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Lenora Fulani Blasts Hillary Clinton, Racism

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By Robert "Rob" Redding Jr.

Publisher

    ATLANTA, March 19, 2006, 11:45 a.m. - Independent activist Lenora Fulani yesterday blamed racism and likely presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Clinton for her ouster from the Independence Party of New York.   

    "[Clinton] has lobbied people up state in an effort to get on our line," Fulani told a group of independents. "We are concerned about that because these are major party people trying to interfere on our line."   

    Fulani, who is one of several complainants who have filed a voting rights violation with the U.S. Justice Department naming Clinton and others, said the New York senator has said publicly that Fulani would have to be booted from the party for her to accept the party's endorsement.   

    "They don't want a third party," she told a group gathered at Independent Movement: A Southeastern Conference. "They just want us to do what they want us to do."

    Fulani was ousted from state party leadership last year, after old allegations that she is anti-Semitic surfaced. Fulani, whose mentor Fred Newman is a Jew, has denied being an anti-Semite.

    The party then disbanded its largely black county organizations in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx - where Fulani had enormous support - due to the same anti-Semitic allegations.     

     She denounced those allegations indirectly yesterday, and condemned the party's latest move by saying that race was a factor in her ouster.   

    "It is about the right of black voters to vote for who we want to vote for," she said. "The message is clear, local control is fine for white people but not for us."   

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    Fulani also called upon members of the Congressional Black Caucus to add their voices in urging the Justice Department to open a full investigation into the party's move to dissolve the three county organizations. 

    Fulani and nine others from seven states this month filed a complaint with the department saying the leaders of the state's Independence Party violated the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

    Attorney General Eliot Spitzer and State Senator Majority Leader Joseph Bruno are also included in the complaint, according to an advance copy of a news release obtained by Redding News Review.

    "The claim was triggered when the statewide leadership of the Independence Party of New York, a ballot status party that is the state’s third largest, moved to disband three duly constituted county organizations in New York City," the news release reads. "Fulani and the vast majority of the party’s black membership and voters are based in New York City.  The disbanding of the county organizations was intended to, and has had the effect, of disenfranchising black voters and triggers Voting Rights Act ('VRA') protections." 

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