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Quayle mailers not actually what meets the eye

Quayle mailers not actually what meets the eye

Two recent mailers sent by the Ben Quayle campaign contain some curious images and statements by the 33-year-old lawyer and flush-with-cash candidate in Arizona’s crowded 3rd Congressional District primary.

Quayle is depicted in playful scenes with two toddler-aged girls. Underneath one image, the text reads, in part: “Tiffany and I live in this district and we are going to raise our family here.”

It’s not a stretch to make the assumption that the cute tots – one sitting on his lap; the other sitting next to him – are his daughters. But that’s not the case. The recently married Quayle doesn’t have kids.

It’s not until you flip the mailer over to read that Quayle and his wife live in Phoenix with their dog, Louie. No mention of kids.

The second mailer, a pro-life piece that explains his staunch opposition to abortion and support of traditional marriage, contains the same image of the girls. But this time, there’s no disclaimer about Quayle not yet having kids of his own.

So is Quayle intentionally trying to leave voters with the impression that he’s a “family man”? It’s plausible.

He’s been a frequent target of many of his nine opponents – all of whom are older than him and have children – for what they call his thin resume and lack of life experience.

“I think you guys have got a lot of time on your hands,” said Quayle campaign spokesman Damon Moley. “They’re just terribly cute kids.”

The girls, he said, are relatives of a staff member and happened to be at a campaign event. Besides, images of kids and family are often used in campaign ads as a sort of short-hand way to illustrate pro-family and pro-life stances, Moley said.

UPDATE (Aug. 4): The Quayle campaign informed the Arizona Capitol Times that it initially provided inaccurate information about the kids. The girls are actually Quayle’s nieces, said spokeswoman Megan Rose, which she added is further evidence that Quayle was not intending to mislead voters about his family status. Incidentally, insiders who recognize the “Rose” name will probably note this interesting twist in the CD3 race: Rose is the sister-in-law of public-relations mogul Jason Rose, who happens to be helping to run the campaign of rival candidate Vernon Parker.

“We are presenting Ben as a pro-family candidate because he is a pro-family candidate,” Moley said. “We are presenting him as a traditional-values candidate because he is a traditional values candidate.”

To be sure, having kids is not a requirement of office. And there are plenty of candidates out there who have children yet are probably unfit to serve. But it’s reasonable that time-crunched voters could scan these mailers and walk away with the impression that Quayle has more life experience than he actually does.

Finally, Quayle, the son of former Vice President Dan Quayle, makes the statement that he has “hands-on” experience bringing jobs to Arizona. Perhaps the mailer should say Quayle opened a business that employs about 13 people, give or take, depending on contracts with companies.

Quayle co-owns Tynwald Capital. That investment company opened an Arizona office of New England-based APG Security. The security company’s website says Quayle and his brother, Tucker, are managing partners in the security venture.

Moley said it currently employs 13 people, but that pending contracts could make that number go higher.

“It’s not Standard Oil,” he said. “But to the people that have those jobs, it’s very important to them.”

– Bill Bertolino

UPDATE (AUG. 5): In addition to attracting coverage from national media outlets, the popular conservative blog, RedState, has opined twice about the mailers.

The first was a broader piece by contributor Mike Paranzino, who said Quayle is not the right choice for CD3.

The second piece, also written by Paranzino, who once worked for such Republicans as U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl and former Congressman Matt Salmon, follows up on the reaction of the Quayle campaign to the mailers and has some new revelations involving Quayle’s Facebook page.

  1. Courtney

    Those girls are Ben’s nieces…and as far as I know, nieces still count as family. Nowhere in any of the mailers does it say that Ben has children.

  2. Tired of Govt telling us what to do
    Tired of Govt telling us what to do08-03-2010

    He’s just trying to buy the election. Last week-4 days in Chicago? Come on now. CA, TX, DC, NYC, Maine, how many places does he go to besides CD 3?

  3. Elizabeth

    I don’t see a problem. Pols are always pulling kids out for photos. Or dogs, or jeeps, or guns or horses. I’d say the same were it Barry O who was photographed holding a baby and talking about health care for “our kids”. Big whoop. I agree: you def have too much time on your hands! BTW: not from AZ, don’t have a dog in this fight.

  4. marbie

    But his dad spells ‘potato’ with an ‘e’ and coaxes a kid to do the same and be disqualified from the next round of the spelling bee. Not only is the adding of the ‘e’ wrong unless a ‘s’ goes with it to make it plural, but ‘his little assistance’ was nothing more than cheating, and a leason that cheating is a.o.k. So we expect less from sonny boy?

  5. Daniel Weir
    Daniel Weir08-04-2010

    Oh no … it can’t be, it can’t be!
    Another Quayl(e) running for office.
    Has anyone asked Ben Quayl(e) if he can spell “potato”? I’m sure that came up on the campaign trail.
    Oh how I remember his dad’s “reign of error” 20 years ago. It was a laugh a minute – the political version of the Three Stooges. That said, I never cast aspersions against the former Veep; indeed, I rather liked him. He was a decent man, just way in over his head. He probably should have remained a Senator from Indiana; he seemed to do very well representing his fellow Hoosiers in the seventies and eighties. Why GHWB picked him to be his running mate on that political “day of infamy” – Aug. 16, 1988 – is totally beyond me.
    So obviously, the big question is, will Ben follow (stumble?) in his father’s footsteps? Maybe. Heck, we could use some more laughs – in a good-natured way, of course. Politics has gotten awfully glum, even apocalyptic, recently. We seem to think the end of the world is right around the corner (remember Y2K?). But it’s not.
    Perhaps Ben Quayl(e) can lighten things up a bit and make us all feel a little bit better. The “tot controversy” seems a good place to start.

  6. Clifford Huggins
    Clifford Huggins08-04-2010

    Typical Republican, bet he’s no brighter than his father.

  7. Francis Drew
    Francis Drew08-04-2010

    People turning up the heat on Ben Quayle. This might be his potatoe moment:

  8. squareforceone

    I actually know Ben, and yes, indeed, those children are his nieces. He’s a good guy. I don’t think it was meant to be deceptive.

  9. squareforceone


    Exactly, I know Ben and she is correct. He’s a good guy, I don’t see what all the fuss is about. I don’t think it was meant to be deceptive.

  10. ItsHotinPHX

    In addition, his tv ad claims “international experience.”

  11. San Mateo
    San Mateo08-04-2010

    Hey is just doing what every other politician does. Of course liberals will try to attack him, because that is all they have. Their criticsm isn’t based on the issues, or even facts, just hyped up claims about what his intentions are in a campaign ad. Are you serious, is this what liberals have reduced themselves to? I shouldn’t be surprised given their recent track record.

    Oh, and did anyone else notice that Michelle Obama is taking ANOTHER vacation. Didn’t they just get back from the Cape? Wonder why the Obama’s like to use tax payer money for all these vacations? Why dont they do what all other Americans are forced to due because of Obama’s economic policies and try a stay-cation!! Just typical liberal waste and fraud!

  12. Sid

    This is an atrocity. A decent man with decent values (family or no family) is being maligned by the liberal media, his opponents, and others with an agenda. We need principled leadership in Washington … a leader who is not afraid to articulate his views and tell us where he stands much like Republican icons of the past: Presidents Reagan, G.H.W. Bush, and G.W. Bush. Ben Quayle is cut from the same cloth and is headed in the same direction. Also, is there any person whose father has never misspelled a word in their life ever … more importantly, why is that an issue in the first place?

  13. Jason

    Not sure what is more pathetic here. 1) That you guys are still attacking Dan Quayle for a spelling mistake that happened 18 years ago (seriously with the current crop of politicians we’re dealing with, the best you can do is go after Quayle for reading an extra “e” from the card he was handed), or 2) That you are seriously trying to say that because his dad misspelled one word 18 years ago, that would somehow impact on Ben’s ability to serve in the Congress. (And no, I have no horse in the race. I don’t live in CD-3.)

    You people are brilliant!

  14. Richard

    Wow, talk about a NON-ISSUE—seriously, I got an email about this and then opened this link with interest! Are you kidding me?

    I guess Ben must really be a great candidate or a real threat to the others if THIS is all they have to try to throw him under. And on top of all that, the story is going national? Seriously, is that a joke?

    When the media tries to tear someone down so viciously, (and with nothing substantive behind the story), you know the candidate must be good.

  15. DJM

    Seems to me like this isn’t the first mailer Ben could get into trouble with. This mail piece here: contains the US Treasury Department logo, which I think is against the law:

  16. Dale

    It takes more character on Ben’s part to run for office knowing the attempt of the “liberal news media” and ignorant people who treated Ben’s father with contempt and anyone else who believes in the greatness of America. Instead of encouraging young people like Ben without listening to them, America is creating a hostile environment for patriots while being silent about the condemnation by the president of Mexico and the holder of the presidency of America to condemn and minimize our GREATNESS. We get the government we deserve because of our own lazy uniformed mindset Shame on us!!!

  17. Eric Cashman
    Eric Cashman08-05-2010

    There are so many misleading angles to the Quayle campaign. None of his signs say his first name so no one is really sure which Quayle is running in the election. His web site never tells you the events he will be attending. The local newspaper ran information submitted by the candidates and 9 out of 10 responded. Ben Quayle did not respond to the request by the Arizona Republic, the major paper in our market. Ben Quayle had just recently moved to Arizona after living on both coast and has had little if any participation in Arizona’s past election. From what I have seen, he is the least qualified candidate running for this office. Ben is trying to buy the election with family name and money.

  18. Dale Hogue
    Dale Hogue08-05-2010

    I find it amusing that a couple of the commenters on this page remark about the “potato” incident in discussing Ben Quayle’s use of two young girls — not his own — in a picture of the candidate used in his campaign literature. If the writers are interested, which I doubt, the spelling bee incident came about because the teacher of the elementary class provided Dan Quayle with cards on which the “correct spelling of the words used in the spelling bee appeared”, unfortunately for Dan, the spelling of potato was spelled potatoes — which is the plural of potato, for those who are not familiar with “the spelling of the word potato” incident. I’m sure that most of the Democrats at that time realized what had taken place, but just couldn’t keep from uttering remarks that Dan — who has a doctorate of law degree — was so dumb that he couldn’t spell potato correctly. This smart aleck evaluation fell right in with the other so-called “clever remarks” that the Democratic Party hatchet brigades used to help neuter Quayle’s cool charm, movie star good looks and political experience by comparing the handsome vice president to a “bimbo blonde”.

