Political Capitol

Brian Lockhart covers the Connecticut General Assembly in Hartford

T.R. Rowe’s endorsement: Proof WWE is not hurting Linda McMahon’s candidacy

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Who is T.R. Rowe and why is his endorsement today of Republican Linda McMahon’s U.S. Senate candidacy important?

McMahon has come under fire over the past several months because of her family business, Stamford-based World Wrestling Entertainment.

Although WWE defends its current programming as PG-rated, it’s not hard to search the Internet and find plenty of previously released WWE-related content that would make even some adults wince (like a wrestler who happens to be McMahon’s son-in-law simulating sex with a corpse.)

And then as we and other newspapers and media outlets have reported there have been ongoing questions/controversies about steroids in professional wrestling, deaths in wrestling and WWE’s health and wellness policies.

McMahon and WWE have defended the company’s wellness policies and McMahon, while admitting the programming has occasionally pushed the envelope, argues it is soap opera and entertainment.

Former U.S. Congressman Rob Simmons, who is vying with McMahon for their party’s nomination to challenge anticipated Democratic candidate Richard Blumenthal, is convinced he can use the WWE to his advantage. His campaign this week launched a new video on Youtube entitled “Really Sick” highlighting WWE’s “violent and sexually degrading content.”

But this afternoon the McMahon camp released an endorsement from state Rep. T. R. Rowe, R-Trumbull

Some of you who are not from Rowe’s district are saying “so what?”

Rowe is a strict Catholic and social conservative. When McMahon first entered the public arena as a nominee for the state Board of Education in early 2009, Rowe was one of the very, very few legislators and even fewer Republicans who voted against her in part because of her affiliation with WWE. In other words, just the sort of Republican you think would be receptive to the Simmons’ campaign’s attacks on McMahon and the WWE.

I spoke to Rowe this afternoon about the endorsement, which also comes as a vocal McMahon/WWE critic, California-based author/blogger Irv Muchnick, is garnering publicity for visiting Connecticut to promote his book on the 2007 murder/suicide case involving WWE wrestler Chris Benoit.

“There were two Republicans who voted against her (for state school board) and I was one of them,” Rowe said. “My ego’s not that big that I think people care much about where I stand, but I think your instincts are probably right. And it wasn’t an endorsement I came to lightly by any means. I was troubled at the time about a lot of the background issues and, frankly, I still am.”

But, Rowe continued, “Republicans have a chance to win this seat and Linda’s the best, most viable candidate. And on the social issues she’s open-minded and in Connecticut sometimes that’s all you can ask for.”

Rowe is quoted in the McMahon camp’s press release as recognizing the two have different opinions over abortion but crediting McMahon’s “support for banning partial birth abortion and requiring that minors notify parents before obtaining an abortion.”

In the release Rowe also states McMahon “will do what is necessary to get her message out” and “her successful business background is a strong asset and will serve Connecticut and the nation well.”

Simmons may still be able to convince social, family values conservatives disturbed by the WWE brand that he is the better candidate, but Rowe is proof that McMahon can win them over despite any wrestling baggage.

Categories: General
Brian Lockhart

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6 Responses

  1. Mike says:

    This is just more proof that people are for sale. TR lost a lot of respect from me.

  2. pajo says:

    I totally agree with Mad as Hell Not going to take it anymore…

    I have two questions: the first question is for Linda McMahon and the second is for women who are now supporting her (I also think these questions should be asked publicly, by either McMahon’s opponents or by the press):

    1. To McMahon: How do you really feel about having made your millions while WWE performers died from drug abuse during your reign as CEO, and why did you suspend your so-called drug screening policy for 10 years? (your so-called drug-screening policy which has also been evaluated by medical experts as being a joke, full of loopholes!).

    2. To self-respecting CT women: How can you even think of supporting Linda McMahon when so much of the WWE’s programming degraded and sexually exploited women, and also sent very disturbing messages to thousands of impressionable adolescent males that it was OK to think of women as brainless dogs, to be sexually abused?…and I don’t buy the canned answer from McMahon spokespersons that WWE programming was just a “soap opera”, and nothing more.

