Sex. Money. Family strife.
The three parts of politicians’ personal lives that traditionally bring about their downfalls pose no threat to Arizona Governor candidate Noah Dyer.
Under the ‘Scandal and Controversy’ section of his website, he has listed the parts of his past that rivals would ordinarily dig up themselves to use against him, such as the fact he has had sex with married women and “sent and received intimate texts and pictures, and occasionally recorded video during sex”.
Dyer, who describes himself as “a thoughtful, socially responsible moderate” and is running as a Democrat, believes “the cleverly disclosed scandals that come out of the woodwork in the midst of campaigns mainly serve to divert and distract away from meaningful dialogue”, according to the website.
“Think about how much time political campaigns spend digging up dirt on their opponents. Noah is confident that all time spent this way is wasteful and unfortunate... He wants to have a real conversation,” the website reads.
“So here they are, private matters considered by some scandals, served on a silver platter. Do any of the events below affect Noah’s ability to lead our state to a more prosperous future?
“Not at all, and he’s one of the few candidate who believes you are smart enough to recognize that.”
Dyer’s sex “scandals” include supporting open relationships and having group sex.
I just wanted to be honest with the voters about who I am."Noah Dyer
“All of his relationships have been legal and consensual, never coercive, or abusive, and he condemns such behavior,” the site says.
“Noah is unapologetic about his sexual choices, and wishes others the same safety and confidence as they express themselves.”
Dyer said the response to his transparency was “99% positive and supportive” but added there had been “a few hyperconservative people who feel personally threatened for some reason.”
“Voters are refreshed to see someone who isn’t perfect own it,” Dyer told HuffPost UK by email.
“I don’t think the majority of Arizonans have lived exactly like I have... I just wanted to be honest with the voters about who I am, so they could decide if it matters for their vote.”
On the issue of religion, Dyer’s site invites people to read his “past tirades” on his Facebook page.
However, HuffPost UK’s detailed analysis of Dyer’s personal Facebook page revealed it was mainly pictures of his children.
On his site, it says: “Noah believes religion is beautiful when it inspires people to serve others and persevere despite adversity.
“Alternatively, he has spoken out very harshly when religion is used to defend intolerance and bully with mysticism. Such harsh words are rare these days.”
Dyer also describes his $100,000 student debt, “minor feuds” with his ex-wife and having to take credit card cash advances to pay child support.
“According to the court arrangement he has his kids 30% of the time. In reality he has them just under half (the) time,” he says.
“Like any family, he occasionally has minor feuds with his ex, parents, and extended relatives, but on the whole he treasures those relationships and considers them to be healthy.”
The governership is up for re-election in November 2018. Incumbent Republican Doug Ducey is expected to stand again.
Dyer said his decision to publish the information was his own initiative and not prompted by an imminent threat of it leaking.
He did say he feared, further down the line, his opponent bringing it up “as though it was breaking news or something I was trying to hide.”
He added: “I do think most people have at times felt pressure to conform to a rigid way of life that doesn’t honour everyone’s individual preferences, and to hide it when they make decisions to live their own way.
“I think we’d be able to get a lot more done if politicians didn’t have to worry about defending their pristine reputations, and instead focused on solving the people’s challenges.
“In my case, my disclosures are going to allow me to do that, and I think the same would be true of many, if not all politicians.”