Political Capitol

Brian Lockhart covers the Connecticut General Assembly in Hartford

Ex-WWE employees in anti-McMahon mailers just stock photos

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Over the past month AFSCME People, the political action arm of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, has been mailing eye-catching campaign literature to Connecticut voters deciding between Democrat Chris Murphy and Republican Linda McMahon for U.S. Senate.

The mailers regurgitate talking points Democrats and their allies in organized labor have been using against McMahon, a former professional wrestling executive, since her first bid for Senate in 2010. They point out that when she was still involved in the family-owned World Wrestling Entertainment empire, she was a cold-hearted corporate exec, slashing jobs to line her own pockets.

What makes AFSCME People’s ads so distinctive is the use of real people and the implication the folks pictured actually got pink slips from WWE.

I phoned AFSCME and WWE because, despite the fact she’s been pursuing office for three years, McMahon’s former employees have for the most part remained mum on the subject of how she ran the company. Sure the occasional disgruntled wrestler has spoken out, but people who worked in WWE’s offices in Stamford and were sent to the unemployment line have sat on the sidelines.

WWE spokesman Brian Flinn after reviewing the mailers last week told me, “To the best of my knowledge none of these people have ever worked for WWE and they appear to be actors.”

Actually, not even actors. Stock images, according to AFSCME People.

“Just like Linda McMahon’s professional ‘wrestling’ shows, political mail is designed to elicit an emotional reaction,” AFSCME Assistant Political Director Seth Johnson said in a statement. “Just because the images on our mail are representative of the hundreds of workers whose livelihoods Linda McMahon destroyed, it doesn’t make them any less ‘real’ as a campaign message.”

Two years ago in her race against Democrat Richard Blumenthal, McMahon produced mailers featuring veterans furious over Blumenthal’s misstatements about Vietnam. What wasn’t mentioned was the fact most of the angry vets were also politically active in local Republican politics.

Categories: General
Brian Lockhart

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2 Responses

  1. BettyFawcett says:

    Perhaps AFSCME was not able to find any former, disgruntled employees. WWE is a good, solid company that pays its employees well and most of them are probably satisfied. Former employees could have left the company for a variety of reasons, but AFSCME mischaracterizes McMahon as a cold-hearted CEO, who slashed jobs and was only out for her own well-being.

  2. Steve R says:

    To bad you could not have done all this investigative work into Murphy’s business past. Oh wait, he does not have a business past since he is a career politician. Grow up Brian and realize there are many people in CT with vIews other then yours and we need a reporter who will be fair to both sides. If you can’t do it then either get someone who can or get a reporter to give an opposing view. Then will many of us who do not and will not subscribe to the post come back and read it.

    You have become the most bias newspaper in the state. What happened to fair and balanced journalism? Long gone. CT POST you should be ashamed at your coverage. You were so much better when you were the Bridgeport Post. At least you represented the cIty which was full of democrats.