Murphy responds to latest series of lies from McMahon

Another day and another misleading, dishonest ad from Linda McSham's campaign hits the airwaves.

The Chris Murphy for Senate campaign debunks the nonsense.

This afternoon the Murphy campaign is releasing a new video responding to more of Linda McMahon's desperate and misleading attacks that lie about Chris Murphy.  The new video highlights serious questions that remain unanswered about McMahon's own past, highlighted by her decision to gamble on shady tax shelters and shaky stunts which ultimately led her into bankruptcy which allowed her to skip out on paying creditors.  McMahon frequently cites her bankruptcy story on the campaign trail but with no real details about the actual proceedings.

McMahon's attacks on Murphy have already been discredited ever since she began launching them last week. The Hartford Courant wrote that there is "no evidence" to back up McMahon's claims and multiple experts have agreed that "available evidence does not support her allegations."  One publication also noted that McMahon's attempt to make hay out of this issue was nothing more than a cheap "publicity stunt." 


"Linda McMahon can't talk about her record so she has resorted to cheap attacks that have already been discredited as lies," said Taylor Lavender.  "Even more troubling than McMahon's inability to tell the truth are the unanswered questions about her past. The fact is that she gambled on shady tax shelters and shaky stunts, filed for bankruptcy so she didn't have to pay back her creditors, and has since refused to come clean.  She owes voters some answers and should come forward with all the details of her shady bankruptcy," added Lavender.

You can read more below the fold...

FALSE ATTACKS AND LIES:McMahon Launches More Smears and Distortions To Try and Hide Her Record of Hurting Workers and Putting Her Profits First


FACT: Linda McMahon Continues to Use False, Negative Ads Filled With Lies to Hide Her Extreme Right Wing Agenda, And Record of Hurting Others to Help Herself

Hartford CourantEditorial: McMahon "Makes No Apologies...For Clearly Being Out Of Her Own Interests."  McMahon "minimizes her own [vulnerabilities] - lax drug policies and degrading imagery at the company she and her husband own - as byproducts of the entertainment business. The unflappable Mrs. McMahon makes no apologies for a fortune earned from fake fights in a bawdy ring. Or for clearly being out for her own interests - lower taxes and less regulation - which, she would argue, Calvin Coolidge-style, are good for creating jobs in the worst times since the Great Depression...But she doesn't have Mr. Blumenthal's depth or breath of knowledge on essential matters such as foreign affairs and the law. She has avoided straight talk on issues such as Social Security, which isn't sustainable on its current path. (Mr. Blumenthal also avoids straight talk by saying Social Security 'seems to be financially on strong ground right now' and opposing 'any reduction in the present Social Security commitment.') She has a spotty history of voting in elections." [Editorial, Hartford Courant, 10/24/10]


"McMahons Have Become Known For Hard-Nosed Tactics And Have Been Accused Of Putting Profits Ahead Of The Well-Being Of The Wrestlers."  On July 16, 2010, the New York Times reported that "over the past quarter century, Vince and Linda E. McMahon have built the W.W.E. from a small regional operation into a $1.2 billion empire operating in 145 countries. But along the way, the McMahons have become known for hard-nosed tactics and have been accused of putting profits ahead of the well-being of the wrestlers who attract millions of fans with their daredevil stunts and cartoonishly sculpted physiques." [New York Times, 7/16/10]


McMahon Called Financial Reform "Ridiculous," An "Overreaching By The Government," And Said It Would Put "Regulation In Place That We Just Don't Need." "Linda McMahon is a petite and friendly woman with that magnetic smile that political consultants crave. But when she starts talking about the Democrats' financial reform package, she gets a bit of an edge in her voice. 'It's 2,300 pages. It's just, I think, ridiculous,' she said in an interview with The Daily Caller. 'It's overreaching by the government...It's putting regulation in place that we just don't need. And it's just a typical government solution.'" [Daily Caller, 7/11/10]


New York TimesEditorial: McMahon Made "Lots Of Money By Running...A Noisy, Demeaning Business" And "Her Policy Positions, When You Can Discern Them, Are Remixes Of Failed Trickle-Down ideas." "We have larger concerns with the Republican, Linda McMahon. She made her name and lots of money by running World Wrestling Entertainment, a noisy, demeaning business. Her policy positions, when you can discern them, are remixes of failed trickle-down ideas. She has aligned herself with groups that oppose the minimum wage - even though she now says she would not cut this meager safety net. She essentially expects voters to take it on faith that she will do as well in government as she did in spectacle wrestling. She is ready to spend as much as $50 million of her own money to win the race, but she does not seem ready to take on the issues of war, the economy, public welfare and justice in Washington." [Editorial, New York Times, 10/13/10]

