Jacobs says Parlato pulled 'illegal' ad, Parlato calls it a lie
Press release from the Chris Jacobs campaign:
Beth Parlato pulled an attack ad from the air today after a story published by WNYmedia Network indicated that Parlato faced the possibility of “a hefty fine and/or up to six months in jail” for violating federal laws related to misuse of IRS logos and hiring an actor to portray an IRS official.
“Parlato’s attack ad misses the mark in many ways, but most importantly, the ad prominently features the official IRS logo behind a really bad actor portraying himself as an IRS official. The use of the logo is a direct violation of Federal laws.” (WNYmedia Network, 5/14/20)
According to WNYmedia Network, “Parlato now finds herself facing the possibility of a hefty fine and/or up to six months in jail if the ad is not immediately removed.”
The report cited IRS guidelines that specifically indicate that “Failure to comply with or knowingly violate IRS Design Standards, or using any logo in an unethical way are subject to any of the legal ramifications denoted in IRM 188.8.131.52, Legal Authority.”
Parlato pulled the illegal ad from the air, just two days the Republicans chairs in the 27th District have demanded that Parlato “suspend (her) negative campaign and promote your own candidacy rather than viciously attacking others." (Buffalo News, 5/13/20)
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." (Buffalo News, 5/13/20)
But Parlato replaced the illegal IRS ad with another negative attack ad that also uses an actor to make fake and misleading claims.
Statement from Beth Parlato:
Sadly, it’s no surprise to me that within an hour of declining to debate me Chris Jacobs would push this lie citing a Never Trumper website. He’s lying now just as he has lied before to cover up his liberal record in Albany. Also, we fully delivered our ad and it was time to move on to the next message in our progression.
NOTE: The IRS guidelines mentioned in the press release do not pertain to third-party use of IRS logos. They are part of a standards document -- common in marketing -- created to guide employees and vendors in the use of IRS material to promote the IRS. Quote from the same document:
All IRS employees, contractors, and service providers are required to abide by all established standards and report any misuse immediately to M&P.
CLARIFICATION: In a previous paragraph at the end of this story, we said we couldn't find evidence that the use of the IRS logo was "illegal." We should note, that under U.S. Code, there are provisions for criminal prosecution of copyright infringement. Copyright cases are, however, usually civil matters. Trademark infringement is a civil matter, Again, "fair use" in copyright would come into play. Fair use is a complex legal question for a court to decide.