Linda McMahon in 2010 CT Senate Debates


On Corporations: Businesses need regulatory certainty to risk hiring workers

Much of the debate focused on jobs. McMahon spoke of the need to provide businesses with "an environment of certainty" when it comes to regulations and taxes, so owners know whether they can risk hiring more workers.

Blumenthal said the government can do a better job providing financing and loans to businesses, as well as providing job training and targeted tax deductions for research and development, startup companies and firms that hire new workers. He also called for closing loopholes that allow U.S. companies to send jobs overseas.

McMahon, who used a clip from Blumenthal's response from an earlier debate about how to create a job, [in which Blumenthal stumbled over how government should be involved,] as a political ad, chided her opponent for improving his answer during this latest debate. "I'm very happy you have a notion on how to create jobs," McMahon said.

Source: NPR coverage of 2010 CT Senate debate Oct 12, 2010

On Jobs: Minimum wage increases harm small businesses

When accused by Blumenthal of spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to lobby against efforts to crack down on adult entertainment being marketed to children, McMahon said she was pleased the company's programming has become PG-rated and said "it's insulting to the millions of people who watch WWE" for Blumenthal to suggest "it is somehow less than quality entertainment."

Outside the debate, hundreds of supporters for both candidates tried to shout down one another. Blumenthal supporters, many representing local labor unions, brought a huge inflatable "fat cat" with the name tag Linda McMahon around its neck. The cat held an inflatable worker, which hoisted a sign that read: "Don't cut my minimum wage," a reference to McMahon's recent comments about how future minimum wage increases should be closely scrutinized to make sure small businesses are not being harmed.

Blumenthal criticized WWE accepting $10 million in state tax credits and later laying off 10% of its work force in 2009.

Source: NPR coverage of 2010 CT Senate debate Oct 12, 2010

On Principles & Values: Blumenthal insults millions of WWE viewers by dismissing WWE

Instead of putting an end to all the talk about steroids and the WWE, this debate re-energized the issue. Blumenthal brought up dead wrestlers, "the death clause," and steroids, slamming McMahon repeatedly on the history of her company. McMahon repeated her theme that this election is about jobs and that Blumenthal knows nothing about how to create them.

It didn't work. This will be remembered as another fight over WWE and McMahon's defense of her company's questionable behavior. "I have fought to protect children from abuse and neglect,'' Blumenthal said. "My opponent has marketed sex and violence to children. There have been seven dead wrestlers since she started this campaign.''

To this, McMahon replied that the "consequence of death is a ver sad thing... those consequences were not the result of ring performance."

McMahon concluded, "You can always change the channel. It's insulting to the millions of people who watch WWE each week to suggest that it is less than quality entertainment."

Source: Hartford Courant coverage of 2010 CT Senate debate Oct 12, 2010

On Drugs: 1989: WWE exonerated unanimously of steroid doctor misdeeds

Blumenthal reminded McMahon that during 1989, according to court records, McMahon alerted a doctor under contract with her pro-wrestling empire of an imminent federal investigation into steroids. Blumenthal said McMahon "tipped off the doctor who worked for her about a federal criminal investigation. She hired the doctor."

After the debate, a McMahon campaign spokesman challenged Blumenthal's assertion that McMahon had improperly tipped off a doctor about the steroids probe, saying, "WWE did not want to be associated with the doctor, and as is typically the case when a company wants to break any association with someone or dismiss someone, WWE provided cause. The doctor was not 'tipped off" to anything. And that memo that Dick Blumenthal invoked was entered into evidence at trial by prosecutors who made the exact same argument Blumenthal did. Twelve jurors unanimously rejected that argument, and WWE was totally exonerated without so much as calling a single witness."

Source: Connecticut Post coverage of 2010 CT Senate debate Oct 7, 2010

On Energy & Oil: Cap-and-trade is an energy tax

On energy policy, McMahon labeled her Democratic opponent a supporter of the cap-and-trade policy, which she described as an energy tax that will re-emerge under the Obama administration.

Blumenthal said he supported cap-and-trade in concept, but he rejected labeling it an energy tax. He called cap-and-trade legislation dead and said tax incentives should be directed toward fuel-cell and other clean-energy technologies.

