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Mayor Defends Administration's Decision To Fund All Stars

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What do State Comptroller Alan Hevesi, Congressman Jerrold Nadler, Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, Queens Borough President Helen Marshall and Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion all have in common? They were all opposed to giving city aid to a youth charity accused of having ties to an anti-Semitic cult. Mayor Michael Bloomberg, on the other hand, disagrees with all of those elected officials. Political reporter Rita Nissan has the latest on the controversy surrounding the All Stars Project.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg is defending his administration's decision to give tax free bonds to a controversial youth charity, the All Stars Project. Its founders have been two of Bloomberg's top political supporters: Lenora Fulani and Fred Newman.

During his two campaigns for mayor, they let Bloomberg run on their Independence Party line.

On Tuesday, Bloomberg's appointees to the city's Industrial Development Agency narrowly approved $12.5 million in tax free bonds for their charity Mayor Bloomberg says it's a worthy cause that works with inner city children.

“I don't think I heard one argument made that there was something wrong with the All Stars Project and that's what we look at,” said Bloomberg.

But, Fulani and Newman have a history of making inflammatory comments against Jews. Former patients have called Newman's psychotherapy practice a cult.

The mayor insists Fulani and Newman have nothing to do with the All Stars project anymore, even though their closest supporters run it and sit on the board of directors.

“We just don't look at the views of people who are not affiliated with the project when we decide whether or not it merits it,” said Bloomberg. “We are trying to do what's right for our children.”

Queens Borough President Helen Marshall has reservations about the bond deal and Newman. That's why her appointee to the IDA board voted no.

On NY1 last year, Newman said there's nothing wrong with therapists who have sex with their patients, something mainstream therapists call unethical.

“The gentleman who is going to be imposing his philosophy and technique on children, I want to know more about,” said Queens Borough President Helen Marshall.

But the mayor says he knows all he needs to.

“We are not going to hurt the kids the All Stars Project helps,” said Bloomberg.

Bloomberg has been a vocal supporter of All Stars, attending their events and donating money. Not even the recent outcry has convinced him to take a second look.

— Rita Nissan
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