If you want to follow de Blasio’s position on horse carriages, just follow the money.
I'm surprised it got this far, not because there isn't plenty of dirt, but because Federal law enforcement is in bad shape under Holder. New York City politics has always been dirty, but the NYCLASS stuff may be in a league of its own.
We've got a supposed animal rights groups with all sorts of strange political and financial connections hijacking an election.
De Blasio said Friday that he was unaware of any investigation. He added that nobody in his campaign had been questioned.
“Literally, I’ve told you all I know. I’m not familiar with the allegations so I can’t comment,” de Blasio told reporters.
Uh huh. He knows nothing.
In early April, after Quinn refused to support the proposed carriage ban, NYCLASS founder Steve Nislick, and board member Wendy Neu, gave $200,000 each to New York City is Not for Sale, the political action committee formed by Levenson to carry out the Anybody But Quinn campaign of TV ads, robocalls and mailings — which began that month — attacking her.
In May and June, NYCLASS chipped a total of $225,000 to the anti-Quinn effort, records show.
The gall in calling an organization designed to buy the election by a small group of special interests, "New York City is Not for Sale" is already up there.
And in June, two of de Blasio’s top financial supporters gave $225,000 to NYCLASS, records show.
One of those supporters was de Blasio’s cousin, Wilhelm, who was then head of the union group UNITE HERE!, which wrote a check for $175,000 to NYCLASS — the biggest contribution NYCLASS had ever received. The other was Jay Eisenhoffer, an attorney.
Wilhelm and Eisenhoffer also acted as “intermediaries” for de Blasio’s mayoral campaign, collecting $165,000 in contributions for him, records show.
Still, de Blasio has said that neither he nor his campaign coordinated with NYCLASS or New York City is Not for Sale in attacking Quinn. Any such coordination could be a violation of campaign laws.
The Anybody But Quinn fusillade succeeded exactly as NYCLASS hoped. When the attacks began in April, Quinn was cruising in first place. By late June, she had fallen to third in the Democratic primary, which de Blasio won on Sept. 10.
It looks a whole lot like De Blasio funneled an attack campaign through NYCLASS. John W. Wilhelm is a board member of the Brookings Institute and the AFL-CIO Executive Committee and Executive Council.
Wilhelm was also an Obama donor. Bill de Blasio's real last name is also Wilhelm.
And Bill de Blasio aka Warren Wilhelm Jr switched sides for the money.
If you want to follow Mayor de Blasio’s evolving position on Central Park horse carriages, just follow the money.
Back in 2007, then-Councilman de Blasio said he was “skeptical” of a proposed law touted by animal rights groups to ban the carriages. At the time, he declined to sign on.
In January 2008, that began to change, starting with a $1,000 check from Wendy Neu to de Blasio’s campaign for public advocate.
By January 2011, NYCLASS supporters had written $20,400 in checks to de Blasio. One month later, he came around for the first time, declaring support for an outright carriage ban in a Huffington Post story.
Four months later, Neu and her husband, John, followed up with maximum donations of $4,950 — each.
By the time the mayoral race was in full swing, NYCLASS supporters had scraped up $45,350 for de Blasio. In fact, they gave $4,950 more, exceeding campaign-giving limits. De Blasio had to return the extra money.
Meanwhile Nislick, the real estate tycoon at the center of the whole mess who has been accused of masterminding the operation in order to seize the stables, had his own run-in with a female Daily News photographer.
Steve Nislick, 70, told his handler he was on the verge of getting violent with the photog as he unveiled the prototype of his electric car at the Javits Center.
“Let’s get away from the Daily News before I hit her in the face,” muttered Nislick, the anti-carriage industry crony of Mayor de Blasio.