FALSE ATTACK:McMahon Claims Murphy Skipped 80% of Meetings

FACT: McMahon's Attack On Murphy's Record Is Blatantly False

Rick Green: Accuracy Not Key to McMahon Attacks - Murphy Hasn't Skipped 80% of Meetings. Wrote Rick Green of the Hartford Courant, "Accuracy is not an essential part of this deconstruction formula. For the record, Murphy hasn't skipped 80 percent of the meetings "for his job." McMahon's jobs plan is as much of a work in progress as Murphy's. (Notably, she declines to say how she would pay for the tax cuts at the center of her proposal.) Murphy also leads a bipartisan initiative looking for compromise in Congress. This is a simple and classic marketing recipe: Say something so many times that people will believe it." [Hartford Courant, 9/10/12]


FACT: Murphy Has a Strong Voting Record and Has Been an "Outstanding Congressman" For Connecticut

Murphy Voted on 97% of Votes Held while in Congress. []


August 2012: News-Times: "Chris Murphy Has Been an Outstanding Congressman..."According to an endorsement editorial in the News-Times under the headline, "Murphy Deserves Support of Voters," "Chris Murphy has been an outstanding congressman for the people of the 5th District for the past six years, and we believe he would be the best and strongest candidate the Democratic Party could put up for the US Senate seat from Connecticut in the fall election...He has proven himself to be a hard-working, conscientious public servant who devotes himself to representing his district's interests and providing strong constituent service. In an era of bitter partisan bickering in Congress, Murphy has distinguished himself for his ability to get along well with members of both parties and his leadership of the Center Aisle Caucus that aims to bridge the gap between the two major parties." [News-Times, 8/5/12]


The Day Editorial: Murphy "Most Effective If Elected..." According to an editorial in the Day, "the main concern for Democratic voters should be choosing the candidate who will make the stronger general election contender and be most effective if elected to the Senate. We believe that candidate is Congressman Chris Murphy..." [The Day, 8/5/12]

FALSE ATTACK: McMahon Attacks Murphy For Rent And Mortgage Payments

FACT: Murphy Immediately Paid Bills When He Realized They Were Outstanding

Murphy Has Been Clear: When He and His Wife Realized Mortgage and Rent Weren't Paid, They Paid the Bills.Wrote the editorial board of the Hartford Courant, "On Friday, Mr. Murphy elaborated, first on the 2007 mortgage. He said it was a hectic time in both his personal and professional lives. He got engaged in 2006. He had been paying the bills, but as he prepared for marriage, he and his fiancee, Cathy Holahan, began sharing the fiscal duties. Meanwhile, he had just been elected to Congress from the 5th District and was spending considerable time in Washington setting up a congressional office and doing the other things a new member must do. The couple had two mortgages on the home, one for $180,000 and another for $22,500, both initially from Webster Bank. He said the smaller loan was kept current, but the larger went unpaid for several payments, until its new owner, Chase Home Finance, began a foreclosure action. What happened, he said, was that he and his wife - they married in 2007 - each thought the other was paying the mortgage, so neither paid it. He said when they realized their mistake, they contacted the bank and paid the bill...On the rent question from 2003, he said he had an "overloaded work schedule," serving in the legislature during the day and doing legal work at night, and somehow got behind in the rent. He said when it was pointed out to him, he paid it." [Hartford Courant, 9/8/12]


Hartford Courant: Neither of These Cases is a Big Deal. Millions of People Have Had Similar Problems. Wrote the editorial board of the Hartford Courant, "There is no evidence that Mr. Murphy received preferential treatment. If he didn't, then neither of these cases is a big deal. Millions of people have had similar problems. Indeed, Ms. McMahon faced foreclosure on her West Hartford home in the 1970s and filed for bankruptcy to discharge her debts. Mr. Murphy at least paid his." [Hartford Courant, 9/8/12]


FACT: Instead of Paying Her Bills, McMahon Used Bankruptcy to Dodge Debt, Stiff Her Creditors

McMahons Filed for Bankruptcy with a Million Dollars of Debt. According to an article in the Connecticut Post under the headline, "McMahons' bankruptcy a murky chapter in her rags-to-riches tale," "The couple filed for personal bankruptcy...after amassing...about $1 million in debt." [Connecticut Post, 10/1/10]


