Updated at 5:30 pm EDT
Incumbent on incumbent warfare can get messy.
Schweikert and Quayle, both freshmen, are seeking the same district seat in the Aug. 28 primary after a commission redrew congressional lines. It’s one of 13 matchups this year between incumbents as a result of redistricting.
Schweikert’s hard-hitting spot says Quayle “wrote for an offensive adult Web site,” voted to raise taxes in Congress, was accused of “plagiarizing” a bill and aided Democrats by challenging fellow Republican Schweikert instead of running in the politically competitive district where his residence is located.
The ad’s first allegation is a reference to posts Quayle wrote for a racy Web site a few years ago, before he became a congressman. Quayle said during his 2010 campaign that he “wrote a few satirical and fictional comments” for the site and that “it’s much ado about nothing,” according to an interview with Fox Business Network.
Asked for evidence for the ad’s accusation that Quayle“voted to raise your family’s taxes,” Schweikert campaign spokesman Chris Baker pointed to Quayle’s “no” vote in February on a bill to extend a payroll tax cut through the end of the year. Quayle was among 91 House Republicans who voted against the bill, which he said was a “Washington half-measure” that didn’t address an overhaul of the federal tax code.
Schweikert, who voted for the payroll tax cut extension, said in a candidate debate last month that he would “always vote for taxpayers to keep their money,” according to the Arizona Republic.
The Schweikert ad’s charge that Quayle was “accused of plagiarizing a bill” calls attention to a Quayle bill to amend securities laws that was similar in many respects to a proposal by Representative Jim Himes, a Connecticut Democrat.
Anna Haberlein, a Quayle campaign spokeswoman, called Schweikert“Dishonest Dave” in an e-mail that said he “is desperately smearing Congressman Quayle on television, on the Internet and in the mail.”
“Dave is a phony and voters will see through his ongoing campaign of lies,” she said.)
Quayle, the son of former Vice President Dan Quayle, and Schweikert, a former state legislator and county treasurer, are both seeking the revised 6th District, a Republican-leaning area that includes part of Phoenix and most of Scottsdale. Quayle’s residence was drawn into an adjacent district, numbered the 9th, which is friendlier to Democrats than the 6th. Quayle currently represents about two-thirds of the people in the reconfigured 6th District, while Schweikert, who lives in the new 6th, represents about one-third of its population.