,500 grant to the
East Side Institute, but claimed no affiliation to the group. In
1997, All Stars gave $186,250 in grants to Castillo and the East
Side Institute. The groups may share "common philosophies," but
there is no formal relationship between them, said All Stars
president Gabriel Kurlander.
Born and raised in Pennsylvania, Fulani, now 52, earned degrees
from Hofstra University, Columbia Teachers College, and City
University of New York Graduate Center.
In the mid-1970s, she met her mentor, Fred Newman. A self-styled
Marxist and founder of "social therapy," Newman for years had run
a variety of leftist groups, including the International Workers
Party. In 1979, Fulani and Newman formed the New Alliance Party,
and joined sides with a variety of controversial characters,
including Louis Farrakhan and Al Sharpton.
Officials at the Anti-Defamation League say Fulani has never
renounced her support of Farrakhan or her "divisive rhetoric."
The ADL quotes Fulani as saying Jews "had to sell their souls to
acquire Israel and are required to do the dirtiest work of
capitalism - to function as mass murderers of people of color -
in order to keep it."
Fulani steadfastly insists she is not an anti-Semite.
IN 1987, Fulani led a New Alliance Party delegation to Tripoli to
march with Moammar Khadafy, protesting the U.S. bombing of Libya
the year before. She has called the terrorist "a leader who had
the guts to stand up to the U.S." (Former NAP members would later
claim they stockpiled automatic weapons. The FBI, in a partially
blacked-out file, called the NAP "armed and dangerous.")
In 1994, Fulani and Newman disbanded the NAP and tilted toward
the right, joining forces with Ross Perot.
By 1999, Fulani was supporting far-right Pat Buchanan for
president, but the pair parted ways before the election. Over the
years, Fulani has run for lieutenant governor, mayor and governor
in New York. She ran for president in 1988 and 1992.
After the 1992 bid, Fulani, with Newman, was investigated for
fraud by the Federal Election Committee after a former campaign
worker claimed the pair had "funneled" campaign money to 13
Newman-controlled enterprises. The FEC, finding the charges true,
ordered Fulani to repay $612,000 in government-given funds.
She eventually returned $117,000, after arguing that, according
to "socialist principles of collectivism," all money collected by
the core group "belongs to the collective, and is used at the
discretion of members of the collective."
These days, rather than endorse candidates with views close to
their own, Fulani and state Independence Party leaders continue
to hitch their wagons to Republican candidates for mayor and
With Fulani's help, the Independence Party delivered the 59,091
votes crucial to Bloomberg's close 2001 mayoral victory.
Pataki hopes to get the same electoral boost in his re-election
bid this fall, and recently told the party that getting its
endorsement "is an honor I will fight for."
PATAKI and Bloomberg - either directly or indirectly - have
thrown their support behind Fulani, Castillo Theater and the All
Stars Project, as well.
* In April, Bloomberg's media company was among the sponsors who
bought blocks of tickets to All Stars' Lincoln Center
fund-raiser, where tables went for up to $100,000.
* Fulani, Newman and other Independence Party members were
recently granted a coveted meeting with Deputy Mayor Dennis
Walcott to discuss education reform.
* Last week, Fulani lawyer Harry Kresky was named by Bloomberg to
the City Charter Revision Commission for non-partisan elections.
* In December, Pataki staffers intervened on behalf of the All
Stars to secure an $8.5 million tax-exempt bond from the city to
build a performance center at the Old Armory Building on West
42nd Street. The bond had been stalled under Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
Pataki's camp initially said it didn't think the governor had
intervened in lobbying for the bond.
Kresky, however, wrote a memo to Independence Party members
saying the governor's support "cleared the way for approval of
Meanwhile, the New York Independence Party said it is not
connected to the Fulani-supported non-profits.
"Lenora Fulani is a well-known and influential politician, but
she is not the head, official or unofficial, of this party," said
spokeswoman Jackie Salit.
"New Yorkers know the governor," said Pataki spokesman Mark
McKeon. "They know that he is out there working and fighting for
them every day."