Sen. Tedisco serves hot dogs to help promote small businesses
JOHNSTOWN — Nothing good can happen when a politician goes to the dogs.
But state Sen. James Tedisco, R-Glenville, was all smiles Tuesday as he served up hot dog lunches to constituents at Mustard’s Last Stand in the Sir William Johnson Downtown Park off West Main Street.
Tedisco chose the dog days of summer — and a sunny one at that — to promote small business, as he also met with district constituents and took time to rail on Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s business initiatives.
“My success is based on knowing what the people’s concerns are in my senatorial district,” said Tedisco.
The GOP senator from the 49th Senate District, which includes Fulton County, went on between passing out red hots to say that he enjoys meeting his constituents like he did Tuesday at lunchtime. The hot dogs were created by Ben Robb, owner of the Mustard’s Last Stand hot dog cart, and passed on by Tedisco to the public. He said he often expects criticisms as a state legislator and he welcomes feedback.
“They have a tendency to tell people what’s wrong with New York state,” Tedisco said of the general public.
During his 90 minutes at the stand, Tedisco met with people he represents like small business owner Shawn Beebie of Second Wind Coffee located on West Main Street.
“I’ve been trying to get a code question answered by the state Department of Health,” Beebie told Tedisco.
But Beebie said that instead, he’s getting the runaround after multiple phone calls to Albany.
“That’s a problem,” Tedisco said, offering to personally cut through the red tape to help the businessman. He said he likes his position as a state senator to be able to get through obstacles and act on behalf of his constituents.
Robb said he approached Tedisco at a recent political barbecue and invited him to spend some time with the public that he personally serves on a daily basis from his hot dog cart. He offered the senator a “relaxing atmosphere” by which to meet the people he also serves politically.
“I said, ‘How about you come out to the hot dog stand and let them meet you,'” Robb recounted he told Tedisco. “What’s more American?”
Robb said Tedisco “accepted on the spot” and he dubbed the event “Meet & Eat Tuesday.”
Many local government workers from the Fulton County Office Building – as well as passersby – flocked to the stand to catch a dog and shoot the breeze with the senator.
Tedisco’s appearance at Robb’s hot dog stand comes on the heels of his Monday visit to a seven-year-old Ballston Spa boy, Brendan Mulvaney, whose lemonade stand was shut down by a state Department of Health inspector. Brendan was saving money for a family trip to Disney World.
The senator said Tuesday that he vows to continue to fight state bureaucrats and protect child entrepreneurs.
Tedisco said 200,000 people left New York state last year and he said Cuomo’s overregulation of business is a major part of the exodus.
“He has too much time to think,” Tedisco said of Cuomo.
Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at email@example.com.