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New ads in Senate race increasingly nasty

By JC Reindl

Publication: The Day

Published September 13. 2012 4:00AM
Murphy, McMahon piling on accusations

Hartford - Connecticut's U.S. Senate race saw enough video debuts Wednesday to rival a film festival.

Two of the three new television spots attack Republican nominee Linda McMahon for her record running the WWE.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee spent $320,000 to air a 30-second ad painting McMahon as a rapacious, self-centered capitalist. It is the national committee's first ad in support of Democratic candidate Chris Murphy, currently the 5th Congressional District representative.

An accusatory female narrator asks viewers to "meet the real Linda McMahon" and describes how the former executive laid off 10 percent of the entertainment company's staff in the economic downturn and didn't have to pay Social Security, unemployment insurance or Medicare contributions for wrestlers because they were classified as independent contractors.

The voice says McMahon reaped big profits and is now putting forth a jobs plan that, by some estimates, would result in a $7 million cut to her own tax bill. The ad concludes: "Linda McMahon: Profits before people."

Murphy's campaign unveiled its own 30-second McMahon attack with similar themes, which proclaims that "the image CEO Linda McMahon is selling isn't real."

The narrator tells how the WWE benefited from state film tax credits in 2009, even as it laid off workers. It claims McMahon's jobs plan would benefit her and not the middle class.

"Since day one, McMahon has been running on her record as a 'job creator,' but the truth is that McMahon is a job killer," Murphy campaign spokesman Taylor Lavender said in a statement announcing the ad.

In the McMahon campaign's attack ad, a female narrator says Murphy is running false negative ads to obscure his voting record on defense spending.

This summer Murphy was the sole member of the state's five-person House delegation to oppose a $604 billion defense appropriations bill that included nearly $5 billion to continue making Virginia-class attack submarines in Groton. Murphy has said he voted against that bill and an earlier defense bill containing submarine money because the legislation had "open-ended funding" for military activities in Afghanistan.

The narrator declares: "Chris Murphy doesn't want you to know he voted to cut defense jobs right here in Connecticut."

In a new McMahon radio ad, a narrator rehashes Murphy's past mortgage and rent troubles and defends her WWE record: "Like most American businesses, Linda's company did lay off some workers in the 2009 recession, but Linda's company recovered and now employs more people than ever before."

"Congressman Chris Murphy and his Washington cronies are sadly mistaken if they think they can resuscitate his flailing U.S. Senate campaign by spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on false and unsubstantiated television attack ads," Corry Bliss, McMahon's campaign manager, said in a statement.

"How ironic that the DSCC is attacking Linda McMahon's record of creating hundreds of Connecticut-based jobs when their own candidate, Congressman Chris Murphy, hasn't created one single job in his entire life," Bliss said.

Murphy's campaign says the statements in its ad are true.

j.reindl@theday.com

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