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Cuomo gets stamp of disapproval
Spencerport, N.Y. -- With more than 400 orders in about four days, Jim Arendt's online side business has become more like full-time job.
His latest popular items are rubber stamps that read, "Cuomo must go! Your vote counts."
Arendt, his wife and teenage daughter have been busy working to keep up with the shipments and demand.
"They're definitely what everyone is talking about," Arendt said. "Business has been phenomenal since last week. Unbelievable."
For $8.50, the rubber stamp sends a message, calling on New York state residents to vote Gov. Andrew Cuomo out of office.
Cash with the stamps is popping up in pockets and cash registers around the country.
"I didn't start it," Arendt said of the actual stamping. "I don't know. People just kind of started to do it, and it struck a cord and all of the sudden it just took off."
Arendt said he figured people would use the stamp to mark mail, invoices and receipts, but apparently his customers had other plans.
"Whatever they wanted to stamp with it, it's fun," he said. "It's active. It's something people can do to express their displeasure with Andrew Cuomo."
Making national news, the marked money became a free form of advertising for his business and a different kind of platform for people's political views.
"I think that's the real story, not necessarily the stamp itself," Arendt said. "People are using the stamp to express that frustration, and that's what we're seeing."
Circulating throughout New York state, the inked bills have started to bleed across state lines. They've shown up in Pennsylvania, with stamp orders coming in all the way from California.
"I think it's a huge deal," Arendt said. "I think it speaks for itself that people are really not happy with what's coming out of the governor's office."
Arendt started selling the stamps three months ago on his website, 2adefender.com. But when news of the stamped bills made national headlines, business took off.
"We sold out originally when the story first hit," Arendt said. "We had to call the manufacturer and put a rush on the orders. So we were taking pre-orders."
Now on back order, Arendt and his family are trying to keep up with the order shipments. While it's great for business, Arendt said this is about moving money and spreading a message.
"It's to get people talking, and that's the wonderful thing about this is," Arendt said. "It gets people talking and that's exactly what happened."
Unhappy with the political climate of the state, Arendt said he hopes the stamp will spark conversation and encourage other to get more involved and vote.
"I think the SAFE Act was a big thing for a lot of people," Arendt said. "That and taxes, and there's a lot of issues. If we can get more people to just register and go vote, I think we can change things in New York."