Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Ex-IWP Website Hacked, But We're Not Going to Be Disappeared by Cult Members!


The EX-IWP website was hacked soon after the death of cult leader Fred Newman. We have every intention of restoring the website as quickly as possible. In the meantime, please visit one of our new BLOGS which contain LOTS and LOTS of archive materials that many would like to see disappeared. Please also visit our new FORUM where former members can freely express their thoughts and communicate with others about their IWP experience. Stay tuned for more information.


Party to fraud – New York Daily News, December 9, 2013

Independence Party endorses Adolfo Carrion Jr. for New York City Mayor - New York Daily News, February 21, 2013

Built on deception, the Independence Party boosted Michael Bloomberg into office in three elections (New York Daily News, December 14, 2012)
Lots of reasons DA can crash this ‘party’ (New York Daily News, December 12, 2012)

City Independence Party insiders wrongly filled their governing committees with unwilling and unwitting voters (New York Daily News, December 12, 2012)

Independence Party’s confusing name has tricked thousands of New Yorkers (New York Daily News, December 11, 2012)

The state has to end the confusion that has swelled Independence Party rolls with unwitting and unwilling members (New York Daily News, December 11, 2012)

Revealed: How cult-like band exploits voter deception to wield political power in N.Y.C. (New York Daily News, December 10, 2012)

Anti-Semitic Jew Fred Newman led his cult-like followers to Independence Party power in New York City (New York Daily News, December 10, 2012)

Gov. Cuomo must deliver an ultimatum to the Independence Party: Stop the shams or the party dies (New York Daily News, December 10, 2012)

Rupert Murdoch Joins Independence Party In New York Accidentally (Huffington Post, September 26, 2012)

The Strange Life of the Late Fred Newman (Pajamas Media, July 12, 2011)

Fred Newman, Writer and Political Figure, Dies at 76 (The New York Times, July 9, 2011)

NYC Independence Party Founder Newman Dead At 76! ‎ (NY1, July 5, 2011)

Former Leaders of New Alliance Party Have Become Leading Opponents of Ballot Access Reform (Ballot Access News, December 30, 2010)

Bloomberg and the Not-So-Independent Independence Party

Mating Game: Bloomy Loves Fred Newman, All Over Again (Village Voice, February 19, 2009)

Bloomberg's Therapist (Village Voice, June 14, 2005)


Political Research Associates (Extensive Information on the IWP)

Steve Hassan's IWP Web Page

"Psychopolitics": Inside The Independence Party Of Fred Newman (NY 1 News, November 2005)

Mayor Defends Financing for Fulani Group (2006)

By Jill Gardiner
The New York Sun, September 14, 2006

Mayor Bloomberg is defending the city's decision to approve more than $12 million in tax-free financing for a nonprofit group founded by a political leader who has been accused of making anti-Semitic comments.

Mr. Bloomberg said the approval of the tax-free financing for the All Stars Project, a performing arts group, was based solely on the substance of the group and had nothing to do with its founding member, Lenora Fulani, who is no longer affiliated with the group.

The city's Industrial Development Agency gave the green light to the arrangement earlier this week over objections from several leading elected officials, who said the organization's relationship with Ms. Fulani should disqualify it.

"We don't look at the politics or the personal philosophies or the first amendment rights of what people say who are not involved with a project," Mr. Bloomberg told reporters.

"If they have a problem with other people they should express it to other people, but we are not going to hurt the kids at the All Star Project," he added referring to the opponents.

Ms. Fulani, a former leader of the Independence Party, backed Mr. Bloomberg when he was running for mayor in 2001 and then again in 2005, giving him crucial support and an alternative party line for New Yorkers who wanted to vote for him but didn't want to pull the lever for the Republican Party. He has distanced himself from her positions, but they repeatedly come back to haunt him.

