They used to hang horse thieves — now they elect them mayor. As many know, New York City’s new commandant, Bill de Blasio, has sworn that one of his first acts upon taking office will be to ban Central Park’s iconic horse-drawn carriages. He claims that forcing horses to work in downtown Manhattan is inhumane, but is he really just kowtowing to a big real-estate developer who heavily supported his campaign?
Interestingly, there was a time when de Blasio was more blasé about these animal-rights concerns. In fact, when he had the chance as a City Council member to support legislation banishing NYC’s hansom cabs in 2007, he balked. Now, though, he leaves no doubt as to his position. As NBC New York wrote:
"We are going to get rid of the horse carriages. Period," de Blasio said at a press conference....
"We are going to quickly and aggressively move to make horse carriages no longer a part of the landscape in New York City," de Blasio said. "They are not humane. They are not appropriate to the year 2014. It's over."
Yet de Blasio doesn’t intend to leave the carriage drivers high and dry — he plans to replace the hansom cabs with “electric, vintage-replica tourist-friendly vehicles that provide jobs for current drivers.” And, of course, green concerns can change any leftist’s heart. What kind of green changed de Blasio’s heart, however, is the question. As the New York Post reported this past September in a piece entitled “De Blasio’s switch on Central Park carriage horses brings activists’ dough”:
Records show that Steve Nislick, who co-founded the animal-rights group NYCLASS, has ponied up the maximum $4,950 for de Blasio’s campaign. Two other NYCLASS pals, Wendy and John Neu, have chipped in $9,900.
More importantly, the organization has spent $774,000 in ads against a key de Blasio Democratic rival, Christine Quinn.
But this is where it really gets interesting. Because it turns out that this Steve Nislick isn’t just another Greenpeace retread.
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