Pro Wrestling Since 1997


Former Long-Time WWE Employee Rips Linda McMahon

From Jay Simola:

Tom Buchanan,Former Lead Photographer for The WWF/WWE from1987-2001 posted via Facebook his thoughts and opinions on Linda McMahon’s political aspirations.They are not pleasant…

Tom Buchanan

(Caution: Extended POLITICAL POSTING about Connecticut…please do not read any further if politics, and the future direction of our nation offends you.)

It’s time for me to weigh-in on the Connecticut Senate Race in which Linda McMahon is challenging Representative Chris Murphy. If you are a Connecticut voter I hope you will hear me out, and if you find my comments interesting I hope you will share them with your friends and neighbors. I live in Vermont now, but for about 14 years I worked for Linda McMahon at WWF/WWE (1987-2001). She has done well as the CEO of a professional wrestling company, and Linda is nice enough in person, but based on my direct and personal experience I think she would be a terrible selection as a United States Senator. Please let me explain why.

First, we need serious people in the U.S. Senate who have legislative experience and an ability to work quietly to craft compromise legislation. Linda has no such experience. She has worked exclusively as a chief executive at her own company where she is accustomed to telling subordinates what to do, and always getting her way. Compromise is simply not part of Linda’s experience set, and she has made no effort to gain that needed skill and experience. She could have served as a state senator for a few years, or even served as an elected city or county level official, but she doesn’t seem to have an interest in the nitty-gritty skills required of a successful legislator.

Second, we need quiet Senators who have a demonstrated ability to work with others, and not seek personal glory. The United States Senate already has an abundance of famous rich people stoking their egos and unable to get along, or to even try to reach consensus. Linda McMahon is a self-styled celebrity executive worth hundreds of millions of dollars, and that is exactly what we don’t need any more of in Washington.

Third, Linda McMahon has twice sought to purchase the Senate seat by using her extraordinary wealth to buy name recognition and organizational support. In her 2010 campaign she spent a reported $50 million, and she’s spending lavishly again now. In every state there are outstanding legislators who have distinguished themselves over many years, but these experienced and successful legislators have been dissuaded from running for national office by the need to raise vast sums of money to compete with millionaire wannabes. Linda’s approach is troubling because she is using money in place of experience, but also because it intimidates good citizens with relevant experience, driving them away from politics and inflicting long term harm on the democratic process itself.

Forth, Linda McMahon has shown very little business success beyond the wrestling world, and in the wrestling world her success is as much a credit to the creative enterprise of her husband as it is to her own business dealings. Linda’s flagship company, WWF/WWE, has excelled in recent years, but most of her business interests beyond wrestling have failed miserably. WWF/WWE tried to move into professional football by launching the XFL, but even with the buy-in of NBC Television that effort fell flat. She tried to develop a franchise around professional bodybuilding with a company called World Body Building Federation (WBF), but after two years and many millions of dollars, the effort was shuttered as a failure. Part of the bodybuilding project was a TV show called Bodystars and a nutritional supplement called ICOPRO, but both of those side efforts quickly collapsed in an embarrassing pile of financial rubble. Linda also made an effort to break into the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) with two cars and a professional support team, but that lasted just a couple of years before the company slammed head-first into a marketing and financial crash-and-burn. Linda tried to redevelop a hotel complex in Las Vegas as a WWF themed attraction, but there too the company was in over its head, and when the project bogged down Linda shrugged and silently walked away from the expensive fiasco. And Linda took a very hands on approach to creating a restaurant franchise with a splashy flagship in Times Square, but it was an abysmal failure wrought with poor management and embezzlement, and it imploded with a balance sheet dripping brilliant red ink. Linda has even tried to muscle the company into Hollywood movies, but hasn’t had much success in that venue beyond the occasional film driven by wrestling talent and promoted on the existing wrestling programs. In short, Linda McMahon has shown financial success with the core wrestling product, but just about every time she has stepped outside of the wrestling business she has failed miserably. That’s a bad record to bring to the management of the United States of America.

Fifth, WWE has faced near-bankruptcy on several occasions and only made it through the periods of collapse by blind luck, and with the hard work and sacrifice of its staff. It might be alright for an executive to risk the bankruptcy of a business, but we need Senators who won’t risk the bankruptcy of the nation. Linda has shown time and again that she is willing to risk it all, and too often that risk has ended in failure and ruin.

Sixth, when Linda ran for the Senate in 2010 she proudly boasted to her corporate shareholders of slashing the company workforce, while at the same time the company was swimming in profit and the McMahon family was extracting dividends worth tens of millions of dollars. Her long standing loyalty to wealthy shareholders above hard workers is deeply disturbing, and not the kind of leadership that will serve the interests of most Americans.

Seventh, when WWF/WWE shifted from private ownership to a public company valued at more than a billion dollars, Linda granted free stock to family friends, but provided her long time employees with worthless ‘offering price’ options that granted no value whatsoever for their years of hard work. It was those workers who struggled through one downturn after another, and who helped the company claw its way from near bankruptcy to a billion dollars in value, but Linda kept the profits for her own family and gave the workers no piece of the enormous value they had created. Linda has consistently enriched herself at the expense of the workers, and has consistently failed to pass along meaningful value to the line-workers who create that wealth. We need United States Senators who recognize the contributions of workers, and who understand the importance of rewarding work over wealth. Linda is demonstrably not that person.

I could keep going with paragraph after paragraph critiquing Linda McMahon’s lack of appropriate experience, lack of a relevant skill set, and lack of meaningful support for the workers who have made her very, very rich. But I won’t.