Ms. Fulani's most divisive words came in 1989, when she wrote: "Jews had to sell their souls to acquire Israel." This week, the state comptroller, Alan Hevesi, the City Council speaker, Christine Quinn, the public advocate, Betsy Gotbaum, and Rep. Jerrold Nadler wrote to the head of the IDA urging him to block the financing request. Others who hold power on the IDA board directed their proxies to reject it.

But Mr. Bloomberg contended that there was nothing wrong with the deal: "We're trying to do what's right for our children and we certainly do not want to run a city where everybody's got to pass a litmus test of agreeing with those people running for office," he said.

Bloomy's 'All Stars': City arranges new multi-million-dollar financing for Fulani's crew (2006)

By Tom Robbins
The Village Voice, August 22, 2006

City arranges new multi-million-dollar financing for Fulani's crew

Even though he was the odds-on favorite to win re-election last year, Mayor Mike Bloomberg took no chances. In addition to running as the Republican Party's nominee, the billionaire media mogul sought and accepted the nomination of the Independence Party, thus providing an alternative for those true-blue Democrats who could never pull the GOP lever, even while holding their noses in the privacy of the voting booth. It was the same strategy that had worked so well for him in 2001, when the 59,000 votes he polled as the Independence candidate put him over the top in that razor-close race.

But the second time around, Bloomberg took a fair amount of heat for the tactic: Reporters asked him why he was still associating with the zany crowd that controlled the city's Independence Party, which included Lenora Fulani, prone to tossing occasional anti-Semitic barbs, and her oddball therapy guru, Fred Newman, who openly approved of sex between shrinks and patients. Those questions increased in volume after Fulani publicly refused to disavow her own earlier comments, in a NY1 TV interview, that Jews are "mass murderers" and had "sold their souls to acquire Israel."

But Bloomberg's strategy was to be better safe than sorry, banking on the hope that most voters wouldn't notice and the rest wouldn't hold it against him. And he was right. The CEO-turned-politician scored an overwhelming 750,000-vote tally against Democrat Fernando Ferrer, with more than 74,000 cast for him on the Independence Party line.

Now, nine months after the little third party helped him achieve that crushing victory, Bloomberg's administration is poised to provide Fulani and Newman with new $12 million tax-free bond financing for a controversial nonprofit organization they have long controlled. The bond deal, due to be approved by the city's Industrial Development Agency next month, would allow a youth program called the All Stars Project to refinance $8.3 million in outstanding city bonds and add an additional $4.2 million to allow the group to make improvements at its headquarters on West 42nd Street—a space it acquired in 2002 with an earlier IDA bond deal from Bloomberg's administration.

Tax-free bonds for private businesses and nonprofit groups are awarded frequently by the city, but applicants have to show that the subsidies will benefit the public. All Stars has been the subject of repeated complaints and investigations concerning allegations that it is used to lure unwary people into Newman's so-called "social therapy" practice and into political activities like the Independence Party. The group has always denied it, and a probe last year by the office of state attorney general Eliot Spitzer did not result in charges of wrongdoing.

The financing deal is clearly attractive. The bonds would save All Stars several hundred thousand dollars in costs and mortgage-recording taxes, according to Good Jobs New York, which monitors city projects. So far, however, few specifics have been provided. The only information made public is a one-paragraph advertisement published in the New York Daily News on August 8. A spokesperson for the city's Economic Development Corporation, which oversees the IDA, confirmed the deal and said only that some of the new $4 million plus would go for new heating and ventilation systems for the All Stars headquarters, adding that more details will be available before a September 7 hearing on the matter.

Bloomberg spokesperson Stu Loeser said the mayor played "no role" in the bond deal, adding that Newman and Fulani have distanced themselves from the project. In February, Newman resigned from posts he held there, although he and Fulani remain leading figures in the group.

An All Stars spokesman confirmed the bonds will be used to "finance necessary renovations and improvements."

