Ben Quayle to his immediate family -- which one of his primary opponents suggested was "rented."
Quayle's getting beat up in some local news outlets for a campaign mailer he sent out showing him with two toddler-age girls (they're adorable).
Check out the mailer after the jump.
The problem people have with the photo is that Quayle doesn't have kids of his own, and to show him with children in campaign literature suggests the girls are his.
The campaign of one of his primary opponents, Vernon Parker, issued a press release this morning guiding people to an article in the Arizona Capitol Times criticizing Quayle for using kids as props to come across as a family man to voters.
The story was probably fed to the publication by Parker's media flak, Jason Rose. In his release, Parker suggests the girls were "rented" for the photo shoot.
We didn't realize children were rent-able, so we contacted Quayle's campaign this morning to find out which children-renting agency the campaign used for the shoot.
We found out that the kids in the photo actually are Quayle's nieces.
We can see how posing with someone else's kids to give the impression of strong family values could be offensive to some, but the kids in this case are blood relatives of Quayle's. We don't see the move to be nearly as sinister as Parker claims it to be.
Quayle just got married a few months ago, so if he were to already have kids, it would open up a completely different bag of criticism for conservative kooks.
Quayle's made no secret of the fact that he and his wife plan to start a family. Meantime, what's wrong with using what he's got?
It's campaign literature -- it's designed to make him look good. It's no secret that people dig puppies and cute kids, so candidates tend to use such images. Mass-mailing to voters pictures of a candidate blowin' coke off a hooker's ass probably wouldn't generate votes, if ya know what we're sayin'.
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.