Linda McMahon Spent $100 Million to Lose Twice

Chris Murphy, the next senator from Connecticut<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/christophermurphy/6999639872/sizes/m/in/photostream/">ChrisMurphyCT</a>/Flickr


On the last day of her campaign, Linda McMahon got desperate. The former wrestling exec and GOP senate candidate in Connecticut, who has sunk at least $42.6 million into her latest campaign, engaged in a series of misleading tricks that seemed intended to dupe voters into believing she was a Democrat.

Ultimately, it wasn’t enough. The blue lean of Connecticut was too great for even McMahon’s vast fortune to overcome, and Rep. Chris Murphy, a 39-year-old liberal Democrat, will replace retiring Sen. Joe Lieberman (I) in the Senate come January. Between this campaign and her last losing bid, in 2010, McMahon has now spent a cumulative total of nearly $100 million of her own money in pursuit of federal office. That is more than any other American in history.

Republicans who want to take something good out of the McMahon situation might point to the fact that her spending forced the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee to spend money supporting Murphy. That money could have otherwise been spent in closer races in less-blue states. But that’s not much comfort compared to the rejoicing progressives will feel after replacing Lieberman with a young, charismatic, liberal.

There’s no Senate election in Connecticut in 2014. So if McMahon wants to spend even more of her money in pursuit of a Senate seat, she’ll have to wait—or move.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

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It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

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We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

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Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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