There is more to be taken away from Linda McMahon deciding to pay her debts nearly 40 years late than it should now neutralize her campaign’s attack on Chris Murphy for paying some of his bills late. It should once again be a wake-up call to the fact that those with unlimited wealth set the agenda in political campaigns. It also points to the need for a fair and motivated news media and blogosphere in Connecticut.
Linda McMahon and her now-suddenly-silent campaign manager Corry “Murphy Diss” Bliss have more than just egg on their faces. Their rank hypocrisy is now laid bare to see for anyone paying even passing attention to the campaign. McMahon spent millions trying to peg Murphy as a deadbeat who didn’t pay his mortgage, rent or property taxes on time. The effort goes back to just after the primary. The campaign went so far as to file a congressional ethics complaint against Murphy alleging a sweetheart deal with Webster Bank. It had no evidence and every expert within asking distance said there was nothing wrong with Murphy’s situation. No matter, the McMahon smear machine laid it on with potency that only her unlimited resources could afford.
Fast forward to last week when The Day of New London dug up details of Linda and Vince McMahon’s 1970s-era foreclosure and bankruptcy. The finger-pointers were guilty of the same problems Murphy faced only to an exponentially greater degree. That was followed by some fine work by the Connecticut Post which found more details including a now 96-year old man whom the McMahons stiffed nearly 40 years ago. The McMahon campaign continued to allege Murphy’s situation was worse because his happened recently and while he was a member of Congress. Implicit in this argument is, “Well, we’re gazillionaires now so ours is a rags-to-riches story.” They clearly now think the gig is up—time to pay everyone they jobbed over the years.
The McMahon’s claim that their history of not paying their bills was just that—ancient history—crumpled to the canvass when it was revealed* they didn’t pay their city property taxes on their luxury townhouse to the city of Stamford. The wrestling power couple said to be worth $278 million decided maybe them better pay that one too.
Disturbing in all of this is why it took so long for the Connecticut and national (Politico) news media so long to scrutinize McMahon’s shaky financial past. It’s not like it wasn’t known. For years, including all throughout her $55 million failed Senate campaign in 2010, McMahon wore her bankruptcy as a badge of honor. Back in May, the Hartford Courant published some details of the McMahon bankruptcy including the fact that they at one point employed a convicted Waterbury loan shark for financing. Instead, for more than a month, it was a free-for-all on Murphy who is guilty of nothing more than inattention to his personal finances and unsteady, inconsistent and sometimes incoherent answers when questioned about it.
All of this proves true what The Hanging Shad wrote back on September 10—the McMahon strategy is to attack Murphy on issues on which they themselves are vulnerable. But that only works for so long. Eventually, the truth comes out.
Curiously silent now are Bliss and former state Republican party Chairman Chris Healy. Bliss now looks like the hired gun he is only with no real bullets. But at least he is being paid handsomely by McMahon (isn’t everybody now?). Healy’s knee-jerk piling on might be due to giddiness at the thought that the attacks on Murphy might actually produce a winner in McMahon. In his usually entertaining but not-always accurate blog, Healy wrote a piece with the lead, “Has Chris Murphy Paid Any of His Bills on Time?” The piece is titled, “Prince Harry, Meet Mr. Important [Murphy].” The naked truth is, it’s Healy’s candidate who waits until she gets caught screwing people to pay her bills.
So where do we go from here? Maybe we should consider the fact that Murphy has a left-to-center voting record in Congress and voters are free to agree or disagree with his positions. McMahon? Where is she on:
• Equal pay for equal work and other women’s issues?
• Foreign policy? Any experience?
• The 47 percent? She said one thing to Channel 8* and another when Mitt Romney said the same thing.
• The attempted cleansing of wrestling video clips from the Internet from the time period when she ran the company?* (Is there anyone who believes the “Whack-a-Mole” moves the WWE is engaged in isn’t being done to help the campaign?)*
Again, the state of Connecticut is picking a United States Senator, not a dog catcher (or a bark-like-a-dog catcher*). This campaign needs to enter a new phase—one of substance, honesty, transparency and truth. The voters of the state deserve nothing less.