Schweikert, Club for Growth misleading Ariz. primary voters with anti-Quayle mailers?

Matthew Boyle Investigative Reporter
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Arizona Republican Rep. Dave Schweikert is sending mailers that appear to be misleading to constituents in Arizona’s 6th Congressional District in his member-member race against Republican Rep. Ben Quayle.

The mailers – sent at the same time early ballots arrived in voters’ mailboxes – quotes the Club for Growth as saying “Schweikert’s a leader, Quayle is not.”

One problem with Schweikert’s campaign using that quote is that Quayle actually has a higher score from the Club for Growth. Quayle scores at 98 percent with the club while Schweikert only scores at 93 percent.

Schweikert’s votes against cutting $3 billion in environment appropriations and against eliminating the federally subsidized flood insurance program docked his score.

Another problem with Schweikert’s campaign using that quote is that the Club for Growth won’t say if it officially has that stance.

Given multiple opportunities on Thursday, Club for Growth spokesman Barney Keller refused to say if the quote was an official stance of the organization, even though a vice president for the Club for Growth did tweet that quote earlier this year. The mailer doesn’t cite the fact that it was only a club vice president, and not the official organization, saying that about the two candidates.

The club has officially said it is staying out of the race between Quayle and Schweikert, and Keller told TheDC that’s because “both candidates have outstanding records on economic freedom.”

That said, Club for Growth president Chris Chocola in March wrote to House Speaker John Boehner, Republican Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy to warn them against getting involved in the Schweikert-Quayle fight. His fear was that leadership would take Quayle’s side. Chocola said that if they backed Quayle, the Club for Growth would back Schweikert – once again, even though Quayle has a better record.

Thus far, leadership has remained neutral in the race. But it appears Schweikert using this club quote means the organization hasn’t.

In addition to refusing to say if the organization’s official stance is reflected in that quote, Keller refused to say if that quote constitutes an endorsement.

Keller refused to answer questions about the quote or the mailer that uses the Club for Growth logo and continually referred TheDC to the letter Chocola wrote to House GOP leadership.

Schweikert’s campaign came under fire recently for other misleading mailers. The mailers employed sexual innuendo by saying Quayle “goes both ways,” prompting Arizona Republican Sens. John McCain and Jon Kyl to denounce the negative tactics from Schweikert’s campaign.

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