It has been less than week since New York City’s self-proclaimed progressive mayor Bill de Blasio took office, and his Administration is already making headlines for the wrong reasons.
In the days leading up to his inauguration, Mayor de Blasio proclaimed that his first priority as mayor would be to ban the iconic horse-drawn carriage rides in Central Park. While the Mayor and his team claimed they were only concerned with the safety of the horses, it appears other, more politically motivated reasoning, may have played a role.
“One of the most amazing stories. This is how fast the corruption has started,” Glenn said on radio this morning. “Bill de Blasio, he is the new mayor of NYC, in his inauguration speech he came out and said, ‘I am getting rid of all the horses.’ Okay? Now listen to this.”
An article in The American Spectator reports Mayor de Blasio’s promise could backfire, as the newly elected mayor’s critics suggest the policy is a “corruption scandal masquerading as an animal-rights crusade.”
Defenders of the carriage industry point to a real-estate executive who is one of de Blasio's major campaign donors as the driving force behind the effort to abolish the carriages.
"It's got everything a scandal could ever want," says Eva Hughes, vice-president of the Horse and Carriage Association of New York City.
The bad guy in this drama, according to the carriage drivers, is Steve Nislick, chief executive officer of a New Jersey-based real-estate development company, Edison Properties. The company "employs legions of lobbyists to influence city decisions on real estate and zoning in its favor," journalist Michael Gross reported in 2009, pointing out that two of Edison's businesses "have multiple locations in the same Far West Midtown neighborhood as the stables where the Central Park horses are housed." An anti-carriage pamphlet Nislick circulated in 2008 made this interesting observation: “Currently, the stables consist of 64,000 square feet of valuable real estate on lots that could accomodate up to 150,000 square feet of development. These lots could be sold for new development.”
“Oh, he's all about the little guy – all about equality,” Pat joked. “So he's barely taken office, and we have the first corruption scandal already for Bill de Blasio. Good… I was buying into: Okay, he's an animal rights guy too. It fit into the other nonsense that he spews. But hey, corruption fits in too.”
As Stu explained, the rhetoric Mayor de Blasio has been spewing as packaged as some sort of new-age idea when, in reality, it is a variation of the same old tired proposals leftists have been using for years.
“I was listening to reports this morning. All he's talking about is taxing rich people. It's amazing,” Stu said. “Here's a guy who comes into office blathering the same crap the left has been saying for the last 50 years and acting as if it's this exciting new proposal. He just wants to take more money and give it to these giant programs that are going to make citizens dependent on them. It's the same pitch we've been hearing for… a century.”
Front page image courtesy of the AP