Connecticut State Democratic Party chair Nancy DiNardo has raised the first peep this year against once-and-future Republican U.S. Senate candidate Linda McMahon. But if the Dems expect me to be impressed, they’ll be disappointed.
McMahon is appearing at a get-out-the-vote rally for Republican State Senate candidate Robert Kolenberg. In a press release, DiNardo says “Kolenberg shows his true colors” by spending the final days of the campaign with McMahon and the losing Republican candidate for governor in 2010, Tom Foley. The former, DiNardo adds, “made millions through a business that promoted steroid abuse and degraded women.” (The statement doesn’t even name Kolenberg’s Democratic State Senate race opponent, State Representative Carlo Leone.)
It’s all well and good that Democrats oppose Linda McMahon, but more than two years after her entry into public life, it might be time for them to do a little something about Linda McMahonism, as well. Those of most familiar with Vince and Linda McMahon’s highly profitable and influential World Wrestling Entertainment marketing machine are dubious that its most pressing public-interest problems can be reduced to campaign slogans about steroid abuse and degradation of women. For example, there’s the little issue of industrial death, caused by absence of occupational health and safety standards and regulation, and by the misclassification of WWE’s main revenue-generating assets, its wrestlers, as independent contractors.
When he takes office on March 1, Connecticut’s new labor commissioner, Glenn Marshall, will inherit a Labor Department audit of WWE’s classification practices, which both rob the cash-strapped state government of payroll taxes and deprive the death-defying talent of employer-provided health care, vacations, pensions, and other benefits. Why don’t Democratic chair DiNardo and candidate Leone speak out on that one?
Meanwhile, from Washington, I am not aware that new U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, who defeated McMahon last year, has said or done anything about any WWE-related issue since taking office. And there are several such issues, reaching all the way to how the company’s medical director, also a National Football League contract doctor, has helped spearhead the denial of the seriousness of the national athletic brain-trauma crisis. For details, follow this blog.