Fred Newman’s influential role in New York life and politics defied easy description. He founded a Marxist-Leninist party, fostered a sexually charged brand of psychotherapy, wrote controversial plays about race and managed the presidential campaign of Lenora Fulani, who was both the first woman and the first black candidate to get on the ballot in all 50 states. He helped the Rev. Al Sharpton get on his feet as a public figure and gave Michael R. Bloomberg the support of his Independence Party in three mayoral elections, arguably providing Mr. Bloomberg’s margin of victory in 2001 and 2009 . . .
In the early 1990s, Mr. Newman began a campaign to encourage more independent voices in politics, almost regardless of ideology. These included Mr. Perot, Ralph Nader and even the conservative stalwart Patrick J. Buchanan. Mr. Newman supported a succession of reform parties, ultimately capturing control of the New York City branch of the Independence Party.
As late as 2005, Mr. Newman wrote that he remained a Marxist, albeit what he called a postmodern one. His final cause was to end the two-party system, which he believed stifled real choice . . .
Influential activist and author Fred Newman is dead at 76. From the New York Times: