The race for the open seat in Arizona’s 3rd Congressional District didn’t take long to get, um, dirty. And ironically, it’s been all about who has staked out the moral high ground.
Democrat Jon Hulburd took the first swing last week in Christian radio ads criticizing his opponent, Republican Ben Quayle, for his ties to the tawdry website DirtyScottsdale.com, now called TheDirty.com.
It took a full week, but Quayle responded in ads of his own, airing this week in Phoenix on Christian and conservative radio, juxtaposing his stances with what he describes as Hulburd’s liberal positions on social issues. One of the more fiery claims in the ad was that Hulburd “uses his massive wealth to fund abortion lobbies.”
Hulburd’s campaign almost immediately sent out this jaw-dropping response: “Ben Quayle founded a sex-steeped website that refers to women as ‘sperm catchers’ and to Asians as ‘noodles,’ then he tried to lie about it and got caught,” said Josh Abner, Hulburd communications director.
Talk about dirty; we don’t know whether Quayle has ever actually used those descriptions.
“You can see the sleight of hand in the statement he put out today. Now he puts out quotes that he’s not even attributing to Ben Quayle,” said Jay Heiler, Quayle communications director. “Now he’s apparently going to pull whatever he wants from this website and put it out in press statements.”
The statement went on to say: “Remember, it’s Ben Quayle himself who wrote, ‘my moral compass is so broken I can’t even find the parking lot.’” Abner was referring to a post written by a “Brock Landers,” the name of the fictional porn star in the movie “Boogie Nights,” and the pseudonym that the DirtyScottsdale.com founder alleges Quayle used to write for the site.
After first denying any ties to the salacious website, Quayle changed his story to say he did in fact contribute to the site and did so under a pseudonym, but doesn’t remember which one, or which ones, he used. He has always said he “is not Brock Landers,” a crafty defense because he isn’t Brock Landers. Nobody is Brock Landers.
But it’s a stretch to say Quayle founded the website, as his name appears nowhere on the original incorporation paperwork filed with the Arizona Corporation Commission. Quayle did, however, say he introduced the founder of the site, Hooman Karamian, to an intellectual property attorney and wrote commentaries to help drive traffic.
As for Hulburd’s ties to the abortion lobby, Quayle’s campaign was referring to what they said was Hulburd’s political contributions to Arizona List, which promotes the election of pro-choice, female Democratic candidates.
“Jon has never shied from his position that he is pro-choice,” Abner said, who confirmed that Hulburd contributed $5,025 to Arizona List in 2009 and this year.
Abner added it’s fair game to go after Quayle for his ties to the website.
“Until we get a straight answer from Mr. Quayle, I don’t see how we can think any differently – that he supports the views of that site,” he said.
Hulburd, an attorney and former small-business owner, seems to be staking out a position that he is the more qualified candidate based on longevity and ties to the central Phoenix district, saying he’s lived there for more than 20 years, raised his five children there and sits on the board of the Phoenix Children’s Hospital.
Quayle, also an attorney, is running on his conservative stances against President Barack Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. He famously made the TV ad calling Obama the worst president in history.
– Bill Bertolino