Whatever the details, the project appears to be a kind of consolation prize for the group, which had a decidedly unhappy experience in its most recent dealings with city government. In March, in a caustic letter, the group announced it was dropping its application for a $230,000 contract to provide after-school training to city schoolkids through the Department of Youth and Community Development. The move came after a 10-month-long inquiry that began shortly after a Voice story on the matter ("Fulani's City Hall Push," June 7, 2005). At the time, the Voice reported that Fulani and Newman had been invited into Bloomberg's inner sanctum at City Hall, where they had met with top city officials, including schools chancellor Joel Klein. Part of their pitch was to provide theater and music activities to schoolchildren. Bloomberg's aides were receptive to the idea. But All Stars officials confirmed that they were more interested in receiving the stamp of approval from City Hall than the cash. "It would be the city validating all of our work in this field," Gabrielle Kurlander, who lives with Newman and receives $200,000 as president of the group, told the Voice last year.

But the contract negotiations came just as the mayor was agreeing to take the Independence Party line, and the coincidence helped spark a spate of additional stories in the New York Post and on NY1. In the face of that publicity, the city's youth department announced that All Stars would get careful scrutiny before any contracts were awarded.

That investigation, along with a parallel one by Spitzer's office, put the after-school grant on hold. City officials never completed their probe, but on March 6, All Stars president Kurlander fired off an angry four-page letter to city youth department officials saying they'd had enough. The letter offered—in remarkably frank language—Kurlander's version of her group's dealings with the youth agency and City Hall.

According to Kurlander, the after-school activities application started with the suggestion of a Bloomberg policy aide, Ester Fuchs, who "urged us to apply for a grant." (Fuchs told the Voice last year that the idea was broached by an All Stars lobbyist.) Kurlander said she "expressed concern" that the application "might fall victim to various forms of political gamesmanship" given the media attention to the group.

Despite city assurances that wouldn't happen, Kurlander wrote, the youth department's general counsel began contacting All Stars board members and supporters as far away as California "to inquire about their political affiliations." After a protest to Fuchs, Kurlander said, those inquiries were halted. But as the mayoral race heated up, NY1 broadcast a multi-part series by reporter Rita Nissan, prompting a new series of inquiries.

The youth department's new questions, Kurlander wrote, "read like an inquisition from Senator Joseph McCarthy." She said the queries included questions about who on the board was "in therapy, about living and personal financial arrangements of principals associated with the program, and other intrusive and abusive lines of questioning."

All Stars again complained, Kurlander wrote, this time to both Fuchs and Bloomberg campaign director Kevin Sheekey (now a deputy mayor). Kurlander said City Hall aides "disingenuously" told her that it was out of their hands. She said that even after Spitzer dropped his own separate inquiry, the city's probe continued. The last straw apparently came when the Voice reported, several days before Kurlander's irate letter, that city sources were telling it the contract wouldn't be awarded.

The All Stars executive wrote that the city's inquiry had "degenerated into the worst form of 'policy by politics' " and a "corruption of governmental responsibility."

"Finally," Kurlander concluded, "while it is the case that some individuals in the All Stars community worked hard for Mayor Bloomberg's re-election, All Stars has always made it plain that it neither sought nor expected any special treatment or favors." At the bottom of the letter, Kurlander cc'd Fuchs, Sheekey, and Mayor Bloomberg.

"Psychopolitics": Inside The Independence Party Of Fred Newman, Part One

By Rita Nissan, NY1 News, October 30, 2005

The New York Independence Party has grown to 325,000 members statewide, 90,000 members in the city. It's become a powerful voice in politics, but there are some who say the leaders of the Manhattan party should be silenced. NY1’s Rita Nissan has more in part one of her special series, "Psychopolitics."

To say Lenora Fulani is vocal would be an understatement. As a leader of the Manhattan Independence Party, Fulani has been outspoken in her support for Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Bloomberg is running on her party's line. But while Fulani comes off as an in-charge and in-command leader, people who used to be aligned with her say a man you probably never heard of calls the shots - Fulani's mentor and psychotherapist, Fred Newman.

