Mr. Levensen is a spokesman for NYCLASS, a lobbying group at the core of NYC Mayor Bill DeBlasio's attempt to ban the use of horse drawn carriages in the city. According to today's New York Daily News, Levensen is bragging about how his group's efforts undermined DeBlasio's opponent in last November's mayoral election, Christine Quinn, and has absolutely no shame in saying so.
Here's my take. It's one thing if the carriages are used in, say, Central Park, as a tourist attraction. To put the carriages in general traffic, especially during rush hour, would be an open invitation to disaster. I have read of carriage horses getting spooked by sudden noise, causing accidents. I'm not in support of banning the carriages altogether, because you're talking about doing away with a long standing NYC tradition. NYCLASS is citing allegations of animal cruelty, but, predictably, have little or no evidence on hand to prove their claims in a public forum. That's the part I don't like. NYCLASS should rename themselves NO-CLASS.
The Daily News has mounted a petition campaign to block the ban, and has taken heat from readers, some of whom probably don't know much about the tradition of the carriages in the first place. We're talking fair weather readers here, influenced by demagogues like Levensen, who should spend a day with the people in the carriage industry and learn a few things. Until then, this unforgiving little Weasel is so duly rewarded with a set of ears.