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Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney and sports spending: From Olympics to the WWF

This is the business Rick Santorum freed from the shackles of state regulations in Pennsylvania.

Linda McMahon has claimed though she was not on the creative side of the business.

Former McMahon employees have criticized the company of not having a union, and one father of a deceased wrestler may have touched a nerve that brain damaged football players are beginning to talk about.

Michael Benoit, the father of Chris Benoit -- the wrestler who on June 24, 2007 killed his son and wife then hanged himself -- claimed in a Hartford Courant interview in May that the McMahons didn't take proper care of their employees and just used the wrestlers to line their pockets.

"My son, Chris Benoit, 40, was one of WWE's top superstars. In June 2007, our lives changed dramatically, when he tragically killed his wife, son and himself. The press jumped on steroids as the cause of his actions. But tests showed that brain damage in the form of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, or CTE, not steroids, was responsible for our loss. CTE, caused by repetitive trauma to the brain, can bring on serious disorders such as a loss of emotional control, addictions to drugs and alcohol, depression, aggressive and violent behavior."

This is the world Santorum helped create with his work as a lobbyist. It is a given that the NBA will not hold any fundraisers at Madison Square Garden for Rick Santorum. The NBA tried to help out of one the league's family members in the 2000 President campaign cycle. The league held a Bill Bradley fundraiser at Madison Square Garden.

Bradley received help at his Garden fundraiser from Kareem Abdul-Jabber, Bob Cousy, his onetime Knicks teammate and roommate Dave DeBusschere, Bill Walton, Bill Russell, three other Knicks teammates Willis Reed, Earl Monroe and Walt Frazier, Bob Petit, Oscar Robertson, Nancy Lieberman-Cline, Wes Unseld, Dolph Schayes, Elvin Hayes, Nate Archibald, Julius Erving, John Havlicek, Dave Bing, Billy Cunningham, Jerry Lucas, Rebecca Lobo and Grant Hill. Spike Lee had a courtside seat along with the actor Harvey Keitel. Tennis great John McEnroe and Pro Football Hall of Famer quarterback Joe Namath were there too. Namath, of course was New York's big star leading the Jets to a Super Bowl championship in 1969 at the same time that Bradley and his Knicks teammates became championship contenders.

Patrons were paying New York Knicks-type prices to enter the Garden as tickets for the fund raiser ranged from $100-1,000. The fundraiser put money in Bradley's campaign but ultimately it did not help as Vice President Al Gore beat Bradley and others to get the party nomination.

While Santorum continues to preach his vision of religion and family values on the campaign trail, Mitt Romney is now under attack for accepting government money to cover the costs of the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics. Romney ended up being the Salt Lake City committee boss after it was revealed that Salt Lake City Olympic Committee delegates bribed International Olympic Committee voters in the lead up to the awarding of the 2002 Winter Games.



 

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