New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio has stated that one of his first priorities is to take the horse-drawn carriages out of Central Park. His argument is that asking the horses to pull the carriages in a setting where they must compete with automobiles is cruel to the horses. Various animal rights groups are backing him up. Well, there may be a little more to the story than meets the eye.
The American Thinker posted an article today which suggests that the idea behind removing the horse-drawn carriages may not be the welfare of the horses.
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.”
The lesson here is that when you are trying to understand a politician’s decision, follow the money.