“Fulani is 100 percent subservient to Fred, 100 percent subservient to Fred, and when Fulani says something it's with Fred's blessing and by his design,” says Frank MacKay, Chairman of the state Independence Party.

Newman controls a web of organizations: The Manhattan Independence Party, a youth charity, and therapy clinics that practice his self-invented field of psychology, Social Therapy.

Newman has controversial views on politics, Jews and psychology. Newman lives with several former patients and says he has no problem if patients have sex with their therapists.

“I think that people’s sexual relationship should be something very personal between the people who are engaging in it, and I think if people love each other, care for each other and are attracted to each other, and decide - together - that they want to have sex, they should,” Newman recently told NY1.

Yet politicians like Bloomberg have been quick to seek Newman’s support. MacKay says it was Newman's decision to let Bloomberg run as an Independent in 2001.

As a Republican, Bloomberg benefited from a second ballot line because it made some Democrats more comfortable voting for him.

MacKay says Bloomberg's name first surfaced when a prominent Republican called him.

“He said, "There's a billionaire. He's looking to run for office. He's a Democrat and he’s switching into the Republican Party,’” says MacKay.

MacKay says he reached out to the party's Manhattan chapter and spoke to its chairwoman, Cathy Stewart.

“She said, "You’ve got to talk to Fred about this.’ And I did and I discussed it,” says MacKay. “He knew a little something about Bloomberg. Fred’s very in touch with what’s going on out there. I guess he understood.

MacKay says Newman and Bloomberg met, and an alliance was formed. “I thought it was a good idea to support Bloomberg. Why? Because I thought he was more independent with relatively traditional liberal values, but without having all the kinds of connections to the kind of Democratic Party machine and the clubhouse structure, which I thought would be a plus,” says Newman. “I thought he was an intelligent guy who knew how to manage. I thought he’d make a good mayor.”

The Independence Party can claim credit for Bloomberg's victory. It delivered 59,000 votes, more than his winning margin.

It appears the relationship has paid off for Newman, with high level City Hall meetings, Bloomberg's push for non-partisan elections, and tax-free bonds for his charity, the All Stars Project. Bloomberg has donated tens of thousands of dollars to All Stars.

The mayor's office claims these were not special favors, but critics say Bloomberg's actions have given Newman and his associate's credibility they don't deserve.

“I would warn anyone that would consider being involved in an organization somehow connected to Fred Newman to really investigate the history of the group,” says Rick Ross, a cult expert.

Over the course of this week, NY1 will do just that. We'll take a closer look at Fred Newman, and you'll hear from him in a rare interview.

We also spoke to more than three dozen people with knowledge of Newman and his groups. You'll hear why they say this behind the scenes organizer is the force behind a massive empire that runs largely on private donations.

- Rita Nissan

"Psychopolitics": Inside The Independence Party Of Fred Newman, Part Two

By Rita Nissan
NY1 News, November 1, 2005

On Monday, NY1 introduced you to the Independence Party's Fred Newman, a major player in city politics. In part two of her special series, "Psychopolitics," NY1’s Rita Nissan takes a look at Newman's colorful past.

Fred Newman may be the most powerful political leader you never heard of. His followers have been dubbed "Newmanites" and they liken him to Gandhi and Martin Luther King.

“I met Dr. Newman 30 years ago. One of the things we did, not just the therapy, [but] one of the things I recognized was that I knew he had a vision for the African-American community and he could help us do something besides feel sorry for ourselves,” says Lorraine Stevens, a Newman supporter.

Critics call him to a cult leader.

“He is the man, the guru,” says Nanette Harris, a former Social Therapy patient. “Everybody aspires to be like Fred or to have Fred's approval. It's ridiculous.”

Born and raised in the South Bronx, Fred Newman received a Ph.D. in philosophy from Stanford in 1963. But psychology and politics became his passion.

