Marilyn Quayle, the wife of former Vice President Dan Quayle and mother of U.S. Rep. Ben Quayle, said she never contacted Gov. Jan Brewer about the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, refuting a rapidly spreading rumor that she urged the governor to oust the panel’s chairwoman to help her son.
Democrats have pushed the rumor since Brewer and the Senate ousted IRC Chairwoman Colleen Mathis on Nov. 1, a move that was urged and applauded by the congressional delegation. But Quayle said any talk of her contacting the governor was “grave misinformation.”
“I have never called Gov. Brewer about anything, actually ever. So no phone call placed last week. I have not been involved at all. And any questions with regard to redistricting, I’ve been a little bit too busy to get involved in anything like that. But I have never placed a phone call ever to Mrs. Brewer, Gov. Brewer, nor have I spoken with her about redistricting at any time,” Quayle said in a phone message to the Arizona Capitol Times.
The rumor exploded after the special session, and some Democrats have repeated it as fact to national media outlets. On MSNBC’s “Hardball with Chris Matthews” on Nov. 3, two days after Mathis’ removal, Arizona Democratic Party Chairman Andrei Cherny said Quayle called Brewer to urge the removal of IRC members.
“We know that Congressman Quayle – [and] Congressman Quayle’s mother – called Gov. Brewer, saying that she had to call the special session,” Cherny said.
And Huffington Post wrote about the rumor over the weekend, quoting Rep. Matt Heinz, D-Tucson, who told the outlet that three of his Republican colleagues in the Senate confirmed it to him.
After initially refusing the comment, Rep. Quayle spokesman Richard Cullen said the rumor is “a lie.” Brewer spokesman Matthew Benson said today that no such conversation occurred between the governor and Marilyn Quayle.
The rumors about Marilyn Quayle came on the heels of revelations that most of Arizona’s congressional Republicans, including Ben Quayle, had called Brewer to urge a special session to remove Mathis, and called GOP Senators pushing the independent chairwoman’s ouster. The delegation has also been intimately involved with FAIR Trust, a legal trust formed by congressional and legislative Republicans to protect GOP interests in the redistricting process.
Quayle, whom the IRC put into a competitive Tempe and central Phoenix-based district, may have the most to gain if the IRC’s congressional draft map is blown up.
Sources familiar with his thinking said he is likely to run in the neighboring Scottsdale-based 6th Congressional District, where he would face another Republican incumbent, U.S. Rep. David Schweikert, in the primary.
Schweikert was also drawn into another district, but quickly announced his intention to move from Fountain Hills into a house he owns in Scottsdale so he could run in the proposed 6th District.