Campaign 2010

Feb 10, 2009

FACT v. FICTION: Tedisco’s Campaign Rhetoric Doesn’t Match Reality

FACT v. FICTION: Tedisco's Campaign Rhetoric Doesn't Match Reality

Career Albany Politician Offers Double-Speak, Hypocrisy in Place of

Explanation for $20,000 in Taxpayer Funded Gasoline Expenses



Though it has been a full week since it was discovered that Albany politician Jim Tedisco has racked up over $20,000 in gasoline expenses on state funded vehicles, Tedisco's campaign has yet to come completely clean with a proper explanation about the charges.  While his campaign tried to attribute the costs to his leadership duties in the State Assembly, Tedisco's campaign fails to account for costs that were racked up a full four years BEFORE Tedisco was the Republican Minority Leader.  Coupled with a recently discovered misuse of taxpayer funded mail perks, one can't help but wonder what other hypocritical behavior the Albany politician might trying to hide. 


"Each day seems to uncover a new level of hypocrisy and double-speak when it comes to career Albany politician Jim Tedisco.  Jim Tedisco has failed to explain his use of tax payer funded cars and gasoline before he was an Albany leader which only reinforces Tedisco's ‘do as I say and not as I do' politics," said Jennifer Crider, Communications Director for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.  "Times are tough, the last thing Upstate families need is double-talk from another career Albany politician like Jim Tedisco who spends their tax money on himself, while voters are left paying higher taxes each year."


FICTION: Tedisco Claims He Used State Car for Minority Leader Business


According to the Hill newspaper, Tedisco claims that he only uses the state car for business around the state as minority leader.


According to the Hill:


Tedisco's campaign rebuffed that charge, saying that Tedisco travels around the state as the assembly's minority leader.


"It's a bogus charge," said Joshua Fitzpatrick, Tedisco's spokesman. "He is the Republican leader of the New York State Assembly. He's been out going to public hearings across the state. That's just absurd." [The Hill, 2/9/09]


FACT: Tedisco Used State Car for Four Years Prior to Becoming Minority Leader


Since 2001, Tedisco has been using a taxpayer-funded car for his travel and charged taxpayers over $6,600 for gas on his state car prior to becoming Minority Leader.


On two notable occasions in 2001, Tedisco charged taxpayers for substantial amounts of gas. On June 29, 2001, Tedisco charged taxpayers $413.80 for gas and on December 11, 2001, he charged $628.46 for gas. [New York State Assembly, Expenditure Reports, 1996-2008]


Tedisco became Minority Leader in late 2005. [Times Union, 12/22/05]




Tedisco Advocated for Cutting Spending on State Vehicles...
In 2008, Tedisco offered to cut spending on the state budget by suspending state vehicle purchases.


    • "How ‘bout if we suspend state vehicle purchases for ‘ya? Can we do some of that?" Tedisco asked Gov. Patterson. "We got a few ideas, Governor. Why don't you bring us in the room and let us sit down and talk about some of these things." [NY Leaders meeting transcript, 11/18/08; See 3:05 on:]


... But Spent Over $20,000 on Gas for State Vehicle


Tedisco began using a state funded vehicle in 2001 with oil and gas purchases provided by taxpayer dollars


From September 2000 through March 2008, Tedisco charged $21,343.76 in state vehicle oil and gas receipts, despite living only 17 miles from the Capitol. [New York State Assembly, Expenditure Reports, 1996-2008; Google Maps]


Tedisco's office even provides his aide, Howard Becker, with a state vehicle, making him one of only three in the Assembly to have one. [Times-Union, 3/19/07]


Hundreds of Dollars Charged on Same Day in 2001


The oil and gas receipts in 2001 are notable for two occasions where substantial amounts were charged on the same day.


    • On June 29, 2001, a total of $413.80 was charged for oil and gas in three separate charges.
    • On December 11, 2001, a total of $628.46 was charged in five separate charges. [New York State Assembly, Expenditure Reports, 1996-2008]


August 9, 1987: Tedisco Slams Democrats for Sending Taxpayer-Funded Mail Outside District


On August 9, 1987, Tedisco attacked other Assembly Members for sending taxpayer-funded mail outside the district.


Tedisco, R- Schenectady, said mailing to opposition districts "is not observing legislative protocol and not helping the district."  [Times Union, 8/9/87]


February 5, 2009: Tedisco Uses Taxpayer Money to Fund Political Mail Outside District


On February 5th 2009, local taxpayers received a piece of mail from the New York State Assembly touting the work that Tedisco has done.


One mailer arrived in the 12801 zip code, which is outside of Tedisco's assembly district. [Tedisco State-Funded Mail, Arrived: 2/5/09; Assembly Member Search]



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