Newman and Independent Politics
Newman was a pioneer in the development of independent politics in the United States starting in the late 1970s. Bringing keen analytic and engineering skills to the electoral arena, Newman had a major hand in the creation of a series of unorthodox coalitions, campaigns, and organizations, including the national Reform Party, the Patriot Party, the Independence Party of New York, and Lenora Fulani’s groundbreaking independent presidential run in 1988, when she became the first woman and first African American presidential candidate to appear on the ballot in all 50 states. He was instrumental in securing the Independence Party’s backing of Michael Bloomberg's mayoral runs in 2001, 2005 and 2009. In 2001, the Independence Party (IP) vote provided Bloomberg with his margin of victory. Newman also had a hand in the Independence Party’s campaigns for Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY), Governor George Pataki’s bid for the IP line in 2002, and the IP’s endorsement of Ralph Nader in 2004.
Newman worked closely with Jacqueline Salit, the publisher of The Neo-Independent magazine (for which Newman was a contributing editor) and President of the Committee for a Unified Independent Party, Inc. Together with Salit, he produces a popular weekly commentary entitled Talk/Talk, a conversation following the Sunday morning political talk shows.
Newman was a driving force behind several of the party’s key statewide and local initiatives, including nonpartisan municipal elections in New York City and the all-independents primary (an initiative to open the Independence Party’s statewide primaries to New York’s 2.2 million unaffiliated voters).