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EB must like Murphy not McMahon for Senate

By David Collins

Publication: The Day

Published September 16. 2012 4:00AM

So who do Electric Boat executives support in the Connecticut race for U.S. Senate?

Chris Murphy seems to be the clear choice over Linda McMahon.

I base that in part on campaign contributions, since, well, as Linda McMahon will tell you, money talks.

Electric Boat-related contributions of $200 or more, from employees or affiliated PACs of EB parent General Dynamics, so far total $3,000 in the 2012 election cycle for Murphy, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. There have been none for McMahon, according to the latest filings.

Rep. Joe Courtney of the 2nd District is actually the big winner so far in Connecticut for Electric Boat-related contributions. In fact, Courtney ranks sixth in the nation for politicians getting money related to General Dynamics this cycle - $23,250 so far.

I'm sure the Crown family of Chicago, principal shareholders of General Dynamics and longtime supporters of President Obama, are happy with the Team Obama approach to submarines and, for that matter, all General Dynamics weapons systems.

Courtney and Murphy, Democrats who support each other, have been reliable cogs in that machine.

After all, since Obama has been in the White House, talk has actually turned from building not just the once-only-dreamed-of two submarines a year to suggestions of maybe building three. Wow.

Electric Boat's obvious satisfaction with Connecticut Democrats (a lot of them got General Dynamics money) makes Linda McMahon's shrill attack on Murphy's defense voting record all the more outrageous.

In one ad, McMahon criticizes Murphy for voting against an early version of a budget that had EB money in it. He wanted to protest the Obama Administration's Afghanistan spending. Of course he knew a final budget would fund EB.

Another ad says Murphy supports even more defense cuts.

Certainly that assertion must have caused snickers in EB offices, where they are banking on Team Obama and all the other reliable Connecticut Democrats, including Murphy, to keep their submarine-building machine humming.

Of course the McMahon campaign has proven over and over in its thorough saturation of Connecticut television airwaves that the truth doesn't really matter at all when you're busy reinventing a candidate, turning a ruthless chief executive of a company putting up drug-addled wrestlers as family entertainment into a warm and fuzzy grandmother.

Remember, this is a woman who not that long ago produced television programming in which her husband appeared with a woman on a leash, ordering her to bark like a dog.

And my favorite: The McMahons keep a speed boat in Florida named Sexy Bitch.

Probably the most egregious McMahon campaign lie to date is the one in which she accuses Murphy of cutting $716 billion from Medicare.

The money was actually $716 billion in savings for the Medicare system, coming from medical providers cutting their rates under approved discount deals designed under Obamacare.

And this lie about Medicare (the Democrats' move to save the system involved no reduction to benefits) comes from the same rich grandmother running on a party ticket with leaders supporting a move from Medicare to Vouchercare.

The Crown family of General Dynamics have been shrewd political lobbyists over the years.

Their strategy in the 1990s, to spread Seawolf submarine production work across different congressional districts, using work by subcontractors in more than 30 states, magnified the political fallout of cutting the program.

In the end, they spared the program from severe cuts by President George H.W. Bush and then Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney.

I suspect they must be impressed, if not aghast, at candidate McMahon's clever use of television in this campaign to divert, distract and distort.

And maybe they are wondering why Murphy, a reliable foot soldier in their own political army, can't seem to defend himself against one grandmother's relentless attacks.

This is the opinion of David Collins

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