Look, Linda McMahon is a pleasant person and I enjoyed working with her, but her business experience is limited; she has failed at just about every enterprise outside of the wrestling industry; she has hoarded vast profits for her own family while shutting out her workers; she has slashed the company workforce even while rolling in profits; and, in spite of a lifetime of opportunity she has failed to gain any direct relevant government experience that will translate to success in the United States Senate.

When voters go to the polls in Connecticut they need to play the role of a Human Resources Hiring Manager. From that perspective Linda McMahon is a fine person and she certainly has a nice professional presentation, but her resume is completely lacking in the relevant job skills, and her experience is heavy on failure and light on success. She has had ample opportunity to gain the requisite experience but hasn’t made any effort to do so, and clearly doesn’t deserve to waltz into the United States Senate simply because she is a passable actress with a nice smile and a fat checkbook.

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16 Responses

  1. dave kilgore says:

    This guy is just a bitter Dem. First, we don’t need quiet Senators. We need people to stand up for what’s right. Second, he wants to complain about money she spent, her own money? Third, she at least has experience whereas our current president has none.

  2. Jaaon says:

    Dave, you do know she is not running for president right? He had very good points. She has no political experience and horrible business experience. Two pretty important skills required for the senate seat. But she has money, all that republicans care about, even when our country has none.

  3. Scott says:

    Only read part of it, and though I wouldn’t vote for Linda if I lived in Connecticut, the guy sounds like sour grapes

  4. SimpleMark says:

    I have no problem with Linda McMahon or whether she wins her election. But, he campaign is a perfect example if what’s wrong with our political system in this county. From the President down to local mayors.. A very small percentage of people go into politics to actually “make a difference”. It’s all about the money and how much they can make while they’re in office. Why else would Linda McMahon spend 50M of her own money to win a job that pays 174,000/ year?? Just doesn’t add up..

  5. me says:

    With all the risks she takes, she has gained a tremendous amount of experience in each venture. She’s never been bankrupt and if she has been close then all that means is she knows how to regain success in hard times. Donald Trump has been extremely wealthy, bankrupt, and then extremely wealthy again. Its all about mindset and I would much rather have a person that knows how to get everything back after “almost” losing it, than a person that accepts defeat and never takes a risk again. If you don’t believe in the power of a good mindset then read the book “Secrets of the Millionaire Mind.” A successful person is a successful person, it takes big risks to get big rewards. Failure leads to success in a different way. The important thing is she makes the effort.

  6. Bobbo the Destroyer says:

    @ bah: Obama has no experience. He only has a bunch of titles under his belt for jobs he never really did. his whole senate career consists of non votes, except when it came to the question of raises…

  7. vicvenom says:

    this is absolutely well said. Couldn’t agree more. Good for him.

  8. -J- says:

    ahh politics and opinions…remember when pro wrasslin was fun?

  9. Jake Allen says:

    Dem or Repub support aside, the McMahon’s throughout their business history have always shown a lack of interest for their staff’s well beings. So, what would make anyone think that her being in office would somehow change the fact that they treat their wrestlers like cattle and only move to take care of former talents and staff when the positive publicity would better suit them?

    This guy has said nothing that doesn’t sound out of the ordinary about all of the news I have ever read about the McMahon’s for the past fifteen years. And he doesn’t sound bitter at all; just be warned and don’t be a sheep to money and potential power and our government might actually be a good one for a change.

  10. ROB_MOR says:

    @Scott – read the whole thing before saying he sounds like “Sour Grapes” … he’s being quite positive considering the critique.

    @SimpleMark – she wants to break into politics because it’s en vogue. Think about what all of her rich friends will think of her once she buys her senate seat.

    @me – I think you’re missing the piece on humility. It’s hard to be humble and free market capitalism doesn’t really promote that skill.

    @-J- – I hope you’re joking because wrasslin’ business has always been about politicking, but I am sure you’re being sarcastic =]

  11. Scott says:

    Rob, I tried to read the whole thing, it just seems like one big bash. He might be right, but it just, for me, it falls into a category of “tl;dr”

    Plus former employees of anything usually seem to have nothing good to say, legit or otherwise. I tend to take anything a former employee says with a grain of salt.

  12. dave says:

    You all bore me. The only coherent and logical argument has come from the main story.

    I’m not American but none of what I’ve read in the comments has been a shining tribute to the USA

  13. Keenan.T says:

    God Bless Canada. I agree with this guy though. Definitely has no business in the legislative halls of America.

  14. ROB_MOR says:

    I hear you, Scott. I just think it’s difficult for any past employee to deliver a critique that is both balanced and soaked in humility. It takes a lot for a person, be it a former employee or not, to construct such an organized set of reasons to not vote for someone. Props to this guy, the author, and anyone else that is thinking critically about the debate provided here.

    Also, it’s taking everything in my power to not Mr. Trololo dave, whom isn’t a stakeholder in this argument at all. dave (sic), do me a favor and resist your urge to engage in correspondence if you have nothing on the line here.

  15. Din says:

    Tom Buchanan would be right in his analysis if Linda McMahon had a different opponent, but the guy she’s running against is a partisan, tow-the-line, talking points democrat.

  16. king o'p4in says:

    ok i live in connecticut, and chris murphy did the world a great service by getting nancy johnson out of congress. murphy is accessible and interacts well with people. is he the best candidate? no, but he has experience in washington and is willing to work with others to come up with solutions to problems, which is far more than i can say for linda. i honestly would rather have joe courtney or rosa delauro run for that senate seat, but what can you do. blumenthal beat her last time and people will realize she is selfish and despite murphy’s problems, he will win the senate seat. this race is mimicking 2 years ago and i know most of you can care less about ct politics, but linda is the wrong choice for ct, plain and simple.

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