  19. Alan Mowbray
    Alan Mowbray08-05-2010

    Marbie/Daniel Weir…

    Have you been listening to the Orator in Chief? The One who requires a teleprompter at a news conference because of his knack for stumbling through any statement requiring a solid foundational position?
    And how about his brainy sidekick who seems to have put his foot in his mouth so many times they should start making his shoes out of fruit roll-ups?
    You guys have no credibility.
    Have a little intellectual honesty and look to see if you’re standing in a glass house before throwing any stones.

  20. joanb

    The president and vice president have had way too many “potato moments” to count. Probably Ben Quayle knows how many states make up the USA. Apparently, the Quayles are planning on having children and planning on raising them there.
    Drug cartels and invasion from the southern borders are a tad more serious then trying to decide what Ben Quayle REALLY meant. Get a grip! Maybe the lack of the federal government caring about keeping the United States safe and secure (which is one of a few of their REAL jobs) isn’t really political and for votes, but a “potato moment!” (We wish!)

  21. SA Blu
    SA Blu08-05-2010

    Dan Quayle knew how to spell potato. But he was trying not to embarass the teacher who had misspelled the word on a note card.

  22. Glorious

    Erick, I am surprised at you. I read you every day and appreciate (almost, apparently) everything you write, but this is petty and much ado about nothing. Go after the bad guys. This is nothing.

  23. CAllenDoudna

    I can have a whole lot more trust in a lying politician than a politician who manages to lie while technically still telling the truth.

  24. mr.ed

    Have you seen the missus? She’s some tomatoe.

  25. AJ4COCO

    Hey, guys, did your dad ever make a mistake? Have you had to live with it all your life? Why should Dan Quayle making a spelling mistake have anything to do with Ben Quayle running for office? When Sasha Obama runs for office, will you still be laughing at her dad talking about the 57 states? Give a guy a break.

  26. Marsha Graef
    Marsha Graef08-05-2010

    Don’t suppose any of you remember all the “gaffes” made by our current President and Vice President? Barry mentioned campaigning in 57 states with needing to go to only 2 more, while Joe asked a wheelchair man to stand up to be recognized! Politicians are human and make mistakes, just don’t create a higher standard of expectation for one party over another!


  27. charles rappa
    charles rappa08-05-2010

    party affilation has nothing to do with it,, both sides lie like the devil just to get in.. no matter if it kids,open goverment,cut taxes. they all lie.. the sad part,is they all are backed buy BIG money.

  28. Scott Larson
    Scott Larson08-05-2010

    REALLY? You claim that Reagan, GWHB, GWB and Quayle are great politicians? What rock have you been living under? Because of the tax cuts to the rich, this country is in the worst shape since the Depression. While I don’t agree to the government bailouts of Obama (although Bush handed out quite a huge handful himself to the BIG banks)I think that cutting taxes to those that hoard their money is an ineffective way to stimulate business. The only reason we got out of the Depression was due to the, larger than even now, govenment spending and tax increases of the wealthiest Americans. I bet you are one of the idiots that believe Reagan should be on one of our monetary bills…the man that could have slowed down AIDS but did nothing. Due to his ignorance, I have lost two cousins and many dear friends. How dare you rand any of these idiots as GREAT!!!

  29. lizzyJ

    @Tired of Govt telling us what to do
    Actually I would expect and hope that a candidate running for a US HOUSE seat WOULD and SHOULD have contacts and connections around the country. And so should all Americans. As a US House member, while he will be working for his neighbors, family and friends in Arizona, he will also be shaping the rest of the country with his vote. He is not running for a seat at the state level, but he will be working with the folks in the federal government. In todays world, where federal government can play such a huge part of our lives, I would expect him to use those connections and friendships to work FOR his state better then a candidate who can not bring the same level of game to the table. QUAYLE FOR CONGRESS!

  30. lizzyJ

    Your “kind question/remark” about Bens wife is totally stupid.

  31. Kris

    Nice VERY nice work.. too bad Mr Q. could not borrowed your daughters for the photshoot and could have socked the $$$ away for their college funds.. Good work uncovering this

  32. edsbowlingshoe

    His views are almost uniformly awful. Standing up for AZ’s racist immigration law? Check. Lowering taxes even more – without cutting any real spending (Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, Defense,) so the debt can explode again like it did under Bush? Check. Keeping the working poor from getting insurance? Check. Taking a belligerent neocon attitude towards the rest of the world, a la Bush? Check. Totally cavalier about climate change and the environment? Check. Refusing to regulate energy & finance after the massive oil and banking disasters? Check. Anti-gay rights? Check.

    It’s almost comical how awful this guy’s views are. What’s not comical is that he has a shot to win…

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