By Tori Richards | Colorado Watchdog
Watched TV in the Denver area lately? If so, chances are you’ve seen an Ozzie and Harriet-style commercial of congressional hopeful Sal Pace helping his dad around the house.
While mowing the lawn, trimming bushes and taking out the trash are admirable gestures, the problem is that none of it is true. The house depicted in the 32-second spot doesn’t even belong to Pace’s dad.
Titled “Nearby,” the piece starts with the headline “Visiting Dad” and wraps up with a shot of Pace looking under the hood of a truck with his father. The scene is labeled “Real Life.”
Pace is a Democratic state legislator running for Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District, a seat that belongs to Republican Scott Tipton.
“This ad deliberately fools voters into thinking Sal is someone he’s not,” said Colorado Republican Party spokesman Justin Miller. “If this is the kind of dishonesty Sal will resort to on the campaign trail, what can we expect of him as a member of Congress?”
To Pace’s camp, what’s important is the spirit of the ad – keeping Medicare affordable — and not where it was filmed.
“Sal’s dad didn’t want his house used in the commercial and we respected that request,” said Chad Obermiller, Pace’s campaign manager. “Everything we say in the ad is 100 percent true. (Pace Sr.) had a heart attack and wouldn’t be alive if it weren’t for Medicare.”
Sharleen Pisciotta, who lives in the house depicted in the ad, tells a different story.
“His dad lives in a much worse place and not even good enough to be used,” Pisciotta said. “He lives in an old dilapidated thing, and we can’t use that.”
Salvatore Pace Sr, 73, moved from Connecticut to a mixed-use industrial area of Pueblo in July to be near his son. It’s apparent that Pace Jr. hasn’t been working to clean up the house because the front yard is filled with weeds and lacks a true front lawn.
The property next door appears to be some sort of storage lot for junk cars, according to a Google Earth map.
In contrast, the house in the ad is in the upper middle class area of Pueblo. Pisciotta, a Democrat who voted in three of the past four elections, would not comment on her connection to Pace.
Pace and Tipton have exchanged barbs about taxes and spending, with Pace accusing Tipton of voting to increase Medicare premiums and Tipton claiming Pace voted for raising taxes on small businesses and the elderly.
“Where we shot the ad doesn’t change the substance of what we are saying,” Obermiller said. “Congressman Tipton should worry more about what seniors think about his votes privatizing Medicare than where we shoot the television ad.”
The ad accuses Tipton of voting to increase Medicare by $6,400 a month. Miller said that statement is a “classic misrepresentation by the Democrats” because that is the estimated cost in the year 2022.
“This is not ‘real life’, this is Sal’s made-for-campaign life that he is trying to pass off to the voters of Colorado,” said Tipton campaign manager Michael Fortney. “This misdirection is a perfect parallel to Sal’s campaign.”
Fortney countered Obermiller by saying Pace has voted for more than $1 billion in new taxes during his tenure in the state Legislature and supports ObamaCare.
Contact Tori Richards at firstname.lastname@example.org