In the early 70's Newman developed a small group of followers, and they lived in a communal apartment on the Upper West Side. Members took part in the group therapy Newman created, Social Therapy. They also did political work. Newman called it, "A Marxist-Leninist-Maoist organization."

“I now often refer myself to a post-modern Marxist because I think Marx is very antiquated,” says Newman.

His group morphed into the International Workers Party, the IWP. Former members say the IWP did, and still does, serve as the backbone of Newman's causes.

They say members live together and are expected to quit their jobs, turn over their assets to Newman and raise money for him on the street, while undergoing his therapy.

By the late '70s, former members say the IWP went underground and Newman started operating several front groups, including the New Alliance Party. Critics called the party a fringe group, with shady politics, operated by a cult-like core.

“It slowly dawned on me that I had been part of a cult,” says M. Ortiz, who was a loyal follower from 1985 to 1990.

Ortiz says she went to Social Therapy to treat her anxiety and depression. “Therapy at the institute isn't just therapy,” she says.

Ortiz says she was recruited to work for the New Alliance Party during her weekly sessions. She was told society was to blame for her emotional problems and her recovery would be helped by doing political work for Newman.

Not long into her involvement, Ortiz says she was invited to join the IWP, which also became known as the "inner core" and the "tendency."

“I found myself a member of an underground, Leninist, Marxist tendency whose ambition was to overthrow [or] take over the U.S. government through fair elections and third party elections,” she says.

To join, Ortiz says she filled out a form stating her income and assets, and that she had to turn those assets over to the IWP. She says she had to contribute money to fund Newman's various causes, including the 1988 presidential campaign of his protege, Lenora Fulani.

Ortiz says she and her fellow comrades also had to attend secret meetings at different places in the city, to avoid being spotted by the FBI. In 1988, the FBI called members of the New Alliance Party "armed and dangerous."

“As Marxist-Leninist cadre, we would have secret bi-weekly meetings with a cell leader in small groups of between four and six people,” says Ortiz. “We were given orders to read, information like, ÎSo and so has joined the tendency, so and so has left the tendency.’ We would also give at those meetings bi-weekly dues, which ranged anywhere from 10-50 percent of your income.”

Ortiz says she devoted her life to the organization. She says she even agreed to live with other so-called cadres. Ortiz says they took turns caring for each other's children so they could devote more time to the revolution.

But slowly, she says she realized she was in a cult. Ortiz says the final straw came when she was told to give up her daughter.

“It was strongly suggested that I consider putting my daughter up for foster care because she was, "getting in the way of my work as a revolutionary.’ And that was it,” she says.

After five years of what she describes as slave labor, and thousands of dollars in debt, Ortiz said goodbye to Fred Newman in 1990.

Now, at age 70, Newman is frail and is said to be suffering from diabetes. He dismisses the claim that he leads a cult.

“I don't think there are such things as cults,” he says. “I think there are human beings who decide to come together in various ways and sometimes the ways in which they come together turn out to be pretty destructive — witness Jonestown - and sometimes they come together in ways that are relatively innocuous, and sometimes they come together in ways that turn out to be quite positive.”

Newman says he's a positive force. “Our therapeutic work has brought more families together than any kind of therapy that I know of,” he says.

Ortiz has gone to great lengths to document her story. She launched a website, www.exiwp.org, that's become a sanctuary for former IWP members.

“I want to give people the chance to find out as much about them, their entire history,” she says. “They have a tendency to hide information, to deny information, to shred information, and to just lie. I don't want to give them that chance anymore.”

Ortiz says she's outraged that 15 years since she parted ways, Newman is still practicing Social Therapy and his political power has grown.

Newman now runs the Independence Party in Manhattan and largely controls the other four boroughs. He also has considerable influence over the state party.

His followers dominate some upstate counties. That has given Newman and his allies access to politicians like Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Governor George Pataki, Attorney General Eliot Spitzer and Senator Charles Schumer. They have all sought the Independence Party's endorsement.

