Archive for September, 2010

Background on Roll Call Expose of Linda McMahon’s Lie About Lobbying


Did Linda McMahon’s WWE Do No Federal Lobbying in 2009 — Or Just Not Report Any?“, January 19, 2010 —

K&L Gates: We Did No Washington Lobbying on Behalf of WWE in 2009,” January 20, 2010 —

No WWE Lobbying? Why, Rick Santorum Handled the Account!”, April 8, 2010,

‘Worse Than Minimum-Wage-Gate’: Linda McMahon Lied About Lobbying $$$

Roll Call just broke a huge new story on video of Linda McMahon telling a gathering of tea party supporters in Waterbury in April: “I have not spent lobbying dollars in Washington.”

The Roll Call report notes that disclosure records show that World Wrestling Entertainment, the company McMahon headed, spent at least $680,000 in Washington lobbying from 2001 through 2008.

McMahon spokesman Ed Patru said McMahon “probably could have been more precise.”

The Capitol Watch blog of the Hartford Courant commented on Twitter, “Roll Call story on McMahon’s lobbying statements could prove far more damaging than minimum wage-gate.”

The link to “McMahon Video Contradicts Lobbying Record” (full text available to subscribers only) is

NEXT: Full background from this blog’s coverage of WWE lobbying.

Irv Muchnick

Reviewing Today’s Developments: Linda McMahon Is Uninformed and Lame on the Minimum Wage, and She Calls WWE ‘A Small Business’

Nothing is inevitable – not one of the many deaths of wrestlers employed by Linda McMahon; nor her misspeaking on the Connecticut Senate campaign trail in a way that would get everyone’s attention.

But today was the day the latter finally happened.

A few hours ago I was chatting with a respected journalist on the ground there, and we both expressed amazement that this was all unfolding without McMahon’s opponent, Richard Blumenthal, lifting a finger.

“The dude should be holding a presser in front of some blue-collar diner at 5 p.m. today,” the journalist said.

Late today Blumenthal’s spokeswoman, Maura Downes, emailed a statement to Daniela Altimari of the Hartford Courant: “Linda McMahon laid off ten percent of her workers and takes home $46 million a year so it’s no surprise she’s thinking about lowering the minimum wage. Connecticut’s families are hurting and  Linda McMahon puts her own profits ahead of people of Connecticut. That’s not the kind of U.S. Senator the people of Connecticut need.”

I don’t know if this defines the extent to which way Blumenthal intends to pounce, or if he’s letting the controversy build and simmer until he can confront McMahon directly at next Monday’s debate, or what. In a few days we’ll have a sense of whether the task of defeating the Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in Connecticut can any longer be entrusted to her opponent or to the Democratic Party.

The arc of today’s events, from my personal perspective of course, is captured on Twitter:

Why are the hardest-hitting Linda McMahon stories not getting play in Connecticut? —

More material for Connecticut media seeking “traction” on Linda McMahon’s death mill:

Richard Blumenthal has strong foundation for making Linda McMahon’s record as WWE’s CEO the focus of Monday’s debate:

Flap over her position on the minimum wage may prove to be a rare misstep by Linda McMahon, the ultra-disciplined corporate machine.

Linda McMahon, WWE ‘independent contractor’ death merchant, wobby on national minimum wage (good work by @thetrough):

“Linda McMahon weighs lowering minimum wage” — weighs in & McMahon spokesman spins like a top:

Thx, @ctcapitolreport, for Linda McMahon “WATCH” clip — but what world needs to see is her original statement, not just “walking it back”

Hartford Courant’s Rick Green: “Linda McMahon Steps In It. Her $$$taff Jumps Into Action” …

Linda McMahon “minimum wage” transcript proves she said what she meant and she meant what she said:

Hey, Linda McMahon, the “human bullet point” — Next time just say, “Discussion of minimum wage cuts belongs in the legislative arena.”

LINDA McMAHON: “WWE IS A SMALL BUSINESS.” See the link to the video at

Irv Muchnick


McMahon makes the remark around the 5:45 mark of this video:

Also in this news conference is the full exchange in which McMahon discusses her position on the minimum wage. Earlier links today at this blog report on and have the transcript of that portion.

