After a solid start by Linda McMahon in her 2012 senate race, this week she's been reeling from a series of campaign controversies.
Firstly, there has been the ongoing fallout from WWE's decision to attempt to remove all the misogynistic company copyright material from the web that the Connecticut Democrats have been using to attack Linda with for the past two years.
As John Celock of the Huffington Post describes, this has led to a rather silly game of cat and mouse between the two sides. On Monday morning (Sept. 17), the Connecticut Democratic Party posted an ad on Vimeo entitled "PG TV?" featuring distinctly non-PG WWE clips, so WWE gets it taken down within hours, only for another video to pop up the next day on Daily Motion of Eric Bischoff getting two women to do some hot lesbian action before ordering 3-Minute Warning (Matt "Rosey" Anoa'i and the late Eddie "Umaga" Fatu) to beat them up. Wash, rinse and repeat.
The local Democrats have now upped the ante by posting a video entitled Job Killer focusing on WWE's long list of dead wrestlers since 2002, in particular Chris Benoit of course, and double-dog-daring WWE to take it down:
"Any attempt by WWE to coerce YouTube to take down this video for copyright infringement would be clear evidence of illegal coordination between the McMahon campaign and the WWE."
Given that there was no WWE copyright material in the video itself, this seemed like a bit of a disingenuous statement to make, but we all knew this campaign would get dirty, just like last time.
After the jump, read about how Linda McMahon's attempts to both distance herself from Mitt Romney and to criticise her opponent, Chris Murphy for late mortgage payments and taxes, backfired on her. You will want to read the payoff at the end.
The second controversy stemmed from Linda McMahon's reaction to Mitt Romney's secretly videotaped remarks to wealthy donors that 47% of the American public will vote for Barack Obama no matter what, because they are dependent on government, don't pay income tax, and believe that they themselves are victims and that the government has a responsibility to care for them. I give credit to Linda that she immediately realised how toxic these shortsighted comments would be and had her campaign team quickly post a statement on her website disagreeing with them:
"I disagree with Governor Romney's insinuation that 47% of Americans believe they are victims who must depend on the government for their care. I know that the vast majority of those who rely on government are not in that situation because they want to be. People today are struggling because the government has failed to keep America competitive, failed to support job creators, and failed to get our economy back on track."
However, as Kevin Robillard of Politico noted, when Mrs. McMahon launched her second senate campaign last year and was put on the spot by a local TV news reporter about what she thought of Obama's plan to tax the super wealthy, like herself, more heavily, she unsurprisingly wasn't quite as sympathetic to these supposed tax-dodgers:
"I'd like to see everyone pay their fair share," McMahon told WTNH on the day her campaign launched. "Forty-seven percent of the people today don't pay any taxes, so let's have a fair tax code where everybody pays their taxes."
Though these comments were viewed as innocuous at the time she made them, now they make her look more than a little hypocritical. Moreover, they play into the Democrats hands as they try to paint Linda as a card shark whose tax plans stack the deck against the middle class to benefit millionaires like herself.
But the biggest shock to the McMahon campaign was after weeks of calling for Chris Murphy to release all documents related to his home foreclosure scare in the mid-2000s while serving as a congressman and insinuating that he received preferential treatment from his bank due to his line of work, Linda had a financial document released that she didn't want making public. Yes, Connecticut newspaper The Day published the sole remaining copy of Vince and Linda McMahon's bankruptcy records which showed that they owed a total of $955,805 to over 25 different creditors. That would be worth close to $4 million in today's money. Though the McMahons paid back the $100,064 they owed the Internal Revenue Service and their mortgage brokers got what they were owed through the sale of their home, many of their smaller creditors never got a dime, despite the family becoming ridiculously wealthy by the mid-1980s.
Now, 36 years later, three years into her political career and many hundreds of millions of dollars richer, Linda McMahon released a statement that she'll finally make good on her debts:
"Over the past two days, Vince and I have begun attempts to locate and reach out to all individuals on the creditor list. It is our intention to reimburse all private individual creditors that can be located. We feel it is the right thing to do to pay them in full, including an adjustment for inflation at four times the initial amount as shown on the list of creditors."
David Nir of Daily Kos, comes to the obvious conclusion that these payments are only coming because of disastrous polling on the issue and wonders why her creditors weren't paid back sooner.
That's a very good question, considering the $65 million that she's already spent on her two campaigns, which included two months of deep, persistent research into Richard Blumenthal's background that struck gold when they found out that he had occasionally lied about serving in Vietnam, not to mention all the dirt she's already found on Chris Murphy. Surely Linda should have spent some money researching her own background to make sure a bombshell like this didn't hit her out of the blue, especially when she made her bankruptcy story such a big part of her rags-to-riches political narrative? The fact that Tom Cole suddenly became a Linda McMahon supporter in 2010 shows that she's not above diffusing a ticking time bomb that she's aware might blow up in her face.
To cap off a disastrous week at the office, today came reports that the McMahons were over seven weeks late in paying a $27,055 tax payment for their penthouse in Stamford, CT. Though this was likely an honest mistake, it couldn't have come at a worse time and proves the old adage true that when it rains, it pours.
After this chain of events, unless there's a last minute game changer, it looks like Linda is going to crash to defeat again. Do you agree, Cagesiders, and is anyone here at all disappointed?