House candidates bicker over claim in steel ad

U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton’s campaign is taking shots at his opponent, saying state Rep. Sal Pace, D-Pueblo, stretched the truth with the third in Pace’s series of television ads.

Pace’s campaign fired back, saying Tipton evidently has to resort to attacks because the Republican’s lead is within the margin of error of a recent poll by a Democrat-leaning pollster.

In the ad, a retired Pueblo steelworker credits Pace with supporting U.S. steel after the man realized that a bridge near the Pueblo steel mill was built with steel from China. “Sal Pace was the only one who listened,” the ad said. “Because of Sal, the law was changed so Colorado projects were built with American Steel.”

There’s more to the story, Tipton campaign manager Michael Fortney said.

Pace did introduce a measure in the Legislature in 2009, but couldn’t get it through the House, which was controlled by Democrats, Fortney said.

Gov. Bill Ritter’s executive order, dated Dec. 6, 2009, directed state agencies “to adhere to the Buy American provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to the maximum extent possible.” The order applies only to stimulus-funded projects, Fortney said.

Pace’s ad “take some liberties that you probably should not be taking,” Fortney said.

Not so, Pace campaign manager Chad Obermiller said. “The facts speak for themselves and it is undeniable that Sal got this done,” Obermiller wrote in an email.

“The executive order changed Colorado law, and it was Sal’s hard work that made it possible,” Obermiller said, adding that Tipton has been “unable to provide” such leadership.

Pace’s campaign, meanwhile, is touting a poll that it says shows Pace within the margin of error in a recent poll conducted by Grove Insight, which asked 400 likely voters on Sept. 25, 26 and 27 for whom they would vote.

Tipton led the poll with 42 percent, followed by Pace with 39 percent. Thirteen percent were undecided and 5 percent identified another candidate.

The results suggest the 3rd Congressional District remains a pick-up opportunity for Democrats, Grove Insight said.

“All I can say is that those aren’t what our numbers show,” Fortney said.


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