Congressional candidate Jon Hulburd has based the majority of his campaign around attacking his opponent, Ben Quayle, over his ties to The Dirty, a raunchy, Scottsdale-based gossip site, to which Quayle admits contributing a few satirical posts.
Hulburd opened his campaign by saying "this race is now between Jon Hulburd and 'Brock Landers,'" the fictional pen name Quayle used in his posts.
Hulburd's first campaign ad was even titled "Compass" alluding to one of Quayle's writings that claimed his "moral compass" was so broken he could "barely find the parking lot."
We're pretty sure there's a saying somewhere about glass houses.
Based on two lawsuits filed against the candidate, it seems Hulburd's "moral compass" could use some recalibrating, too.
According to court documents obtained by New Times, Hulburd was sued twice in 1999. Once for -- among other things -- slander, and once for defamation.
In the slander case, it was alleged that Hulburd intentionally tried to hurt the business of one of his competitors in the Mexican pottery import game by relaying an inaccurate letter to his competitor's customers. The letter said the competitor's company, Interclay L.L.C., was a "defunct" company. The only problem with that was the company was not "defunct" -- it was just in competition with Hulburd.
The suggestion that the company was no longer in existence damaged business, one of the plaintiffs in the case, Matt Frazier, tells New Times.
Frazier says the case was ultimately dismissed because competition with Chinese import companies made it impossible to compete in the Mexican pottery import business and he could no longer pay for a lawyer.
He says he's never met Hulburd and has since moved past it. In fact, he tells New Times he had no idea Hulburd was running for Congress and had never heard of his opponent -- or his famous last name.
In another lawsuit against Hulburd -- this time including his wife and several members of the Paradise Valley Country Club -- he was sued for defamation after rumors were spread that a club employee and a member of the club were involved in a lesbian relationship.
In other words, someone started a rumor that these two women were lesbians and Hulburd -- and his wife -- were accused of being some of the club members who spread it.
The judge in the case ruled in favor of Hulburd because the statute of limitations in the case had run out. The plaintiff was ordered to pay him $882, according to court documents.
After several emails -- and faxing a copy of the slander lawsuit to the campaign -- Hulburd's camp has not responded to our request for comment.
Below is a campaign ad from the Hulburd campaign, in which his wife claims she was outraged by Quayle's involvement with The Dirty. She calls it "wrong and immature" -- again, we're pretty sure we've heard something somewhere about stones and glass houses.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.