Hartford – New finance reports show that Republican U.S. Senate nominee Linda McMahon has poured a total of about $78 million of her own fortune in this year's race and her unsuccessful 2010 Senate bid.
The wrestling entertainment magnate has loaned or contributed nearly $28 million to her current campaign, including $14.7 million between July 26 and Sept. 30, the latest period covered in the Federal Election Commission filings.
McMahon has throttled down her "burn rate" from her debut campaign. Her personal spending in this campaign is $14 million below what it was at this point in 2010, records show.
McMahon spent $50 million in that first Senate race. She lost by 12 percentage points to former state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat.
Her new opponent, Democrat Chris Murphy, reported receiving a total $8.7 million in contributions in this campaign. Murphy, a lawyer with a checkered financial history of late rent, mortgage and car tax payments, has not made any loans to his campaign.
The winner Nov. 6 will succeed Sen. Joe Lieberman, a former Democrat who is retiring.
"Just like she did in 2010, Linda McMahon is spending tens of millions of dollars that she made at the WWE selling sex and violence to children to fund her desperate campaign of lies, smears and attack ads," Murphy's campaign spokesman, Eli Zupnick, said in a statement today.
McMahon's campaign has a different interpretation of the latest spending numbers.
"Unlike Congressman Murphy, Linda McMahon can't be bought by special interests," McMahon's campaign spokesman, Todd Abrajano, said in a statement.
"During his six years in Congress, however, Chris Murphy has made it clear that if you've got the checkbook, he's got your back.
"Whether it was voting for a $400 million bailout for his hometown bank in return for campaign contributions or sponsoring legislative amendments for the insurance industry in return for nearly $20,000 in PAC money, Congressman Murphy is always open for business," Abrajano added.
McMahon, who stepped down as WWE's chief executive officer in 2009, reported $309,455 in outside contributions to her campaign during the July 26 and Sept. 30 reporting period, bringing that total to $974,578so far for 2012.
Of her campaign's $29.3 million in total receipts this race, nearly 95 percent came from McMahon herself.