    As a former teacher, I think it is a public disgrace that McMahon sits on the CT State Board of Education and is also on the board of trustees at Sacred Heart University, and I’m not alone in my feelings…who’s going to be appointed next, someone with a lot of money from organized crime?

    I know that McMahon feels she can buy her way into (or out of) anything she wants, but I also feel that when intelligent CT voters are shown the real truth, her ratings and candidacy will plummet badly, in spite of her money and phony propaganda.

  3. Mad as Hell Not going to take it anymore says:

    This lady will make a great senator.

    Really?

    This is the same lady that built an empire on encouraging drug use?

    That wrings every last drop of blood sweat and tears from her employees. When there is nothing left to take, the victims are cast into a waste bucket and dismissed from any moral responsiblity nor human emotion of compassion.

    This is the same lady that has never voted in her life?

    This is the same lady that dropped out of high school?

    This is the same lady that bought herself a seat on the state board of education and than clossed vital education facilities?

    Check that again, CLOSED A VITAL SCHOOL for Fairfield County students.

    If she really cared, she had the power and the resources to not shutter Wright Tech, in fact if she really cared, she would have had a construction crew out at Wright tech last June to up grade the deperately needed education facility.

    Its called walking the walk.

    The lady had the cash to make one call and make it happen.

    Did she make, any call?

    No she ducked and covered and sent the blond boombers down to stamfords west side shamefully parading boobs and butt to the childern.

    This was supposed to be a prmotion to inspire kids to read?

    Flashing boobs is inspiration?

    Hey, lets see if this steriod queen has the chutzpah to go in a slums and see the damage. Lets see her come into the schools and see for herself how bad things are.

    Litmus test 4 Linda.

    Please explain the process of legislation.

    Ok thats alright its a high learning curve for you at your age, we know.

    Can you tell us, what, exactly, does a senator do?

    Ok, dont worry you will have aids to explain it using crayons on a big white board. Eventually you will pick up some feel for the job.

    Here is one you should be able to ace.

    Can you tell us what S/M means?

    Significant parts of the populace is not educated in this field but this is your niche. Whats its all about? The power? The rush of crushing another skull? Maybe its the whips and chains or the degradation of human beings?

    Yep, Linda will be a perfect fit in D.C.

    Linda losing?

    50 million bucks, buys alot of influence, even in D.C.

  4. Full Disclosure says:

    David Pia is spot on in his comments. Linda McMahon will make a GREAT U.S. Senator. Well said.

  5. David Pia says:

    As a personal friend of T. R. Rowe, I assure you that there is nothing “fishy”. Mr. Rowe is a man of honor and integrity. He was honest enough to make the statement; “I was troubled at the time about a lot of the background issues and, frankly, I still am.”

    He went on to state that Mrs. McMahon is the best candidate to bring this seat back to Republicans. Nothing there but honest sentiment.

    I have had the privilege to meet Mrs. McMahon several times; in fact we were both at a Republican function last night. Say what you will, but Mrs. McMahon is an incredibly smart lady, she has proven that she knows how to run a business. Mrs. McMahon will be a huge asset in turning our economy around, her track record is proven.

    Connecticut has tried to balance our books with 50 lotteries and games of chance. The “daily number” is now a twice daily event. Our state gladly takes revenue from the casinos. It’s been proposed that we add Keno and increase the availability to purchase alcohol, all for more money. Gambling and alcohol have become acceptable forms of revenue. What’s next? Who are any of us to question the integrity of this successful businesswoman or dedicated and honorable State Representative?

    Mrs. McMahon’s credibility should not be tarnished because she was the successful CEO of an entertainment corporation. She is a success story and has earned every dime she has, she and her husband should be commended for their business ability, not jucged for the content.

    Mr. Rowe’s impeccable reputation should not be questioned for his endorsement.

    David Pia
    Trumbull, CT

  6. KingofThreeLakes says:

    Hogwash. Something very fishy with this endorsement and it makes no sense for Rowe to jump on the McMahon bandwagon now. Both are Catholics and I smell a Sacred Heart Univ connection here. If Linda McMahon becomes our next senator, CT voters replace Minnesota residents as the laughingstock electorate in the U.S. Al Franken is still worse, but.. it’s freaking Linda McMahon. Come on!