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Thu October 25, 2012
McMahon Spends Money On The Ground In Hartford
Republicans don't generally spend a lot of time or money in Hartford. But as WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, Linda McMahon is trying to do both in her bid for the senate against Democrat Chris Murphy.
Evelyn Richardson is a Hartford Democrat.
But over the summer, she was a paid campaign worker for Republican Linda McMahon.
"And because I didn't have any income at the time, I was like, hey, none of the Democrats asked me and here go Linda McMahon offering me a job to feed my children. Of course."
"I was door knocking. I was passing out literature, I got told off by some of the Democrats in my community and everything. 'What you out here passing out stuff for Linda McMahon?' I said, 'You don't have to tell me who you're voting for. Somebody gave me a job to share this literature with you.'"
And, now, she kind of likes McMahon.
"There are some things that I totally disagree with her on. But, to be honest with you, sitting here today, I will admit that I am hard pressed to not vote for her."
Richardson is the beneficiary of what onlookers say is increased Republican spending in Hartford...something Democrats have done for a long time
Mike McGarry is the city's Republican Town Chairman. He says McMahon is hiring a lot of people to do a lot of work. And he says Republicans who normally ignore Hartford are wrong to do so.
"You must spend time and effort in the cities even though you know you're only going to get a percentage of the vote. Those votes count as much as a vote in Farmington.."
Steve Harris is a Democrat and former councilman. He's seen McMahon workers on the streets since the summer, and that's not normal.
Harris: It's a payday.
Cohen: And why is that?
Harris: Because people don't have jobs. There are a lot of people where this campaign cycle becomes employment for them. And Linda McMahon obviously has deep pockets. I mean I see her pumping money in. I don't know what the result of that is going to be. I don't think she's going to do very well in Hartford.
But the bar isn't terribly high. Two years ago, about 18,000 people in Hartford voted in her senate race against Democrat Richard Blumenthal. McMahon got fewer than 2,000 votes.
For WNPR, I'm Jeff Cohen.