Updated: Tuesday, 23 Mar 2010, 7:20 PM EDT
Published : Tuesday, 23 Mar 2010, 5:07 PM EDT
Stamford, Conn. (WTNH) - Former WWE/CEO Linda McMahon has surged to the top among Republicans in the most recent public opinion poll with a nearly non-stop advertising campaign and extensively reaching out to party activists. But pro-wrestling investigative author Irvin Muchnick thinks Connecticut voters should take a closer look at McMahon's tenure as head of World Wrestling Entertainment .
In his book, "Chris & Nancy," Muchnick details the death of WWE superstar Chris Benoit; his suicide/murder of his wife and seven year old son was one of the most sensational crimes of the year in 2007.
Benoit was one of over 20 wrestling ring stars who died that year before their 50th birthday.
"WWE and Linda McMahon created the atmosphere and the working conditions that have caused many, many deaths in the industry of which the Benoit one was just the most dramatic and heinous example," Muchnick said.
"All of those super stars, who are independent contractors, if they're injured or hurt in the ring, they're well cared for," McMahon said in a January 12th interview. "There's a health and wellness policy in place."
Meanwhile, Muchnick said the "wellness" policy is not one that can be taken seriously.
"WWE has what they call a 'wellness policy' and it's a joke," said Muchnick. "The fact of the matter is they had no steroid testing at all between 1996 and 2006."
And that, Muchnick says, combined with brain trauma from undiagnosed frequent concussions, may have contributed to many of the deaths.
"My former company, I'm no longer the CEO there, certainly has always had the health and well being of the men and women who perform at WWE in there, you know, it's a top priority," McMahon said in her January 12th interview with News Channel 8.
Muchnick continued his argument and said, "By any reasonable definition, these performers are employees, not independent contractors. They can't go work for another promotion, they're totally controlled schedule-wize and otherwise by WWE and they should be better taken care of by WWE."
A spokesman for the McMahon campaign told News Channel 8 that they have decided to ignore Muchnick; that voters are more interested in her plans to help the economy.
"The great thing about her candidacy for the Senate is that it is yet another platform for people to look at, what I think, is a public health nuisance," Muchnick said.
Muchnick is starting his first East Coast tour promoting his book. He's going to be in Stamford, the home of the WWE, later in the week and in Farmington over the weekend.