Fulani Campaign Hires Businesses Tied to New Alliance Party
WASHINGTON (AP) _ Lenora Fulani, running for president under the New Alliance Party banner, has channelled more than $450,000 to support businesses tied to the party, according to campaign finance records.
It is legal for a political campaign to purchase services from companies owned by the candidate’s close associates, said Scott Moxley, spokesman for the Federal Election Commission. Such services must be offered at no more than fair market value, he said.
″That’s one of the things we’re going to look at,″ Moxley said Monday.
More than $450,000 has been used for party-related businesses. The party has hired advertising, public relations and law firms; rents office space from an NAP-related company; and has spent more than $25,000 to buy copies of the National Alliance, the party newspaper, FEC records show.
After the election, the FEC conducts an extensive audit of every campaign that received matching funds, he said.
Fulani’s 1992 campaign has qualified for $1.033 million in federal matching funds so far - $175,000 more than the campaign of former California Gov. Jerry Brown. Her campaign relies on aggressive national fund-raising conducted by party members, many of whom are patients at psychotherapy clinics run by New Alliance Party members.
The New Alliance Party was founded by New York psychotherapist Fred Newman, who is also Fulani’s campaign manager. NAP critics say Newman masterminds the party and its network of companies.
Fulani has said her campaign and the New Alliance Party are financially separate from profit-making ventures run by NAP members.
So far, Fulani’s presidential campaign has spent about $2.2 million, according to campaign finance reports. Of that, almost $456,000 went to party- related businesses between April 1, 1991, and Feb. 29, 1992.
Records show the campaign paid almost $127,000 to Castillo Communications, a public relations firm, and the Castillo Cultural Center, a New York City art and theater space. Both are part of the Newman empire.
The International People’s Law Institute, another Newman organization, received approximately $117,000 during the same period, according to the records.
Ilene Advertising collected more than $88,000 from April 1991 through February. And New Alliance Productions received $57,450 from the campaign, most of it to rent office space.
Fred Newman Productions was paid almost $33,000 for consulting services during the period, according to the records.
In January, the law institute was paid $75,000 for ″back legal services,″ even though it had not been listed as being owed money, the FEC records show.
Fulani spokeswoman Madelyn Chapman said the campaign hadn’t been billed for those services before Dec. 31, the last date covered by the yearend report. She said she did not know what the charge was for.
It also hired two other party-affiliated lawyers in February, according to the records. Arthur R. Block Esq. was paid more than $3,500 and Gary Sinawski, a longtime party activist, received more than $4,500.
Fulani, running as a Democrat, gained only 402 votes in the Feb. 18 New Hampshire primary. She dropped out of the remaining Democratic Party primaries, but is running as an independent. She will not be on the ballot in New York on Tuesday.
If she were to participate in another primary, she would have to get 20 percent of the votes to continue to qualify for matching funds.