LENORA B. FULANI
225 Broadway, Suite #2010
New York, NY 10007
Phone: 212-609-2800 Fax: 212-803-1899
September 22, 2008
The Honorable John L. McCain
John McCain 2008
P.O. Box 16118
Arlington, VA 22215
Dear Senator McCain,
I write in response to your endorsement this weekend by the Independence Party of New York. I am a state committee member from Manhattan, I am a founder of the party, and I have been principally responsible for the growth of the IP’s base in New York City’s black and Latino communities.
You may not be aware of the split between the New York City Independence Party and state chairman Frank MacKay. Let me be blunt, Senator McCain, since you believe in straight talk, as do I. For the last three years, Frank MacKay has engaged in a concerted effort to eviscerate democratic decision-making in our party. He has all but eliminated local control in the IP, and has attempted (unsuccessfully) to purge the party’s black, Latino and progressive base and leaders.
The New York City based IP county organizations have been through 17 court battles over MacKay’s attempted rules changes, designed to give himself complete despotic control of the party. We have won 16 of these, including a recent New York State Court of Appeals decision that recognized that the city party has the undeniable authority to decide our nomination for mayor and other citywide offices. I would add here, Senator, that it was the Independence Party’s endorsement of Mike Bloomberg – determined by the local organizations – which put Mike in office. His margin of victory was the votes cast on the IP line.
Even in the face of the Court of Appeals decision, Frank MacKay has continued to try to wreak havoc in the city, most recently showing up in person at county committee meetings to disrupt the proceedings (he had to be ejected by security) and by sending fraudulent mailings and using other intimidation tactics to try to scare Independence Party members – 4,000 of whom joined the county committees – from exercising their democratic rights. In short, MacKay is a charlatan and a bully, who has steered the state Independence Party as far away from its roots of independence and reform as is humanly possible.
Again, in the interest of straight talk, I wanted you to be aware of the dishonorable record that MacKay brings. Millions of New Yorkers, indeed millions of Americans, are turning to independent politics to cure the corruption of our system. Unfortunately, Mr. MacKay has the dubious distinction of having corrupted the anticorruption movement in New York State.
Dr. Lenora Fulani