Republican Linda McMahon is asking House ethics watchdogs to investigate whether rival Chris Murphy used his position as a member of Congress to secure a sweetheart home loan from Webster Bank, a charge the Democrat's campaign terms "shameless."
The Republican Senate contender filed her complaint Friday with the Office of Congressional Ethics, calling for an investigation into Murphy's mortgage.
Webster Bank, which is based in Waterbury, issued a statement last week insisting that Murphy was treated the same as its other customers.
The ethics office is barred from making any recommendations to the House Ethics Committee within 60 days of an election. It would be up to the ethics office to decide whether McMahon's allegations rise to the level requiring a formal probe by the committee.
McMahon's campaign manager Corry Bliss wrote the following in the complaint:
"Congressman Murphy, leveraging his official position, was granted a generous home mortgage -- despite a long history of financial irresponsibility and shortly after defaulting on his existing home mortgage payments and being sued by the mortgage holder for foreclosure -- from Webster Bank, a bank he both regulates and voted to bail out."
Murphy spokeswoman Taylor Lavender responded, "Since Linda McMahon can't talk about her real record as CEO -- laying off Connecticut workers, while taking millions in taxpayer-funded credits and denying health care and disability to her workers -- all she's left with is for her campaign manager to file a desperate ethics attack filled with lies."
NOT GIVING UP
Campaign finance reform is on the minds of two state legislative leaders. On Wednesday, Sen. Gayle S. Slossberg, D-Milford, and Rep. Russ Morin, D-Wethersfield, are expected to announce support for a resolution asking Congress to overturn the Citizens United Supreme Court decision. The two are co-chairs of the Government Administration and Elections Committee.
GET AN AIRING?
Is Susan Bysiewicz supporting McMahon? Definitely not, though she does show up in Republican McMahon's mailer that recycles some criticism of Murphy that Bysiewicz made during their primary contest. During that race, Bysiewicz criticized Murphy for taking Wall Street contributions. The former secretary of the state now has endorsed Murphy.
Taking advantage of former rivals' criticism is standard operating procedure in today's take-no-prisoner campaigns. Chances are pretty good Murphy's ad team has squirreled away some of Chris Shays' comments about McMahon during the GOP Senate primary (she's "clueless," he said at one point).
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