Opponents of Ben Quayle, Republican candidate for Arizona's 3rd Congressional District, watch out, he just went there! (He called mommy and daddy.)
Quayle has been consistently plagued by reports that he may have been part of the content creation team behind scandalous gossip website TheDirty.com. Charges that he had actually written salacious comments for the site under the pseudonym "Brock Landers," the name of a fictional porn star in the movie "Boogie Nights," have now made it into an 11th hour attack ad released by opponent Steve Moak over the weekend, a spot that attributes words written by "Landers" directly to Quayle. Quayle has repeatedly rejected any connection to the postings, and now he's getting reinforcement from his parents.
"With the recent turn of events, I cannot in good conscience remain silent," Ben Quayle's father, former Vice President Dan Quayle wrote in an email, Politico reports.
"I took my fair share of outrageous slams in politics but Steve Moak's vicious smear against my son is over the top and unprecedented," Quayle continued. "I have never in my 35 years of politics seen such an ugly, slanderous assault in the closing days of a campaign against a fellow Republican."
Quayle goes on to explain that his son's connection to the "Dirty" chain of websites was limited to a few introductory remarks made on "Dirty Scottsdale," a precursor to TheDirty.com that has since been retired.
"Ben made a satirical fictional posting on a blog three or four years ago commenting on night life in Scottsdale. That blog no longer exists. Ben had absolutely nothing to do with the vulgar website mentioned in the ad created and aired by Steve Moak," the elder Quayle wrote.
And if dad's word isn't good enough, Quayle's mom, Marilyn Quayle, drafted her own email defending her son.
Politico provides the text:
"In a particularly despicable commercial...[Moak] takes a quote from fictional satire and attributes it as a serious life philosophy of Ben's," she wrote. "He also wrongly asserts that Ben has written for a particularly vulgar website. In the 35 years that I have been involved in Republican politics I have never seen a Republican try to personally destroy another Republican in this way."
Here are some more things you should know about Ben Quayle:
P-O-T-A-T-O-E. Enough said? Well, no, actually. Ben Quayle's high-profile last name and political connections have helped him raise more than $1.1 million. Only one other candidate in the race has raised more than $300,000. Politico reports on the role that the senior Quayle and his political lineage have played in the campaign: In the six months since he launched his campaign, Quayle has raked in more than $1.1 million in donations, including thousands from Cabinet members and heavyweights from the first Bush administration. Former President George H.W. Bush and his wife, Barbara, hosted a fundraiser for Quayle in May at their Houston home. [...] And Quayle is quick to use his political pedigree as a credential. “I believe that my experience in the private sector and also my past experience being around Washington, knowing how Washington works, knowing how to get things done there — and avoid the pitfalls that some people fall into there, believing that echo chamber that is Washington, D.C. — that background is unique, and it will serve me well as a congressman,” he said.
In an ad released last week, Quayle now-famously declares Barack Obama to be "the worst president in history." In the spot, which looks like it shares a backdrop with a recent GEICO ad campaign, the baby-faced Quayle also tells voters to send him to Washington so he can "knock the hell out of the place."
Ben Quayle went on Fox News last week to clarify that he wasn't just "pandering to the worst instincts on the right” by declaring Obama the worst president in history in his ad. In fact, he'd actually "thought long and hard about it” before deciding to go with such an extreme statement. “President Obama and his misguided policies and ideology have really fundamentally changed our country in the wrong way more so than any other president in our history,” Quayle told Juan Williams of Fox News. Some of Quayle's other positions? He recently told CNN that he'd be in favor of increasing the retirement age and moving Social Security into privatized accounts in order to extend the solvency of the program. “We would protect those who are in or near retirement today, but for people of my generation and younger, we would actually have to reform it which would be to start to gradually increase the retirement age up to 70 and allow a portion of the people to take… their Social Security and actually invest into private accounts,” the Quayle told CNN's John King, according to The Hill. According to Quayle's website, the Congressional candidate also backs repealing and replacing the recent Democratic overhaul of the health care system, building a "comprehensive and continuous" border wall, expanding nuclear energy facilities, and preventing "any government mandated registration of private firearms."
According to voting records uncovered by the Arizona Guardian and reported on by the Phoenix New Times, Quayle hasn't voted in a single local Arizonan election since he registered in the state in 1997. He's voted in two primaries and in three general elections, but never in a municipal election. "Like a lot of people my age, I haven't been involved in politics," the 33-year-old Quayle told the Guardian. "I probably should have been more active, and that's my fault."
Quayle took flak earlier this month when he sent out a mailer apparently implying that he had two daughters and was a "family man." Turns out he doesn't have children, but that the two little girls were actually his nieces, not a "rent-a-family" as opponent Vernon Parker accused him of hiring.
Nik Richie, founder of raunchy rumor-mill TheDirty.com (NSFW), a website that chronicles the drunkenly-exposed flesh of urban party-goers and spreads whispers of the scandalous liaisons taken on by socialites, says that Quayle was once a contributor to his site during its fledgling stages. Richie says Quayle played a hand in the launch of the website and was also a regular contributor under the pseudonym "Brock Landers," the name of a porn star in the movie "Boogie Nights." Quayle has repeatedly denied taking on the online persona of Landers, a poster who wrote about such activities as "finding the hottest chick in Scottsdale," and has said that reports trying to connect him to the website are a coordinated "effort to assassinate my character." Quayle, however, has since admitted that he did write a few comments for "Dirty Scottsdale," the now-defunct precursor to TheDirty.com, simply for the purposes of "driving traffic." What the comments were about, however, he hasn't elaborated.
Currently represented by retiring Republican Rep. John Shadegg, Arizona's 3rd Congressional District covers most of northern Phoenix, as well a portion of the city's northern suburbs. Democratic businessman and attorney John Hurlburd has made strong inroads in election with an early start on fundraising last year. He's consistently posted good numbers, and should be a competitive candidate in the general election come November.
Another candidate hoping to capture anti-Washington sentiment by running on the "not a politician, but a citizen" title, businessman Steve Moak, former owner of drug-testing company First Check Diagnostics, has run into a few problems of his own. According to report in the Phoenix New Times Steve Moak engaged in some rather shady business dealings concerning the promotion of his for-profit business through his not-for-profit kid's charity. Basically, the Times says, it looks like Moak created a program through his charity that encouraged parents to buy First Check Diagnostics drug-testing kits, all the while ignoring to disclose a conflict of interest on his tax forms -- that is until he sold the company in 2007. Don't worry though, the reliable testimony of Moak's "business partner," "friend," wife, pastor and random other person should show voters that he would make a great Congressman.
Former Paradise Valley Mayor Vernon Parker touts the conservative credentials of having worked in the George H. W. Bush White House, and having been both a small businessman and an interim pastor. And now he's seeking to claim the border security and illegal immigration enforcement mantle. Endorsed by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, Parker's border security plan includes building a border fence and sending and training thousands more personnel to protect the southern border.
Former Arizona State Senator and State House Representative Pamela Gorman may be known for her work in state politics, but really, she's most famous for busting a whole ton of caps in this campaign ad.