CT Post: "What McMahon Does Not Advertise Is The Fact That Some of That Debt Was Racked up by An Investment in a Spectacularly Bungled Stunt by Motorcycle Daredevil Evel Knievel." According to an article in the Connecticut Post, "The couple filed for personal bankruptcy...after amassing...about $1 million in debt. What McMahon does not advertise is the fact that some of that debt was racked up by an investment in a spectacularly bungled stunt by motorcycle daredevil Evel Knievel." [Connecticut Post,10/1/10]


 Vince McMahon: "I Got Involved with People...and Let Them Tell Me that I Needed Tax Shelters." Playboy asked Vince McMahon in 2001 about his "first fortune" and how he "promptly went bankrupt."  Playboy asked, "[y]ou owned horses, had diversified investments. What happened?" McMahon said, "[i]t was visions of sugarplums. It was, 'Look how successful I am! I guess I really am somebody.' I got involved with people who weren't that bright and let them tell me that I needed tax shelters.  There was a construction company, a horse farm, a cement plant, and it all went belly-up. I felt bad about the bankruptcy. I wanted to pay what I owed, but there were other people involved, and finally the banks wrote it all off." [Playboy, 2/1/2001]


2012: McMahon Campaign Confirmed McMahons Did Not Repay Bankruptcy Debts.According to an article in the New Haven Register, "the records of the bankruptcy no longer exist, but the (McMahon) campaign...confirmed...that the McMahons did not repay their old debt." [New Haven Register, 9/7/12]


 2012: Hartford Courant: "McMahon Declined a Request for an Interview..."According to an article in the Hartford Courant, "In her campaign narrative, multimillionaire US Senate candidate Linda McMahon has often invoked the hardship of losing her home and filing for bankruptcy more than 35 years ago. But details have been scarce, and records of the bankruptcy itself are hard to come by...McMahon declined a request for an interview..." [Hartford Courant, 5/20/12]

The Day Column: "I Get An Answer from the McMahon Campaign, But Didn't Hear Back..." According to a column by David Collins in the Day under the headline, "The McMahons, now wildly rich...have refused to say exactly how deep in debt they were when they filed for bankruptcy or how much their creditors lost at the time. And recently, the McMahon bankruptcy got even murkier, with a new interview on the Daily Beast website that suggests the McMahons went bankrupt in Maryland...I get an answer from the McMahon campaign, but didn't hear back from messages asking for a clarification." [The Day, 9/19/10]


CT Post: "Linda and Vince McMahon's Personal Bankruptcy...Is A Mystery the Candidate Herself Has Steadfastly Refused to Clarify." According to an article in the Connecticut Post, "Linda and Vince McMahon's personal bankruptcy, a key element in the rags-to-riches tale propelling her surging candidacy for the U.S. Senate, is a mystery the candidate herself has steadfastly refused to clarify." [CT Post, 10/1/10]

FALSE ATTACK: McMahon Falsely Claims Murphy Didn't Pay His Bills, But Got a Loan Normal People Couldn't Get

FACT: Experts and Editorial Boards Across Connecticut Agree - McMahon's Attacks On Murphy Loan "Nonsense" With No Evidence To Support Them.

HEADLINE: "McMahon claim a false start"[Connecticut Post, 9/12/12]


Connecticut Post Editorial: McMahon Claim "Nonsense," "Without a Shred of Evidence or Even a Shred of Logic to Support It."Wrote the editorial board of the Connecticut Post, "One of the many joys of football is the respite it provides from the nonsense of that other fall season: the political campaign. Nonsense like U.S. Senate candidate Linda McMahon's claim that her opponent got a fishy loan from a bank in exchange for a vote to help said bank, without a shred of evidence or even a shred of logic to support it." [Connecticut Post, 9/12/12]


Connecticut Post Editorial: "Mortgage and Credit Risk Professionals Agree There Was Nothing Questionable About the Loan." Wrote the editorial board of the Connecticut Post, "First, the home-equity agreement: What the McMahon camp neglects to say is that by the time Murphy received the line of credit, he had paid what he owed in the earlier matter, gotten married and his household income had more than tripled. Under those circumstances, mortgage and credit risk professionals agree there was nothing questionable about the loan." [Connecticut Post, 9/12/12]


Hartford Courant Editorial: "There Is No Evidence that...Murphy Received Preferential Treatment...Millions of People Have Had Similar Problems." According to an editorial in the Hartford Courant, "There is no evidence that Mr. Murphy received preferential treatment. If he didn't, then neither of these cases is a big deal. Millions of people have had similar problems. Indeed, Ms. McMahon faced foreclosure on her West Hartford home...and filed for bankruptcy to discharge her debts. Mr. Murphy at least paid his." [Editorial, Hartford Courant, 9/8/12]


