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Expert: McMahon, Murphy’s Plans For Jobs In Connecticut Aren’t Original

Rep. Chris Murphy and Linda McMahon (credits: Chris Murphy for Senate, Linda McMahon for Senate 2012)

Rep. Chris Murphy and Linda McMahon (credits: Chris Murphy for Senate, Linda McMahon for Senate 2012)

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MERIDEN, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) — In the race for the open U.S. Senate seat in Connecticut, Republican Linda McMahon and Democratic U.S. Rep. Chris Murphy have been touting their dueling plans to increase jobs.

But many of their ideas have been floated by others during the campaign season this year, and it is doubtful that either of their entire proposals would become law if they were elected.

Like Murphy, U.S. Rep. Shelley Berkley, the Democratic Senate candidate in Nevada, says she’s “fighting to rebuild America’s manufacturing base while ending unfair loopholes and taxpayer giveaways that encourage U.S. companies to ship jobs overseas.”

And like McMahon, state Sen. Joe Kyrillos, the Republican Senate candidate from New Jersey, promises he will work to “cut taxes on job-creators” and lower the federal corporate tax rate from 35 to 25 percent.

Other Democratic Senate candidates across the U.S. have joined Murphy in pitching renewable energy, education and job training, and reinvesting in infrastructure as ways to add jobs. Meanwhile, other Republican Senate candidates back McMahon in pushing to extend the President George W. Bush-era tax cuts for wealthier individuals, saying now is not the time to raise taxes on anyone.

“These plans are not original with Murphy or McMahon, nor should they be,” said Ronald Schurn, a political science professor at the University of Connecticut. But he said elements in both candidates’ plans could ultimately “be the construct of a Republican or Democratic set of plans” for improving the nation’s economy and job picture.

“There’s not a single thing that I see in the Murphy plan that Democrats by and large would not support, and there’s nothing in the McMahon plan by and large — that I can see that the Republicans would not support,” he said.

McMahon’s jobs plan — a glossy, 14-page book — has been the centerpiece of her campaign. Distributing it to voters by the thousands, the former wrestling CEO has used her Reviving the Economy: Linda’s Plan to Put America Back to Work,” as the key selling point for her candidacy, promising middle-income families a $500-a-month tax break and an end to “job-killing regulations” and “corporate welfare.”

Schurn said one reason McMahon has made her jobs plan a key component of her campaign this time — McMahon ran for Senate in 2010 but lost to now-Sen. Richard Blumenthal — is that it helps her “establish herself as a credible candidate focused on issues.”

Murphy, who has accused McMahon of lifting paragraphs of her plan from Republican websites, doesn’t have a glossy handout or details on his campaign website spelling out his jobs plan. He told reporters on Monday that voters simply need to look at his six-year record in the U.S. House of Representatives and earlier in the General Assembly to know where he stands on the issues. Against McMahon criticism, he defended his comments about his plan being a work in progress, saying it’s good practice to always be gathering good ideas from Connecticut companies and workers.

The components of Murphy’s plan have made up the essential talking points of his campaign and highlight areas he has focused on as a congressman. For example, a key provision calls for closing loopholes in the federal law requiring the government to make certain purchases from American manufacturers. Murphy has touted his efforts to push for Buy American legislation throughout the campaign. Murphy says he came up with the idea for closing the loopholes after talking to Connecticut manufacturers.

McMahon is the former chief executive officer of World Wrestling Entertainment, and called herself a “proven job creator” in announcing her 2012 campaign last year.

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(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)