That actor portraying an Internal Revenue Service official in 27th Congressional District candidate Beth A. Parlato's campaign ad will no longer offer his sniveling jab at Republican primary rival Christopher L. Jacobs.
And the thespian's disappearance is fueling the latest battle between the Jacobs and Parlato camps in an increasingly bitter contest for the June 23 primary and the resulting Republican right to face Democrat Nate McMurray in November.
Jacobs cites a Friday website report indicating the ad's inclusion of an IRS logo violates federal law and his campaign claimed that the report prompted Parlato to pull the ads from Buffalo and Rochester airwaves.
But the Parlato campaign calls the claim a "lie," insisting the IRS ad had simply run its course.
Now both sides are attacking each other after a week of escalating hostility, culminating with Jacobs' Friday claim that Parlato was forced to withdraw the IRS spot.
Jacobs, the Orchard Park state senator and endorsed candidate, cited a WNYmedia Network report that said the ad violated IRS "guidelines." The website even said the Parlato campaign could face "a hefty fine and/or up to six months in jail if the ad is not immediately removed.”
He immediately followed with a press release claiming Parlato pulled the ad, even though her campaign describes it as "political parody."
"Parlato pulled the illegal ad from the air, just two days [after] the Republican chairs in the 27th district have demanded that Parlato 'suspend (her) negative campaign and promote your own candidacy rather than viciously attacking others,'" the Jacobs campaign said. "One county chair described Parlato’s negative campaign as 'the continuation of a destructive behavior pattern for her own self-promotion,' and said it seems 'like she's working with Nate McMurray.'"
But Parlato's campaign countered by noting it is now running a new ad touting the candidate's pro-life views, while denying the old ad violated any IRS rules or guidelines in the first place.
"He’s flat-out lying," said Parlato spokesman Ben Yoho. "We reached saturation on that message as scheduled and moved on to our next message in our progression. Sounds like he’s more interested in defending the IRS than his record."