Pace television ad mixes firefighting scenes

Commercial wasn’t filmed during actual ‘active fire-containment’

Democratic candidate Sal Pace criticizes Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Cortez, in a television ad for votes to cut wildfire funding. Not all the votes cited in the ad directly targeted fire departments, although the Forest Service has found itself hard-pressed to pay for firefighting because of recent budgets passed by Congress. Enlarge photo

Courtesy of Pace for Congress

Democratic candidate Sal Pace criticizes Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Cortez, in a television ad for votes to cut wildfire funding. Not all the votes cited in the ad directly targeted fire departments, although the Forest Service has found itself hard-pressed to pay for firefighting because of recent budgets passed by Congress.

A television ad that shows Democratic congressional candidate Sal Pace talking to wildland firefighters on the fire line was not filmed during fire-fighting efforts.

In the ad, Pace criticizes incumbent Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Cortez, for a lack of funding for firefighters.

“Scott Tipton voted seven times to cut firefighting to pay for a tax cut for millionaires like himself,” Pace says in the ad.

The ad mixes scenes from Colorado wildfires this summer with shots of Pace talking to wildland firefighters as they appear to mop up a fire.

A fire had burned over the land where the ad was filmed, but there were no “active fire-containment” operations happening at the time of filming, according to Pace’s campaign.

Pace’s campaign says the ad was filmed on private land with firefighters who had fought wildfires this year, including the Waldo Canyon blaze in Colorado Springs. The firefighters in the ad do not work for the federal government, according to Pace’s campaign.

But the campaign would not pinpoint the location where it was filmed.

Tipton’s campaign mocked Pace earlier this year for an ad that showed Pace doing chores at his father’s house. The house that appeared in the ad was not, in fact, his dad’s real house.

Sal Pace has ran a campaign based on factual leaps, this ad is no different,” said Tipton’s campaign manager, Michael Fortney. “Congressman Tipton is focused on getting Coloradans back to work, something Sal Pace, with his record of job killing tax increases on family farms and businesses, is completely uninterested in doing.”

Pace’s spokesman, James Dakin Owens, said what matters is Tipton’s votes in Congress.

“And when a congressman prioritizes tax cuts for millionaires over American workers and the essential services that keep our citizens safe, it matters a great deal to the people of Colorado,” he said in an email.

The fine print of the ad refers to several votes by Congress, most of which reduce funding for firefighting in one way or another.

In some cases, the votes were on budget bills that constrict domestic funding in general, including for the U.S. Forest Service and for local governments.

In three other cases, Tipton voted against Democratic amendments that sought to make it easier for local fire departments to get federal grant money and to expand the pool of grant money available.

jhanel@durangoherald.com

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