May 28, 2005
By MICHAEL SLACKMAN
More than a decade ago, when Fred Newman and Lenora Fulani embraced Marxist ideology, they could not persuade even the Rev. Al Sharpton to run under the banner of their fringe political party in his 1992 Senate bid.
Mr. Sharpton, seeking to gain legitimacy as a candidate, began distancing himself from the two and from their New Alliance Party, as questions about his past association with them threatened to undermine his campaign and his credibility.
But in recent years, Dr. Fulani and Dr. Newman have found many of the state's top political leaders eager to court their latest organization, the Independence Party of New York.
Through the party, Dr. Fulani and Dr. Newman, who were once considered eccentric figures on the political fringe, have found new stature, to the point where Republicans like Gov. George E. Pataki to Democrats like Attorney General Eliot Spitzer and United States Senator Charles E. Schumer have courted their party's support. Today, the Independence Party is expected to endorse the re-election bid of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, a Republican.
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