Quayle hits bump in road to Congress

Aug 11th, 2010 | By politicsnews | Category: Politics

Republican congressional candidate Ben Quayle’s glossy campaign photos and polished talking points paint for voters a portrait of a longtime Arizonan, accomplished attorney and family man who will bring a “new generation” to Washington.


The claims reflect the small biographical exaggerations that often accompany a political newcomer’s first campaign. The reality is that Quayle has held three jobs in four years, posed for pictures in campaign literature with children that were not his, and grew up in Washington with a famous father, former Vice President Dan Quayle, whose influential friends have given generously to the younger Quayle’s campaign.



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But Quayle, 33, has had to confront a much bigger credibility issue this week after a blogger revealed that he had once been a contributing writer for Dirty Scottsdale, a raunchy, sex-themed website that covered the club scene in his adopted home town before morphing into the national gossip site TheDirty.com.


At first, Quayle denied the claim, telling POLITICO Tuesday that he “was not involved in the site.” But hours later, after blogs, news websites and other media picked up the story, Quayle told several Phoenix TV stations that he had posted on the site “to try to drive some traffic.”


He continued to maintain, however, that he did not post under the pseudonym “Brock Landers,” a reference to the name of a porn star in the 1997 flick “Boogie Nights.”


All this has derailed the carefully managed political debut of an indisputably attractive candidate with a name that resonates in the conservative Southwest and who seemed well on his way to retracing his father’s steps to Congress.


Quayle’s connection to the site has undercut the carefully honed image of a conservative with strong family values, and his inept handling of its disclosure brings up a different association with the Quayle name – his father’s gaffe-prone history.


Quayle says the accusations are just the latest in a string of smears. But much of the damage has been self-inflicted.


In the mailer that became a campaign issue, Quayle was shown in a picture with his wife, Tiffany Crane Quayle, whom he married in April, and several children.


“Tiffany and I live in this district and are going to raise our family here,” he is quoted as saying, though the children in the picture were not theirs.


His opponents pounced on what they said was a blatant piece of image-creation.


“It’s like a Hollywood scene they are trying to portray,” said Vernon Parker, the former Paradise Valley mayor who served in both the George H.W. and George W. Bush administrations and is one of Quayle’s nine opponents in the Aug. 24th primary. 


Other opponents have made an issue of the money he has raised – two thirds of which came from outside Arizona – especially the contributions from friends of his father, who was first elected to Congress from Indiana at age 29 and later served in the Senate.

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