PUEBLO, Colo. — Poor Sal Pace. First there was the TV ad showing congressional hopeful Pace with a fake house pretending to help his real father.
Now Pace has a new spot claiming responsibility for the fact that Colorado’s infrastructure will no longer be built with foreign steel.
That would be amazing if it were true.
“Researching this claim would show that this statement is at its best misleading and false at its worst,” said Justin Miller, spokesperson for the Colorado Republican Party. “Dishonesty is becoming a habit for Sal Pace, and that’s something Coloradans should remember when they head to the polls.”
Pace, a Democrat who is the state House Minority Leader, is trying to unseat freshman Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Pueblo. Neither Tipton nor Pace returned emails and calls seeking comment.
In the new ad — which aired last week and is now relegated only to YouTube — a steel mill worker bemoans the fact that a Pueblo bridge was built with Chinese steel.
“I worked 35 years in the steel mill. And our steel built Pueblo,” the man says. “When the state built this bridge, they used Chinese steel. They couldn’t go a couple miles down the road.”
Then the ad, titled “Couple Miles,” shifts to Pace in a hardhat greeting workers in that steel mill.
“Sal Pace was the only one who listened,” the unidentified man continues in the ad. “Because of Sal, the law was changed so that Colorado projects were built with American steel. Sal did something; he did everything.”
Then again, maybe he did nothing.
In 2009, Pace authored a bill that required state agencies to give preference to American steel companies over their foreign competitors.
His bill failed to pass even the Democratic-controlled legislature.
Eight months later, then-Gov. Bill Ritter issued an executive order along the same lines, but making it clear that the mandate applied only to projects funded under President Barack Obama’s $831 billion stimulus plan, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Specifically, Ritter ordered the state to “adhere to the Buy American provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to the maximum extent possible and to request that the Governor’s Office of Economic Recovery post waivers to this provision on the website www.colorado.gov/recovery.”
Ritter offered no extension on his law after the stimulus dollars ran out.
On his campaign web site, Pace blamed the fact that his bill didn’t pass on political gridlock. That didn’t stop him from taking credit for the governor’s order. Speaking of himself in the third person, he claims, “Sal worked with the Governor and convinced him to take immediate action on it.”
A month ago Pace had another TV ad that fooled viewers into thinking he was helping his dad around the house by washing windows, taking out the trash and carrying boxes into a basement. As Colorado Watchdog reported, the upper middle class house really belonged to a Pace supporter because it was more upscale and showed better on TV than the reality – that Salvatore Pace Sr. lives in what was described as an “old dilapidated thing” that could use sprucing up from his son, according to Google Earth photos.
Pace and Tipton are battling over Colorado’s 3rdDistrict, which encompasses the southeastern part of the state and also includes Durango and Grand Junction. It is almost evenly divided among Democrats, Republicans and Independents.
According to the most recent financial disclosure reports on OpenSecrets.org, Tipton has raised $2.1 million and has only spent half of that; Pace raised $1.6 million and has only $78,598 left in the bank.
Contact Tori Richards at email@example.com