- Rita Nissan

"Psychopolitics": Inside The Independence Party Of Fred Newman, Part Three

By Rita Nissan
NY1 News, November 2, 2005

Fred Newman, the leader of the Manhattan Independence Party, wants to have a say in how your children are educated. But his views on sex and marriage may leave some parents wary. NY1’s Rita Nissan has more in part three of her special series, "Psychopolitics."

Fred Newman lives by his own rules. He says monogamy and marriage aren’t for him.
“I don't think it's any of the state's business who my dearest loves are and how I relate to another human being and give to them and receive from them,” he says.

Newman calls them his dearest loves, the women he lives with in his West Village
townhouse. He admits some of the women initially came to him for psychological help.

Newman treats patients in Social Therapy, his self-created field of psychology.

“Some of them were in therapy, yeah,” he says.

But mainstream psychologists say it's unethical for therapists to have sex with their patients because it violates personal boundaries and trust.

Newman is not held to any ethical codes. As a psychotherapist, he doesn’t need a license to practice in New York State, although the laws have changed and he’ll need one by the end of the year.

“I think that people’s sexual relationships should be something very personal between the people who are engaging in it, and I think if people love each other, care for each other, are attracted to each other and decide together that they want to have sex, they should,” he says. “[Does it matter that it's a patient and a therapist?] I think sexual relationships are between human beings, not human beings under certain descriptions or in certain categories. I believe that people should fall in love as they so desire, and if they want to include in that sexuality, they should include that.”

Newman controls several organizations that appear to be intertwined: Social Therapy clinics, the Manhattan Independence Party, and his youth charity the All Stars Project. All Stars introduces children and teens to Newman’s ideas.

At All Stars headquarters, Newman writes and directs plays at the Castillo Theatre. His books are everywhere, and volunteers have been invited to social therapy related events.

“It’s cool,” says Loretta Martin.

NY1 met Martin at a campaign rally for Mayor Michael Bloomberg. She works for Newman’s Independence Party and volunteers for All Stars.

“We hear it all over the place, Social Therapy,” Martin says.

A 2003 evaluation of All Stars shows some high school students read his book, "Let's
Develop." In it, Newman explains what he calls "friendosexuality." He writes that sex is best when "performed" the same way children play, with friends as equals.

Former patients say they were advised to have sex with their friends, without forming
emotional bonds. Mainstream psychologists say that leads to unhealthy relationships.

Here's how former patient M. Ortiz describes what happened when she went to Newman
for help with a relationship: “Fred Newman in therapy suggested that maybe I should go have a relationship with someone else and bring it back to the therapy group and see if there were any problems and then we could discuss it. That was his advice to me regarding a personal relationship. He said I should go sleep around.”

Ortiz says Newman’s views on sex were well known among his followers.

“It was a joke in the media and even in the community that Fred has four wives, Gabrielle [Kurlander], Hazel - the late Hazel Daren, who was his first cult relationship - and two other wives, Gail Elberg and Deborah Green,” she says.

Some of those women now have plush jobs with All Stars.

Gabrielle Kurlander earns $200,000 a year as its president. In the 1980’s she was a therapy patient. Newman fell in love with her. He once wrote, "Gabrielle Kurlander, my dearest love, made my life."

Gail Elberg is another All Stars official that Newman lives with. Elberg oversees the volunteer program. She’s been with Newman for more than 30 years.

Newman doesn't call these women his wives. He doesn’t think marriage is a good thing.

“I don't consider any woman my wife. I think that's a highly troublesome and complex
relationship,” he says. “I no longer participate in it. I have some very dear friends of mine, women friends of mine, who I relate to in all kinds of ways. But I don’t collect wives.”

All of this doesn’t sit well with the people who have spent decades tracking Newman. Critics say his unorthodox views make it questionable whether he should work with children, and they say Mayor Bloomberg should be held accountable for helping All Stars grow.

