This is New York politics at its worst or best, depending on your view.
In this instancce it is a case of who funded who in the New York City mayoral race and why, and what carriage horses have to do with it.
Mayor de Blasio promised to ban carriage horses in the city if he won. Well, he won, but hasn’t made any significant move in that direction, from what we can see. It wouldn’t be the first time a campaign promise was broken that’s for sure. But that’s about the only thing we can say for sure.
The carriage horse issue in New York City has become a hotbed of intrigue and “he said, she said” involving animal rights groups, anti-animal rights groups, union forces and celebrities. Most notable among the celebrities is Liam Neeson with the able assistance of the New York Daily News who are running a save our carriage horses campaign. Anything to make headlines to generate traffic and revenue, which this carriage horse issue certainly is.
The latest is this:
“The FBI questioned ex-Council Speaker Christine Quinn in its probe of alleged carriage horse conniving during last year’s mayoral race, the Daily News has learned.
“Former front-runner Quinn, a loser to Mayor de Blasio in the Democratic primary, was undermined by a well-funded group after she refused to back a ban on the horse-drawn tourist attractions.
“Agents spoke with Quinn and at least four others, focusing on the funding of the anti-Quinn effort and why her chief rival, de Blasio, reversed his position and supported a ban.
“Agents have zeroed in on $225,000 donated to NYCLASS by a union run by de Blasio’s cousin, John Wilhelm, and a key de Blasio fund-raiser, lawyer Jay Eisenhoffer, several sources familiar with the matter told The News.”
Insofar as the flip flop, it appears that de Blasio is searching for a way to get the job done by trying to get the City Council to deal with it. The Mayor doesn’t seem to be exactly on fire about it, but he might have other priorities or perhaps he is just waiting for the issue to die down a bit. Fat chance of that happening any time soon with the News constantly fanning the flames.
By the way, the News also mentioned that “De Blasio, asked Saturday about the investigation, denied that the feds were looking at him.” The News insist in their reports that the feds are looking at de Blasio too.
In the meantime, the carriage horse trade continues, business as usual. And so does the situation of the horses, who seem to be the least considered aspect of it all except when it can be used as a convenient tool.