House candidates borrow kids, pets for the campaign


From the Arizona Capitol Times

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.

"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."