Since he took office, All Stars has moved into a massive new headquarters thanks to tax free bonds from the city, and its been awarded a three-year contract to operate after-school programs. But that contract is on hold because of various investigations.

We have spoken to some All Stars participants who say it's a wonderful program that gives underprivileged children and teens a place to go. They praise Fred Newman and the work that he is doing.

Independence Party chief says guru Newman OK’d Bloomberg endorsement (2005)

By Tom Robbins
Village Voice, September 27, 2005

Speaking out: Independence Party chairman Frank MacKay

In the six years that Frank MacKay has been chairman of the state’s Independence Party the influential holder of Row C on New York’s ballot he says he never had a substantive conversation with Lenora Fulani, the party’s most famous and controversial member.

“It’s never been more than ‘Hi’ and ‘Goodbye,’ “ MacKay told the Voice.

On the other hand, MacKay said that he spent many hours in discussion about tactics and party activities with Fred Newman, the guru style figure hailed by Fulani and others as the inspiration for their various enterprises, including therapy clinics and the All Stars Project, a city subsidized nonprofit organization with a multimillion dollar budget.

MacKay said that when he had important party business to discuss including the initial recommendation that the party’s city chapter endorse Michael Bloomberg for mayor he was told to talk to Newman, and Newman alone. He said that he was often summoned to meetings at Newman’s Greenwich Village townhouse, attended by a coterie of longtime followers.

“There would be this little circle grouped around Newman, hanging on his every word,” MacKay said. The group included Cathy Stewart, the chairwoman of the New York County Independence Party; attorneys Harry Kresky and Gary Sinawski; political consultant Jackie Salit; All Stars president Gabrielle Kurlander; and Fulani. MacKay said that he attended some 20 such sessions, and that Newman did most of the talking.

“The meetings would go on for two hours, and the only two talking are me and Newman,” MacKay said. “The others only chimed in to agree with Fred.”

Newman, 70, has long been a political fringe player, allied at different times with Lyndon LaRouche, Louis Farrakhan, and Pat Buchanan. But he has largely kept in the background, allowing Fulani (whom he once called his “greatest accomplishment”) to take the lead. A playwright, Newman also claims authorship of what he describes as “a new science of human development” called “social therapy.” But therapists using Newman’s teachings have been accused of recruiting patients to their political efforts.

“He’s like a Svengali,” MacKay said. “He is the one and only decision maker.”

MacKay, a former nightclub owner from Suffolk County, was originally elected state party chairman in 2000 with the support of Newman’s group. But MacKay ended the alliance this month when he and upstate party officials concluded that Fulani’s refusal to disavow past anti Semitic statements, and her continued self identification as the party’s leader, were hurting the organization.

Why had he worked so long with Newman’s group? “The party is about building coalitions,” he said. “They seemed cultlike, but not on a Jonestown type level. You could say we used each other.”

The break came September 18 at a crowded meeting near Albany where state committee members voted overwhelmingly to remove Fulani and five allies, including Stewart, Kresky, and Sinawski, from their executive panel. Fulani later dismissed the vote, saying it wouldn’t affect her status as a leader in the “Black community.” She also noted that her group still holds the reins of the party’s autonomous city chapter, which boasts Bloomberg as its mayoral candidate in November. “God bless the mayor,” Fulani said during the debate, “he voiced his disagreement with me, and then kept right on going.”

Indeed, that same day Bloomberg refused to comment on Fulani’s removal, saying he didn’t want to get involved in another party’s affairs. But he had good reason to avoid offending her. The 59,000 votes he received on the Independence line in 2001 was almost double his narrow margin of victory over Democrat Mark Green. This year, Bloomberg originally ducked comment on Fulani’s anti Semitic statements, saying he hadn’t heard them. He later called her views “despicable,” but still agreed to take the party’s nomination in June. So far in this election, he has pumped $270,000 into the party’s city committees.

