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When Bloomberg Says `Independent,' Does He Mean `Fulani'?

Jan. 20, 2008 (EIRNS)—While Mayor Michael Bloomberg has surrounded his bid for an independent Presidential candidacy with star-studded political personalities, like California Governator Arnold Schwarzenegger, former Senators David Boren (D-Ok.), Sam Nunn (D-Ga.), and John Danforth (R-Mo.); current Senator Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.); and former New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman (R); in past elections, he has relied on Lenora Fulani and the Independence Party for crucial backing, in his two mayoral campaigns in New York City. And if past is prologue, he is once again counting on the Independence Party to put him on the ballot, should he decide to pony up a billion dollars and take the presidential plunge.

Frank MacKay, the head of the New York Independence Party, and now the head of the newly formed Independence Party of America (IPOA), and the recently elected executive director of the Reform Party USA, has just completed a 33-state tour, lining up party backing for Bloomberg's "independent" presidential bid. It seems that Bloomberg's money, alone, cannot buy the White House. At least 13 states, according to LPAC sources, have very restrictive requirements for independent ballot access, so Bloomberg's man MacKay is touring the country, attempting to pressure state parties to lend their ballot access to Hiz'oner.

In the past, Bloomberg has used the power of the purse to secure Independence Party backing. Indeed, in his first mayoral bid, in 2001, it was the 59,000 votes that Bloomberg received on the New York Independence Party line, that put him over the top. Along the way, Bloomberg had to swallow a lot. On Sept. 20, 2001, Lenora Fulani, top dog in the New York City Independence Party, had written a New York Post op-ed, saying that the United States was to blame for the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, due to American aggression abroad. She described the attacks as "revenge" for American evil. When Bloomberg demanded that she retract the statement or he would bolt the Independence Party ballot line, Fulani and company stood their ground, and the wannabe Mayor backed down, for fear of losing the tight November race.

After his victory, Bloomberg, according to the Village Voice and other news outlets, teamed up with Gov. George Pataki, another beneficiary of the Independence Party ballot line, to secure Fulani and company an $8.7 million municipal bond issue, to finance the construction of a new arts center. And in April 2002, Bloomberg's media firm kicked in $100,000 for a Fulani front group fundraiser. In 2005, when Bloomberg ran for reelection as New York City Mayor, he was once again endorsed by Fulani and was on the Independence Party ballot line, and in turn, he kicked in $270,000 of his own money to the party, according to an Oct. 4, 2005, story in the Village Voice. Independence Party lawyer Harry Kresky has also been a Bloomberg appointee to the City Charter Revision Commission, attempting to push through a non-partisan election reform. The list of perks is, according to a variety of local New York newspapers, quite long.

As Bloomberg moves closer to his Mussolini-modeled "anti-partisan" presidential campaign, MacKay is trying to do some damage control on the Fulani ties. Beginning in 2005, he has tried to purge Fulani and four of her close allies from the central committee of the New York State Independence Party, citing 1989 statements accusing Jews of committing genocide against African-Americans. This despite the fact that MacKay has been a longtime Fulani ally inside the Independence Party of New York. But recently, Fulani herself repudiated those remarks— during a press conference announcing possible plans to run for Mayor of New York City in 2009, when, one way or the other, Bloomberg leaves City Hall.