Danbury News Times Editorial: McMahon's Charges Were "Overblown." "U.S. Rep. Chris Murphy has admitted to lapses in his financial past. But a charge of political corruption, made in an ethics complaint filed by his political opponent, appears overblown. Murphy, a Democrat running against Linda McMahon for a U.S. Senate seat, fell behind on payments -- in 2003 on the rent for an apartment in Southington, and in 2006 on the mortgage on his house in Cheshire...A number of financial experts have said the interest rate of 4.99 percent Murphy got from Webster in 2008 on the credit line was good, but not extraordinary... And, as the bank pointed out, Murphy's interest rate was still a percentage point higher than the 3.99 percent that Webster offers its best-rated customers." [Editorial, Danbury News Times, 9/12/12]


CT News Junkie: McMahon Complaint on Murphy Mortgage Called a Publicity Stunt.According to an article in CT News Junkie, "Unhappy with how the Hartford Courant editorialized...Chris Murphy's brush with foreclosure and failure to pay his property taxes and rent, his Republican opponent...filed a complaint with the Office of Congressional Ethics...But the complaint...may be more of a publicity stunt since the Office of Congressional Ethics can't forward the complaint to the Office of House Ethics 60-days before an election. But that technicality didn't deter the McMahon campaign from filing the complaint." [CT News Junkie, 9/10/12]


 CT Post: "Experts Agreed Available Evidence Does Not Support Her Allegations the Congressman Got a Sweetheart Deal or Engaged in a Quid Pro Quo..." According to an article in the CT Post under the headline, "Experts: Murphy's loan deal not unusual," "While US Senate candidate Linda McMahon is making a federal case out of opponent Chris Murphy's home equity line of credit from Webster Bank, experts agreed available evidence does not support her allegations the congressman got a sweetheart deal or engaged in a quid pro quo arrangement with the bank. [CT Post, 9/12/12]


Finance Professor: "I Don't See Anything Here." "I don't see anything here," said finance professor Michael Tucker of Fairfield University's Dolan School of Business. [CT Post, 9/12/12]


CT Post: Experts Agree: Terms of Murphy Loan Reasonable. "Experts contacted for this story...supported Murphy's defense that...the terms of the home equity loan Webster granted in July 2008 were reasonable..." [CT Post, 9/12/12]


Webster Bank: No Sweetheart Deal for Murphy. According to an article in CT Post, "Webster Bank...produced additional evidence that an official said refuted Republican Linda McMahon's claims that...Murphy received a special deal when he obtained a home equity line of credit. The bank said it reviewed 775 lines of credit issued at the same time as Murphy's and found that his interest rate was almost in the middle of those loans...a handful of experts with experience in the mortgage and banking industries told Hearst that, based on available evidence, Murphy's deal was not exceptional." [CT Post, 9/13/12]


Webster Bank: "Congressman Murphy Consistently Met the Terms of All of His Agreements with Webster." According to an article on, "Webster Bank is denying that...Murphy got special treatment on a home loan... 'The first mortgage and home equity loans conformed to all underwriting guidelines, were approved with no exceptions and were priced in line with the prevailing market rates and terms. Webster refinanced...Murphy's home equity loan into a home equity line of credit in 2008, again with no exceptions and at market rates and terms...Congressman Murphy consistently met the terms of all of his agreements with Webster." [, 9/7/12]


Bank Showed Murphy's Rate Was Significantly Higher Than the Best Rates the Bank Offered. Reported the Connecticut Post, "Webster said the 4.99 percent interest rate was well above the 3.99 percent rate enjoyed by the bank's most credit-worthy customers. The bank also noted real estate values generally had risen between 2005 and 2008. On Thursday Webster spokesman Sarah Barr produced a bank advertisement she said ran during the summer of 2008. The ad offered rates as low as 1.01 percent under what she said was the thenprime rate of 5 percent. The ad appears to have been from September, but the rates, according to the advertisement, dated back to late April. "At 4.99 percent the Murphy's were 1 percentage point higher than our best advertised rate," Barr said." [Connecticut Post, 9/13/12]


Webster Bank Said Murphy's Rate Was Right In the Middle of Applicants With His Credit Profile.Reported the Connecticut Post, "Barr also said that from mid-June to mid-August, 2008 Webster approved 775 lines of credit at rates ranging form 3.49 percent to 6.99 percent. "When you look at only applicants with credit profiles similar to the Murphy's, the rate spread was 4.74 to 5.24 percent. The loan for Murphy and his wife was right in the middle," she said." [Connecticut Post, 9/13/12]

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