UPDATE 3:00 PM EST: Republican House candidate Jim Tedisco of New York said today that he would have voted against the $800 billion stimulus plan passed by Congress -- nearly a month after the bill was originally voted upon.
"I'm going on the record now to say I would have voted no" on the stimulus, Tedisco said, "because what we should have done was go back to the drawing board, get a stimulus package that truly creates jobs, invests in infrastructure and the economy."
Tedisco has been hammered by Democrats and several local media outlets for repeatedly refusing to say how he would have voted on the stimulus package.
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On Feb. 24, we asked our readers to call up House candidate Jim Tedisco's campaign office and see if they could find out where the upstate New York Republican stands on the president's economic stimulus plan.
It's a pickle for Tedisco. Supporting the stimulus would put him at odds with every single Republican in the House, whereas voicing disapproval might put him at odds with constituents. So he's not saying.
HuffPost readers called Tedisco's offices and reported the results in about a dozen emails and in the comments. All got the same result: whoever answered the call wasn't sure of the candidate's position but said the campaign would call back later with an answer (no signs of that happening).
Reader Annette Nielsen, who called the campaign office, writes:
The person who answered the phone did not know the answer; the phone was put down (not on hold) and I waited for a few minutes only to be told that the person who could answer that question was not able to be located. They took my name and telephone number and said my call will be returned.
David Carney, who says he lives in the up-for-grabs district, writes:
I then tried the district office and asked if he'd decided on a position regarding the stimulus package yet. The woman who answered the phone told me that she "wasn't sure" and that "she thinks he may have."
She took my name and phone number and told me she'd have someone get back to me with an answer.
Joe Wiecha says:
Volunteer answers the phone -- says person handling stimulus q's is out to lunch.
Can't answer --
Asks if I am calling "from the Huffington Report"
Jay Adams-Feuer writes:
Tedisco's campaign worker who answered the phone said she couldn't speculate on how Mr. Tedisco would have voted, but that he's "against it."
Meanwhile, Tedisco's opponent, Democrat Scott Murphy, has been gaining in the polls. Tedisco reacted to the poll-slippage by announcing that he'd be commandeering the content of his advertising from the National Republican Congressional Committee.
Murphy's campaign sent a statement to the Huffington Post: "Local businessman and first time candidate Scott Murphy's grassroots campaign has been building momentum since he entered this race less than 7 weeks ago with his call for significant middle class tax relief, his real-world experience of helping to create over 1000 jobs, and his strong support for President Obama's economic agenda."
Tedisco's campaign has not returned repeated calls from a Huffington Post reporter, so it's up to you again. Below are the phone numbers for his offices -- if you're in his district, call and ask: Would Jim Tedisco have voted for or against the stimulus package? After you've called, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know what you heard.