The New York Daily News reported earlier this week that a pair of organic grocery stores owned by Democratic congressional candidate Aaron G. Woolf have been cited 83 times in the last 3 ½ years for Health Department violations.
Mr. Woolf is running for the seat being vacated by retiring Rep. William L. Owens, D-Plattsburgh. His opponents are Republican Elise M. Stefanik, a former White House policy advisor from Willsboro, and Green Party candidate Matthew J. Funiciello, a bakery and cafe owner from Glens Falls.
According to the Daily News report, Urban Rustic and The Lodge, two craft food stores co-owned by Mr. Woolf in Brooklyn, have been cited several times for evidence of rats and mice on the premises and received one citation for roach sitings.
Both stores now have ‘A’ ratings from the Health Department.
Mr. Woolf’s campaign manager, Stuart Rosenberg, told the downstate paper that “Urban Rustic strives to provide the best possible service to its customers and to the community.”
“With every small business, there are issues you have to grapple with,” Mr. Rosenberg said.
Mr. Woolf’s Republican opponent did not escape scrutiny.
The Daily News reported that Premium Plywood Products, a distribution company for which Ms. Stefanik works, was cited with 149 state Department of Transportation violations between 1997 and 2012. The company is owned by Ms. Stefanik’s family.
Ms. Stefanik’s campaign told the Daily News that the candidate did not work at Premium Plywood Products during the time the violations were incurred and that the trucks cited were operated by a subcontractor.
Ms. Stefanik, a Harvard graduate, worked in the George W. Bush White House from 2006-2009 before working for various Republican political campaigns.
Mr. Woolf is a documentary filmmaker with a home in Elizabethtown. His 2007 film “King Corn” examined the pervasiveness of corn in the agricultural economy and fast-food industry. Mr. Woolf started Urban Rustic after making the film.
The Daily News story about his businesses was picked up by several other media outlets, including the Huffington Post and conservative publications The Daily Caller and The Washington Free Beacon.
To read the Daily News report, visit: http://wdt.me/woolfstore