In Conn., Murphy slams McMahon over WWE record
NEW HAVEN, Conn.—Democratic U.S. Rep. Chris Murphy, trying to take the offensive in his Connecticut Senate campaign against Republican former wrestling executive Linda McMahon, released a new television advertisement Wednesday accusing McMahon of laying off workers while her company took millions in tax credits.
Murphy's ad also accuses McMahon, former chief executive of WWE, of denying health care to workers.
"McMahon laid off workers while taking millions in tax credits. Denied them health care," the ad says.
But WWE, formerly known as
Murphy's campaign said McMahon laid off 10 percent of her work force in 2009 and then received about $10 million in tax credits designed to create jobs.
"Since day one, McMahon has been running on her record as a 'job creator,' but the truth is that McMahon is a job killer," Murphy spokeswoman Taylor Lavender said in a statement.
McMahon's campaign, which has inundated the airwaves with commercials attacking Murphy, continued to slam him on what it called a sweetheart home loan deal he received. Murphy and the bank that issued the loan denies that accusation.
"This new ad from Chris Murphy is just a desperate attempt to distract from the issues that come to light in his campaign," said McMahon campaign spokesman Todd Abrajano.
WWE said after reducing its work force by 10 percent, the tax credits helped the company expand its work force by almost 30 percent in the past three years.
WWE said Wednesday the layoffs were due to the economic downturn. In 2009 when the layoffs were announced, McMahon said various cost-cutting measures would enable the company to implement a digital strategy and an international expansion "in a more profitable manner."
Murphy released the ad as a national Democratic group is contributing $320,000 for television advertisements to help him that also focus on McMahon's record at WWE, including the layoffs.
The advertising campaign comes as polls indicate a close race in the Democratic-leaning state. McMahon, a Republican, has used her wealth to saturate television with advertisements.
McMahon spent $50 million of her own money on a failed Senate run in 2010 against then-attorney general Richard Blumenthal. She has lent or contributed nearly $16 million to her 2012 campaign.
Murphy, who is in his third term representing Connecticut's 5th Congressional District, has raised less than $6 million, according to financial reports.
A Quinnipiac University poll released last month showed the race is close, with McMahon getting 49 percent support to Murphy's 46 percent among likely voters.