But when Bloomberg’s name originally surfaced as a potential Independence Party candidate in late 2000, MacKay said he was told to discuss it first with Newman.

MacKay said that in December that year he received a call from “a major Republican leader” whom he declined to name on the record asking about the party’s intentions for the 2001 mayoral election. “He said, ‘What are your crazies down in New York doing next year in the mayoral race?’ “ said MacKay.

The GOP figure went on to say that he had “a bona fide billionaire” who was switching from the Democratic to the Republican Party, MacKay said. The would be candidate “is a long shot, but his only chance is with a second line,” MacKay said he was told.

MacKay, who has no role in the Independence Party’s city committees, said he quickly called Stewart, the city chairwoman. But when he started to tell her the news, Stewart cut him off.

“She said she couldn’t talk to me about it, that I had to talk to Fred. She said someone would reach out to me.” A few minutes later, MacKay said he got a call from Newman’s personal assistant, who put Newman on the phone.

“I asked Fred what their plans were for the race. He said, ‘We are going to see if [Reverend Al] Sharpton grows a pair of balls and starts standing up for himself against the Democrats.’ Otherwise, Newman said, ‘we’re going to run Fulani.’ “ MacKay said Newman told him he wanted to take advantage of matching funds available under the city’s public campaign finance law. “He said, ‘We can raise $200,000 and make $1 million,’ “ according to MacKay.

When MacKay raised Bloomberg’s name, Newman responded immediately. “He knew all about him. He said, ‘We’re very interested.’ So I put them in touch. Obviously, they made beautiful music together,” said MacKay.

Bill Cunningham, a Bloomberg campaign adviser, said several state Republicans originally recommended that Bloomberg should seek the Independence Party nod for the 2001 race, among them state senate majority leader Joe Bruno. “I can’t say Bruno was the first, but many times he has talked about them as a good ally to have in politics,” Cunningham said.

Newman was present both times that Bloomberg met with Independence Party leaders to seek their endorsement, he said, adding that Stewart and Salit appeared to be the “political operatives” for the group.

Cunningham defended Bloomberg’s decision to take the party’s endorsement. “There are some 20 to 30 Democrats who have done so, including Schumer and Spitzer,” he said.

But most Democrats backed away from the party after Fulani, in an appearance on NY1 in April, defended past statements she’d made that Jews “had to sell their soul to acquire Israel,” and “function as mass murderers of people of color.”

“What is anti Semitic about that?” Fulani told host Dominick Carter.

Two days before Fulani’s remarks, Bloomberg spoke at a benefit dinner that Fulani and Newman held at Lincoln Center for the All Stars Project. There, MacKay said Stewart excitedly told him that the event had raised $1 million, and that Fulani had been invited onto the NY1 show.

MacKay said that when he heard about Fulani’s comments and the ensuing media controversy, he sent a critical statement to members. He didn’t make a bigger commotion at the time, he said, because he “didn’t want to interfere with the Bloomberg nomination.”

He called Stewart, however, and insisted on a meeting with Newman. “When I got there, all of them, Salit, Kresky, Sinawski, were laughing. Newman said, ‘Oh, here’s our chairman, you’re just in time. We’ve been strategizing about how to use this wonderful publicity we’re getting.’ “

MacKay said he responded angrily. “I said, ‘You are the only ones laughing. This is serious. This is a disaster.’ “ MacKay said Newman then asked to meet with him alone. “He told me, ‘We could have done better on this.’ “

Despite the admission, MacKay said he believed Newman was delighted with the uproar. “He knows how to create controversy. He believes any press is good press, and that Fulani can only get press if it looks like she has power.”

A spokeswoman for the city’s Independence Party, Sara Lyons, refused comment on behalf of its leaders. “We’re not interested in being interviewed by you,” said Lyons, who heads the party’s Staten Island chapter. “You’re not doing serious journalism.”