An ADL Backgrounder on the Reform Party and two of its leading
proponents, Fred Newman and Leonora Fulani
ADL Backgrounder, 25 October 1999
In recent weeks and months, the Reform party has benefited from increasing
public attention. Jesse Ventura's gubernatorial victory in Minnesota, and
today's presidential election politics have generated a renewed interest in
the party and may bring about significant support for its candidates in the 2000
Following is an ADL Backgrounder on the Reform Party and two of its leading
proponents, Fred Newman and Leonora Fulani.
A close look at the inner workings of the Reform party reveals
could be the latest vehicle in the pursuit of political power by the
now-defunct New Alliance Party (NAP) and its former leaders:
Newman and Lenora Fulani, who have become
major players in the party.
Fred Newman, a self-styled Marxist psychotherapist with
roots in the Lyndon LaRouche movement, formed the now-defunct
NAP in 1979.
The NAP's first significant political endeavor took shape in 1984
Lenora Fulani joined the group and ran for lieutenant
New York. Newman became Fulani's campaign manager,
mentor, and taught her the form of therapy she practices.
has been a strong supporter of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan
is regarded by some observers as an extremist (she used NAP publishing
cultural arms in backing Moammar Khadafy).
Despite its self-proclaimed multicultural vision and its avowed
dedication to fighting racism and anti-Semitism, the NAP readily
its members with anti-Jewish and anti-Zionist rhetoric. In the
the National Alliance, the NAP's newspaper,
himself is Jewish, was quoted as saying, "The Jew, the dirty Jew,
once the ultimate victim of capitalism's soul, fascism, would become a
victimizer on behalf of capitalism."
Fulani's contributions to the National Alliance
commentary in which she stated that Jews "had to sell their souls to
acquire Israel and are required to do the dirtiest work of
function as mass murderers of people of colorin order to keep it."
After Fulani's run for lieutenant governor
of New York in 1984,
she ran as the party's presidential candidate in 1988, and again
She became the first African-American woman to get on the ballot
in all 50
states and qualified for $2 million in Federal matching funds.
After Ross Perot's strong showing in the 1992 presidential election, the
NAP, along with the leaders of other small, independent and mostly centrist
political groups, sensed that they had to make a move. Putting aside blatant
ideological differences, the groups met in 1992 and formed the Federation of
At a convention in April 1994, an array of independent parties from
across the country joined to form the national Patriot party. NAP
influence on the gathering was substantial, with its members gaining half
of the Patriot party's 16 leadership positions.
By December 1994, the NAP announced that it would dissolve
and Newman urged their supporters to join New
party and the national Patriot party. In a little over a year,
the former NAP seemed to have fully integrated themselves into the
The Perot-Fulani connection dated back to 1992
when NAP lawyers
helped Perot's United We Stand America party achieve ballot access in
all 50 states. Russell Verney, Perot's campaign manager and closest
adviser subsequently maintained close contact with
Fulani and Newman.
Ross Perot officially formed the Reform party in 1995 with a
drive in California to place him and the party on the ballot for
presidential election. The first national Reform party convention and
election of party leaders was held in 1997.
The collaboration between the Patriot party and the Reform
complete by the end of 1996 when Newman and
virtually the entire membership of the Patriot party into the
In October 1997, a dissident group of Reform party activists
new national political party called the American Reform party.
American Reform party shares Perot's beliefs that politicians are
terribly corrupt and the government is too big,
the splinter group
accused the Reform party of being too hierarchical
Today the Reform party's future is wide open. Pat Buchanan,
conservative commentator with a history of rhetoric offensive
to Jews and
other minorities, is reportedly considering launching his candidacy
president on the Reform party ticket. He reportedly has the
backing of Pat
Choate, Ross Perot's 1996 vice president running mate, outgoing Reform
Party Chairman Russ Verney, Fred Newman and
Fulani has reportedly made it clear she would
support Buchanan's run
for president on the Reform party ticket during a recent lunch she
the presidential hopeful.
Fulani and Newman have very little in common with Buchanan"aside
from their expressed hostility towards Jews and a tendency to pander to
xenophobic fears "yet their meeting with him follows a pattern of
opportunism that has marked their entire careers. Fulani and Newman
are well situated to reap the benefits if Buchanan seeks the presidential
nomination of the Reform party.
Incoming Reform party chairman, Jack Gargan, who is one of Ross Perot's
earliest backers and founder of the anti-incumbent group, "Throw the
Hypocritical Rascals Out," appeared on Radio Free America, the Liberty
Lobby's weekly radio call-in show on August 8. Willis Carto, founder of
the Liberty Lobby, perhaps the most influential and active anti-Semitic
propaganda organization in the country, called Gargan "one of my
private heroes" and proclaimed that "there's nobody better"
to lead the Reform party.
Jesse Ventura's gubernatorial victory apparently has some Reform party
members believing that just about anything is possible. The party's ballot
access, along with $12.6 million in federal campaign funds for 2000, may
attract several potentially high profile candidates. It is likely that
former NAP leaders will play a pivotal role in determining who will win the
Reform party nomination for the 2000 presidential election.