Politics Digest

Politics Digest: WWE's Linda McMahon Runs for Dodd's Senate Seat

The House ethics committee voted to extend its review of allegations against Reps. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and Sam Graves (R-Mo.), above, as well as Rep. Jesse L. Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.).
The House ethics committee voted to extend its review of allegations against Reps. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and Sam Graves (R-Mo.), above, as well as Rep. Jesse L. Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.). (Laurence L. Levin - Laurence L. Levin)

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

CONNECTICUT

Wrestling Impresario Enters Senate Race

World Wresting Entertainment chief executive Linda McMahon entered Connecticut's Republican race for U.S. Senate on Wednesday, adding a celebrity element to a contest that promises to be among the most competitive in the country.

"Washington is out of control, and sadly, Senator Chris Dodd has lost his way and our trust," McMahon said in a statement. "I can't sit by on the sidelines anymore knowing that I have both the experience and the strength to stand up to special interests and bring badly needed change to Washington."

McMahon is half of the husband-and-wife duo who run the wrestling empire out of Stamford, Conn. Those familiar with her candidacy say she will spend heavily from her personal wealth. McMahon plans to take no cash from political action committees or special interests and is limiting private donations to her campaign to $100 -- the sort of pledges that only wealthy candidates can afford to make.

McMahon joins former congressman Rob Simmons, former ambassador Tom Foley and state Sen. Sam Caligiuri as Republicans running for the chance to unseat Dodd. Investor Peter Schiff, who served as an adviser to the presidential campaign of Rep. Ron Paul (Tex.), is likely to run as well.

Dodd is among the most vulnerable senators up for reelection in November 2010, although a new poll conducted by Research 2000 for the liberal blog Daily Kos suggests that the Democratic incumbent may be gaining ground.

-- Chris Cillizza

HOUSE

Ethics Panel Looks At 3 Lawmakers

The House ethics committee announced that it is investigating Reps. Sam Graves (R-Mo.), Jesse L. Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) and Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), fresh evidence that the chamber's disciplinary process has been ramped up since the creation last year of an office to vet allegations against lawmakers.

The Committee on Standards of Official Conduct made its actions known in three statements, revealing that its 10 members -- five Republicans and five Democrats -- voted unanimously Tuesday to extend for 45 days its reviews of allegations against Graves and Waters. The investigation of Jackson was already public knowledge, but the committee said Wednesday that it would halt that probe for the time being, at the request of the Justice Department. All three cases were referred by the year-old Office of Congressional Ethics to the committee for further consideration.

The probe of Jackson stems from allegations, the committee reported, that he "may have offered to raise funds" for then-Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) in exchange for Jackson being appointed to fill the Senate seat vacated by President Obama.


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