McMahon puts $4.5 million more into race

WASHINGTON-Republican Linda McMahon threw another $4.5 million into her bid for U.S. Senate in the first two weeks of October, bringing her total investment to $46 million, new campaign filings show.

McMahon pumped more money into her Senate bid in just the first 13 days of October than Gov. M. Jodi Rell spent on her entire gubernatorial campaign in 2006. Rell spent about $4.1 million on that contest.

The latest round of campaign reports also show that McMahon’s Democratic opponent, Richard Blumenthal, has increasingly turned to his own bank account to fund his campaign.

Blumenthal, who until recently had relied on traditional donations in his race against the self-funded McMahon, loaned his campaign $1.75 million in early October. That comes on the heels of a $500,000 loan Blumenthal made to his campaign in the 3rd quarter.

McMahon has vowed to spend as much as $50 million of her own fortune in the Senate race, and her latest report shows she is on track to hit that target.

Through Oct. 13, her campaign had spent nearly $42 million, compared to $6.2 million spent by Blumenthal so far this election. In the first 13 days of this month alone, McMahon, the former World Wrestling Entertainment CEO, spent more than $2.3 million, or about $178,000 a day.

In that short window, McMahon doled out more than $1 million to her media consultant, Scott Howell & Co., for ads, along with $786,000 for printing and postage for her campaign mailings, and $50,000 for polling services.

Her campaign is sparing no expense when it comes to smaller items either. Her report shows the campaign spent $66,000 on campaign T-shirts; $30,000 on campaign bags; and $22,000 on campaign buttons.

A new analysis by the Wesleyan Media Project at Wesleyan University says McMahon’s campaign accounted for $5.2 million of the $7.4 million spent on Senate race TV ads from Sept. 1 through Oct. 7, according to the Associated Press

An AP review of political advertising contracts at Connecticut’s network affiliates shows McMahon is likely to continue dominating the airwaves right up to the Nov. 2 election.

Blumenthal raised about $225,000 from individuals and political committees in the first two weeks of October, his campaign filing shows, compared to about $20,000 in individual donations collected by McMahon.

And Blumenthal spent about $1.77 million in the first 13 days of this month, or about $135,000 a day.

In total, Blumenthal has raised about $7.6 million this election cycle, including his $2.25 million in loans. McMahon has raised about $675,000 in donations, on top of her $46 million personal investment.