Saturday, January 29, 2011

Quinn Co-opts NY-CLASS

New Yorkers for Clean, Livable & Safe Streets, an animal rights organisation which supports a full ban of horse carriages in New York City, is now pushing New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn's electoral agenda.

Last week, animal rights activist Donny Moss sent an e-mail to fellow activists, bloggers, and to the media, which is being widely circulated. Below is the full text of the e-mail, including the full e-mail chain, with redacted e-mail addresses and telephone numbers :

------ Forwarded Message
From: Donny Moss
Date: Sat, 22 Jan 2011 09:35:48 -0500
To: Donny Moss
Subject: Christine Quinn has co-opted one of our groups

Dear fellow activist:

We've been undermined. And we can't be silent about it.

Christine Quinn has co-opted one of our own groups, NY-CLASS, to both work against us and build support for her in the animal rights community. She's even provided them with the tools to do it -- the licensing and tethering bills.

Here are the facts:

1. NY-CLASS was founded by the CEO of a real estate development company whose business depends in part on a good relationship with the Speaker, Christine Quinn. In 2009, he helped Quinn get re-elected by donating $2,000 to her campaign --

2. The founder of NY-CLASS has told me several times since 2009 that Quinn is holding him personally responsible for our campaign against her, and he has implored me -- with a sense of desperation and urgency -- to suspend the campaign. (Our campaign aims to protect the horses, not business interests.)

3. NY-CLASS is promoting Quinn's licensing and tethering bills as "exciting" and "groundbreaking" "animal rights" bills. At best, these bills are a major disappointment (See e-mail from me at the bottom of this chain).

4. In a separate message to supporters, NY-CLASS suggests that we should vote for Quinn: "If Quinn believes that this change will give her votes, she will continue to react positively to more important . . . animal rights legislation." If Quinn wants our votes, shouldn't she build our trust by passing a "more important" bill first -- perhaps one of the many bills that she has blocked?

Christine Quinn and NY-CLASS appear to have struck a deal: If the founder of NY-CLASS silences the anti-Quinn activists and builds support for her in our community, Quinn will protect his business interests in the City Council. But what happened to the horses in this deal? NY-CLASS' effort to ban horse-drawn carriages has been compromised.

Here are some other questions we should be asking:

1. Why is NY-CLASS working on licensing and tethering bills, which have nothing to do with their mission or area of expertise?

2. What is NY-CLASS doing to help the carriage horses? Their website contains no information about their activities and simply directs people to send letters to City officials.

3. What happened to NY-CLASS' electric antique car prototype? Activists have been promoting this humane alternative (and the corresponding bill at City Hall). Does it even exist?

Quinn's deceit surrounding these bills and her attempt to generate support among activists through NY-CLASS reinforce the need for us to educate the public about why she should be voted out of public office for good.

See you in the streets.

Donny Moss


Begin forwarded message:

Date: January 20, 2011 11:38:29 AM EST
To: donnymoss
Subject: Groundbreaking News for all Animal Rights Advocates!
Reply-To: newyorkclass

Big Wins for the Animal Rights Community

Members and Friends,

It is my pleasure to announce some very exciting and encouraging news for the entire animal rights community. On Tuesday, January 18th, the City Council passed two animal rights bills that acknowledge the importance of curbing abuse, neglect, and overcrowding in New York City's animal shelters.

It is time to encourage and push our City Council to continue passing legislation that protects the animals of our great city. If we keep the pressure on, the City Council will have to pass a bill protecting horses and stopping the carriage horse industry in New York City!

Thanks so much for all of your support and please continue to spread the word!


Laura Eldridge
Executive Director

Contact us today at XXXXXXXXXXXX or via email at XXXXXXXXXXXX.

It is only with your help that we can continue to strengthen our grassroots support to phase-out the use of horse carriages in New York City. Do not forget to TAKE ACTION and lobby the city council and Mayor’s office to support the alternative by signing up on our website,

NYCLASS | 1120 Avenue of the Americas, Suite 4172 | New York, NY 10036 | XXXXXXXXXXXX | XXXXXXXXXXXX


From: donnymoss
To: donnymoss
Subject: Emboldened, not silenced
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2011 12:54:07 -0500>

Dear all:

On Tuesday (1/18), Christine Quinn pushed a bill through the City Council that makes it illegal for NYers to tie up their dogs more than 3 hours. On its surface, this law sounds like a godsend for dogs because chaining is unspeakably cruel. But if you scratch the surface just a little bit, you'll see why the only one who truly benefits from this new law is Quinn herself.

If dogs are, in fact, chained to backyard fences in NYC, they won't benefit from this law because it is unenforceable, as Quinn admits during her press conference about the bill:

Because chaining is not a major problem in NYC compared to other forms of animal abuse, local animal rights activists have not made this issue a legislative priority. Instead, they have worked tirelessly for years on meaningful bills that would, in fact, reduce animal suffering in the City -- bills that Quinn has blocked in committee.

So, if the tethering law won't actually help animals and is not a legislative priority for the community, then why did Quinn push this bill through the Council at lightning speed?

Here's why: Quinn is actively campaigning to be NYC's next Mayor, and this bill does the following:

1. It gives NYers the misimpression that Quinn fights for those who are most vulnerable. Hundreds of thousands of NY voters must have seen Quinn's charade on the news and thought, "Thank god she's putting an end to this abuse."

2. It helps her fight criticism that she's blocked every animal protection bill introduced at City Hall since becoming Speaker. Check your mailboxes for one of her letters: "I love dogs; I listened to you; vote for me if you care about animals."

3. It potentially weakens the animal advocacy's campaign against her. Some advocates who aren't familiar with Quinn's modus operandi will "give her a chance" because they see this as a "first step" which could lead to other bills. This bill is not a first step; it is a political tactic that enables her to add animal legislation to her campaign resume and cross it off of her "to do" list. We've given her way too many chances already.

Quinn picked this particular animal bill to push through the Council because it's compelling on the surface, and it required her to expend no political capital. Why would anyone stand in the way of a bill in which no people or animals are affected in any way? But, at the end of the day, this bill is harmful because it makes the passage of other (meaningful) animal bills more difficult, as the City Council can only spend a finite amount of resources on animal-related legislation. Quinn squandered this opportunity on a bill that helps no one but her. It's so manipulative, deceitful and typical.

The only way Quinn is ever going to move the many meaningful animal bills that she has blocked in committee is if it becomes politically expedient for her to do so. That's where we come in. If you'd like to join a growing group of NYers from the animal rights, human rights, gay rights and good government communities in the campaign against Quinn, please send me an email. We'd love to have you. And please share this email with anyone who might be interested.

See you in the streets.

Donny Moss

------ End of Forwarded Message

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