Source: Wilton Villager coverage of 2010 CT Senate debate Oct 7, 2010

On Health Care: ObamaCare will increase costs; repeal it

On health care, Blumenthal labeled the legislation approved in Washington, D.C., earlier this year as a start to the reform of the nation's healthcare system. McMahon vowed to repeal the legislation, which she said will increases costs.
Source: Wilton Villager coverage of 2010 CT Senate debate Oct 7, 2010

On Jobs: WWE has created 20 jobs annually for 28 years

McMahon said that as a businesswoman she is better able to represent the state in the U.S. Senate because she has experience creating jobs and Blumenthal doesn't. "Over the last 28 years, WWE has averaged creating 20 jobs a year, primarily in this state. And I can tell you that's what we need more of," McMahon said. "We need someone who knows how to create jobs in the private sector so that we can have an economic recovery."

"She talks about creating jobs," Blumenthal said. "Many of the jobs she's created at WWE have no health insurance, the wrestlers and others are hired as independent contractors." Blumenthal said the WWE is under investigation by the state for allegedly classifying wrestlers as independent contractors, denying health insurance benefits and dodging taxes. "Creating those kinds of jobs, without health insurance is certainly not something that I would brag about," he said.

Source: Connecticut Post coverage of 2010 CT Senate debate Oct 7, 2010

On Tax Reform: Economy is fragile; don't raise taxes in a recession

McMahon confronted Blumenthal with his 1989 vote in the state Senate on an $850 million tax increase. "Let me remind you, when he was in the Legislature, one year he voted for an $850 million tax increase that affected middle-class Americans," said McMahon. "We're still paying for it today," said McMahon. "And he almost doubled state spending. We cannot afford another tax-and-spend senator in Washington. We can't afford you Mr. Blumenthal, we've had enough of you already."

McMahon said Blumenthal would allow many of the Bush-era tax breaks to end with this year's calendar, to which Blumenthal replied that the nation's wealthiest don't need them and that he would focus on helping small businesses.

McMahon said that the current economy is fragile. "I certainly want to say to everyone here that I believe that now in time of recession we should not raise taxes on anyone, certainly not on the middle class," she said.

Source: Connecticut Post coverage of 2010 CT Senate debate Oct 7, 2010

On Tax Reform: Don't raise taxes on anyone, including middle class

Blumenthal said, "I would not hold the middle-income tax cut hostage to a tax cut for the wealthiest 2 percent."

McMahon, in rebuttal, reiterated her position on tax cuts: "We should not raise taxes on anyone, certainly not on the middle class," she said. She painted Blumenthal as a career politician who, as a state legislator, voted for a record tax increase. "I don't think we can send Mr. Blumenthal to Washington with his tax-and-spend philosophy," McMahon said.

Source: Wilton Villager coverage of 2010 CT Senate debate Oct 7, 2010

On Foreign Policy: Sustainable 2-state solution in Israel; no settlement freeze

Q: What role should the US play in the Israeli-Palestinian talks?

BLUMENTHAL: I believe that a two-state solution is necessary. However, before this objective can be met it is essential that Palestinian leaders stop aiding terrorism. In addition, they must recognize Israel's right to exist as an autonomous nation with Jerusalem as its capital.

McMAHON: I support a sustainable two-state solution to the conflict. This is both essential to the survival & security of Israel as a democracy & a fundamenta American interest. Palestinians must guarantee Israel's security by stating any resolution is truly the end to all violence and that Israel should be recognized as the state of Jewish people. It is not the duty of the US government to dictate the terms o any negotiations. Consequently, I disagree with Pres. Obama calling for a settlement freeze. This decision only emboldened the Palestinians not to negotiate for peace and talks cannot begin if the terrorist organization Hamas remains influential.

Source: Connecticut Jewish Ledger coverage of 2010 CT Senate debate Sep 29, 2010

On Homeland Security: Terrorists only need to succeed once; we must succeed always

Q: Do you consider it good luck or good planning that we have not had a major terrorist attack on American shores?

