WWE Board Member Lowell Weicker Takes Responsibility for Everything Except Being a WWE Board Member

I see that Lowell Weicker, Connecticut’s lion in winter, has been fairly effective with his latest shoot-from-the-lip nostalgia tour and curmudgeonly charm offensive.

Hartford Courant columnist Rick Green writes that “we could use another Lowell Weicker in the governor’s office.” See “Lowell Weicker Is Back On The Scene With A Lot To Say,” http://www.courant.com/news/connecticut/hc-green-weicker0713-20100712,0,7750450.column.

And Dennis House, the host of WFSB’s Face the State, challenges cowardly critics of one of Weicker’s legacies, the state income tax, to raise their voices if they have alternative policy proposals. See “Why has no one stepped up to challenge Weicker?”, http://dennishouse.wordpress.com/2010/07/13/a-challenge-to-find-a-guest-for-face-the-state/.

Look, folks – I don’t live in Connecticut and I don’t know the history of its income tax. If I did, I’m pretty sure I would have supported Weicker’s work in that area. I might even have admired the body of his career in the Senate and the governor’s mansion.

But in the 2010 campaign season, we don’t need the lionization of Weicker. He talks a good game on health care reform, but he has served on the boards of directors of corporate parents of the U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company. Of course, he’s also a founding director of the publicly traded incarnation of Stamford-based World Wrestling Entertainment, whose profits are now bankrolling the Senate campaign of its former CEO, Linda McMahon, to the tune of $50 million.

In his Courant column, Green writes that Weicker defends WWE, which he calls “family entertainment,” and praises McMahon. “But he says that McMahon has made a fatal mistake in embracing her party’s opposition to health care reform.”

Green does not appear to have pointed out to Weicker that the debate over whether WWE is family entertainment is a false one, distracting from the real rap on Linda McMahon. Green certainly does not record that Weicker has made his own “fatal mistake” is associating with and collecting stock options and dividends from the leader of an industry responsible for scores of avoidable worker deaths.

Until Weicker is willing to take responsibility for his own role in public health – as represented by the occupational health and safety standards of a company which he nurtured and from which he now profits – I don’t advise anyone to pay attention to his bloviations about the unwillingness of Connecticut’s current generation of political leaders to make hard choices.

Irv Muchnick

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