Irv Muchnick

Linda McMahon ‘Minimum Wage’ Transcript Proves She Said What She Meant and She Meant What She Said

Ted Mann of the New London Day has posted the full transcript of Linda McMahon’s original remarks about the minimum wage at a news conference. The link is

When asked by Mann, “… Would you argue for reducing the minimum wage now?”, McMahon said:

“We have got minimum wages in states, we have got minimum wages in the [federal] government, and I think we ought to look at all of those issues in terms of what mandates are being placed on businesses and can they afford them. I think we should get input from our business community. We should listen to our small business operators and we should hear what it is they have to say and how it’s impacting their businesses and make some of those decisions.”

Connecticut Columnist: ‘Linda McMahon Steps In It. Her $$$taff Jumps Into Action’

From the blog of the Hartford Courant‘s Rick Green:

P.S.: Linda McMahon on the Minimum Wage

Ben Smith of weighs in. And Linda McMahon campaign spokesman Ed Patru spins like a top:

“McMahon weighs lowering minimum wage”

Linda McMahon, WWE ‘Independent Contractor’ Death Merchant, Is Wobbly on the National Minimum Wage

McMahon said she didn’t know if anyone at World Wrestling Entertainment, the company of which she was CEO until her campaign began, is paid the minimum wage. And the candidate would not say whether she believes Connecticut’s minimum wage — $8.25 per hour — was too high, or onerous on state businesses.

“You know, guys,” she said, “I’m just not going to comment anymore on that.”

“McMahon: Congress should consider lowering minimum wage”

by Ted Mann

Richard Blumenthal Has a Strong Foundation for Making Linda McMahon’s Record as WWE’s Chief Executive the Focus of Monday’s Debate

It’s going to take an electronic crowbar, but I’m trying mightily to extract the politicos’ heads from their asses for just a second here.

In their usual way of promoting superficiality and frivolousness as supreme values – all the while pretending to bemoan the superficiality and frivolousness that have overtaken our world – the mainstream media have made their Connecticut Senate narrative du jour the despair or panic in the Richard Blumenthal camp in the face of Linda McMahon’s seeming dead heat in the latest polling.

That is no more accurate or fair than it would be to write that Blumenthal has conducted a good campaign to date.

The truth is that for all his negative momentum, Blumenthal still has plenty of time to introduce Connecticut voters to the real Linda Edwards McMahon, a merchant of death of such callousness as to almost defy belief.

I don’t blame newcomers to the history of World Wrestling Entertainment for taking a while to wrap their minds around this sordid tale. But the debate next Monday in Hartford marks the start of a new season, and Blumenthal has plenty of “Raw” material to work with – whether the so-called smart set realizes it or not.

In his under-noticed blog post today, the hardworking Brian Lockhart of Hearst gives the full treatment to the endorsement of McMahon by the National Federation of Independent Business. See “Linda McMahon scores backing of biz group,”

It’s all there: WWE’s record on health care … the state investigation of its independent contractor chicanery … all tied together by the sort of nugget that makes wonks swoon – this business group’s rather funky position on lowering or eliminating the minimum wage.

If he plays it smart, Blumenthal still will have every opportunity to frame the debate in ways that put McMahon on the spot. And he can do so without sacrificing his own dignity, which seems to be an inordinately high priority for Harvard undergrad/Yale Law people.

Meanwhile, as the echo chamber reverberates with nonsense like how one of Linda’s stupid TV commercials landed on Gawker’s weirdo list, there were two new solid pieces published today, outside Connecticut, on Linda McMahon’s accountability for the body count in her company and industry. Will outlets within the state add value to the public’s education on this between now and Monday night? Or will they hide behind “been there, done that”?

Irv Muchnick

More Material for Connecticut Media Seeking ‘Traction’ on Linda McMahon’s WWE Death Mill

“Linda McMahon’s Body Count”

by Dave Zirin

Irv’s Tweets

September 2010