McMAHON: Both. The terrorists only need to succeed once, while we must get it right every single time.

BLUMENTHAL: While I am thankful that there has not been a successful attack on American shores since 9/11/2001, real threats remain. It is therefore vital that we use both military and non-military methods to target and attack the terrorists where they are. This includes targeting Al Qaeda's organizations in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen as well as its affiliates like Al-Shabaab in Somalia. At the same time, we must do more at home to remedy the unacceptable flaws exposed in our homeland security, by improving information sharing, bringing together the best technology and the most effective management strategies to get people working across agencies, and to engage the private sector to collect, understand, and mobilize information in real time to improve our national security.

Source: Connecticut Jewish Ledger coverage of 2010 CT Senate debate Sep 29, 2010

On Immigration: More merit-based system for green card & citizenship

  1. Fulfill & strengthen our commitments on border security & interior enforcement.
  2. Require electronic Social Security cards to ensure that illegal workers cannot get jobs & thereby making verification simpler for employers.
  3. Modify & streamline the process for admitting temporary workers, if they are needed in an industry, i.e. new visa categories.
  4. Strengthen green card & citizenship requirements to a more merit-based system to ensure future citizens will help contribute positively.
    Source: Connecticut Jewish Ledger coverage of 2010 CT Senate debate Sep 29, 2010

    On Immigration: No amnesty; enforce immigration laws

    Q: What is your stand on the current debate surrounding the immigration issue?

    BLUMENTHAL: We need to establish a comprehensive, federal solution to our ongoing immigration problem. We must secure our borders, and crack down on employers flouting the law by hiring undocumented immigrants. Piecemeal approaches to fixing this problem by various states are not the answer--Washington must fulfill its responsibility by enacting a comprehensive solution.

    McMAHON: I oppose amnesty. I support legal immigration and I believe much of this country's strength and prosperity has come as a result of the immense contributions immigrants have made. We have historically welcomed the best workers and the best minds from every country, and I believe we should continue to do so provided it is done legally. We are a nation built on the rule of law, and immigration laws--like all laws--must be enforced.

    Source: Connecticut Jewish Ledger coverage of 2010 CT Senate debate Sep 29, 2010

    On Tax Reform: Make Bush tax cuts permanent or CT loses 8.500 jobs

    Q: Would you roll back the Bush-era tax cuts?

    BLUMENTHAL: I support extending tax cuts for the middle class. My opponent would vote against tax cuts for the middle class unless and until the wealthiest 2% get tax cuts too. I think that is wrong.

    McMAHON: I would make the current tax law permanent. Allowing the tax law to change as proposed would negatively affect our most successful small businesses and our seniors. It is estimated that $1.8 billion will leave the state and be in the hands of Washington politicians if the proposed tax increases go into effect. Only four states in the union will be hit harder than Connecticut. The tax hikes would significantly affect the economy in Connecticut, most notably in the number of jobs and change in personal income. From 2011 to 2020, the state of Connecticut would:

    Source: Connecticut Jewish Ledger coverage of 2010 CT Senate debate Sep 29, 2010

    On War & Peace: Support sanctions on Iran; keep all options on table

    Q: Do you believe the sanctions on Iran are proving effective?

    BLUMENTHAL: I support strengthening the current structure of sanctions on Iran, until it relinquishes its aspirations for nuclear weapons.

    McMAHON: The first, and most important, thing we must do is prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. The CIA has already declared that Iran is capable of producing nuclear weapons within the next few years. While I support building strong international support for sanctions, we cannot wait for the United Nations to enact further restrictions that Iran will simply ignore. I do support the enactment of the recent sanctions by the US and the European Union on Iran. However, with that in mind, I believe the US cannot allow those who would oppose or maliciously delay sanctions dictate the content or the timing of our efforts. The US should continue to exert pressure and press for hard sanctions against Iran until the threat is neutralized. All options in dealing with Iran must remain on the table.

    Source: Connecticut Jewish Ledger coverage of 2010 CT Senate debate Sep 29, 2010

    The above quotations are from 2010 Connecticut Senate Debates.
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    Page last updated: Nov 01, 2010