It's Mischief Night tonight, and I hear the "Wild RINO". Linda McMahon has picked out her Halloween costume for tomorrow evening.
(Try not to scare Rahm Emanuel!, Linda)
One thing that Ms. McMahon is eager to portray is being the self-reliant hardscrabble businesswoman who rose to billions solely through single minded hard work and perseverance.
And just like the sport: Wrestling's fake. And so is the WWE's true committment to free enterprise.
That is, unless your definition of "free enterprise" includes sinking one's snout deep, deep into the public trough guzzling corporate welfare.
From the Journal-Inquirer.
A top aide to Republican U.S. Senate hopeful Linda E. McMahon today defended her company’s acceptance of millions of dollars in state tax credits, as both Republican and Democratic opponents pilloried her for what they called McMahon’s “stimulus package” and “taxpayer-funded bailout.”The attacks by former 2nd District Congressman Robert R. Simmons, the leading Republican seeking to unseat U.S. Sen. Christopher J. Dodd, and by a Dodd surrogate, state Democratic Party spokeswoman Colleen Flanagan, came after the state subsidies to World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. were reported Thursday by the Journal Inquirer.
The newspaper cited state records that show WWE has collected nearly $3 million in digital and media tax credits, most of which were issued just eight weeks before McMahon resigned her position as its chief executive officer to run for office.
Yep, Linda McMahon's immensely profitable wrestling empire gets subsidized by the Connecticut taxpayer, who are watching the income tax raised on the top bracket, public services reduced, and the state try and borrow its way through the recession. Indeed, unionized state employees even agreed to concessions, which is more than can be said about the state's would-be entertainment titans.
The apologists for the state's highly subsidized entertainment industry accuse McMahon critics of "jumping the shark" . You see, it was other politicians who wrote these lucrative credits into the law.
Sorry, none of them are spending millions denouncing bailouts when they run a profitable corporation that takes them themselves. It's "Happy Days" alright for the McMahon family, but the average CT taxpayers feels like they are in remake of "Jaws"
So the news media has concluded that Ms. McMahon, whose family controls the vast percentage of the WWE's stock, converted tax credits from the state into funds available for her campaign. Maybe this is a form of "public campaign finance"
But it gets worse.
Despite the fact that the WWE was very profitable notwithstanding the recession, shortly before she left her CEO post at the WWE Linda McMahon went on a frenzy of layoffs and cost-cutting intended to raise profit margins.
Jan. 9, 2009, 9:38 a.m. ESTMcMahon & Co. has announced that it is cutting 10% of its staff, which should result in annual cost savings of approximately $8 million. In exchange for that, the company will take a one-time charge of $3 million. WWE also noted that the company has completed an evaluation of its operating and capital expenditures and has identified "additional efficiencies." In short, more cost cuts are on the way. The company's ultimate goal is to trim $20 million from its expense structure in 2009.
I'm the last person to lambaste a business that cuts costs to stave off competition, or to stockpile cash, or to pay off lenders and creditors. And we are going to see a lot of very necessary cuts like that in Corporate America. But the WWE is essentially a monopoly in pro wrestling, they have consistently earned a profit and have $200 million in cash with virtually no long term debt.. So why the urgency to cut costs? Well, as I noted the McMahon family owns 70% of the WWE Let's apply 70% of the $20 million in cut costs; well that means $14 million inures to the McMahon family..
So,does the Wild RINO gets to finance most of her U.S. Senate campaign with "new money" without having to dip into the family fortune? Sure looks it.
McMahon's campaign has run a TV ad telling folks how tough it was for her and Vince starting out, even having to declare bankruptcy and losing their house starting their business.
Hey Linda, like that's special. Please.
What really sickens me is it appears she is paying for this ad using the extra profits she earned after firing over 60 Connecticut employees.
How many of those 60 WWE's employees are going to lose their house so their old boss can finance her U.S. Senate bid without dipping into the accumulated family fortune? In 2006 Joe Lieberman eviscerated the campaign of Ned Lamont after running this ad.
It's tough wearing a costume as a free market Republican and expecting people to believe you; Linda.
Especially when you destroy jobs, not create them . And collect subsidies. Not cut them.
We're onto the trick, Linda. You already got the treat.