Congressional candidates Steve Moak and Ben Quayle have turned to snail mail for their latest round of mudslinging.
In letters -- yes, actual, physical letters -- exchanged by the two candidates (and distributed throughout the media by their respective campaigns, of course) the two squabble over the thin line between Moak's charity, NotMYkid, and a for-profit business he used to own, First Check Diagnostics, which was being pimped by the charity.
We ran a story about it last week. Check it out here.
Moak claims Quayle is "using deceitful and dishonest campaign tactics to smear the great work of NotMYkid and disrespect the voters of Arizona's 3rd Congressional District in the process."
NotMYkid is a charity started by Moak in 1999 to educate kids and families about the dangers of drug use after two of his own children fell victim to the drug epidemic.
Moak used First Check Diagnostic to provide the charity with at-home drug-testing equipment. It was a somewhat shady arrangement -- particularly since Moak never disclosed a conflict of interest between his charity and his for-profit business to the IRS until he sold it in 2005. Again, read about it here -- it's complicated.
Moak says the Quayle campaign is responsible for distributing information about Moak's profiting off of his not-for-profit charity to the media in what he calls "sleazy" campaign tactics.
In his letter, Moak claims "NotMYkid financial statements, tax returns, and transactions have been fully reviewed and approved by the organization's independent board of directors and certified accountants."
He goes on to take a jab at Quayle, saying "I believe [Quayle] owe[s] an apology to all the teens, parents, volunteers, educators, and contributors to NotMYkid, though I doubt one is forthcoming given [Quayle's] history."
We're not sure what "history" to which Moak was referring, but regardless, he was right.
Rather than apologize, as Moak had requested, Quayle penned a letter of his own applauding the work of Moak's charity but questioning it's relationship to First Check.
Quayle poses four questions to Moak in the letter:
1) Why didn't you disclose the connection between NotMYkid and First Check on IRS statements like you are legally required to do?
2) Why didn't you tell donors at the time of the conflict?
3) Why did you use 80 percent of donors money in 2005 to promote First Check?
4) Why was the reference to you being the chairman of First Check suddenly removed from the NotMYkid Web site?
Quayle concludes the letter by saying "you can rest assured that you would be required to address all of these matters with specificity as either the Republican nominee for District 3 or as a sitting congressman. Thus far you have produced a number of campaign emails, and now your letter, with any number of insults and head fakes, but without addressing any of the relevant questions."
We contacted Moak's campaign headquarters to see if the candidate would like to address any of Quayle's questions with us. Nobody immediately got back to us.