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Controversial Independent stripped of party position

The decision was made by the state's third largest party Saturday, when roughly 75 percent of the members of the party's state committee passed a resolution calling for Fulani and her city-based organization in Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx to be disassociated with the party.Independence Party Chairman Frank MacKay said Fulani's statement that Jews "were mass murderers of people of color" was first made known to him in April, when Fulani, who is black, appeared on NY1 and refused to denounce the statement during an interview."We won't accept racism and anti-Semitism," MacKay said. The party took nearly seven months to hold the vote because it was apprehensive about affecting the mayoral race, according to MacKay.Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who is Jewish, denounced the remarks made by Fulani, who ran the Independence Party in the city and supported him in his re-election campaign back in May. But he still accepted her support and the party's line on the ballot.MacKay said if Fulani had validated the statement but made a caveat that her comment was not made as an Independence Party official, the vote to remove her could have been avoided because the party does not take a stance on social issues.Of the vote, MacKay said, "it really shows that we're getting rid of the influence of this cult. It depletes the power of the Fulani organization."That power was most evident when Bloomberg was first elected in 2001, when the number of votes he received on the Independence Party line was the deciding factor in his victory.The Independence Party's state committee has about 300 members, but only around 100 voted in Saturday's action expelling Fulani, MacKay said. The fact that some 22 percent of the party members voted against the resolution should not be construed as a sign of support for Fulani because MacKay said those members disagreed with the process of how the purges were carried out. He said those members wanted to have Fulani and her associates voted on independently instead of in one ballot.Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 173

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