Politics 101 regularly looks at campaign finance data, usually for those running for local offices here in Fresno. Out of curiosity, I wondered who donated to the campaign of WWE legend turned Knox County, Tenn. Mayor Glenn Jacobs, aka Kane.
After all, Halloween is an appropriate time to politically examine the man who wore a scary red mask and mysteriously caused giant flames to appear whenever he came to the ring.
McMahons Were Early Kane Donors
Jacobs won election to office last August. Like in California, campaign data is a matter of public record and retrievable online in Tennessee. I wondered if any wrestling figures contributed to Jacobs’ campaign.
WWE chairman Vince McMahon, whose Mr. McMahon alter ego is a self-proclaimed billionaire, donated $1,500. His wife and current Trump cabinet member Linda McMahon, donated the same amount.
Kane is lucky he got a donation out of Paul Levesque, the company executive vice president and the wrestler known as Triple H. He, and his wife Stephanie (also the McMahons daughter), donated $1,500 apiece. Kane and Triple H meet in the ring as part of a tag team match in Saudi Arabia Friday (Nov. 2).
Other known wrestling personalities contributed as well — Dustin Runnels aka Goldust gave $50; Peter Gruner aka Billy Kidman, $50.
Most of the donors come from Knoxville area individuals and businesses. It also appears Kane’s fans chipped in. One teacher from Fresno gave $20. AN EMT worker in Tulare gave $30.
Jacobs loaned himself $40,500, while taking in nearly $270,000 in contributions.
A Poultry Contribution
But, the most interesting donation came from a businessman in San Diego. Ted Giannoulas, or at least his likeness, interacted with Kane at WrestleMania in 1999. Some may say Giannoulas chickened out of that match.
That’s because Giannoulas is better known as The Famous Chicken (and at one time the San Diego Chicken), the sports mascot. He gave $20, what he calls “chicken feed.”
“Glenn is truly intelligent, a good and decent man of American values and respect. After seeing a national story that he was running for mayor, I was curious to read of his positions and decided he merited the honorarium to support his campaign,” Giannoulas scratched to GV Wire in an email.
The Chicken (but not necessarily Giannoulas) confronted Kane at WrestleMania XV in 1999. Before his match against Triple H, The Chicken sneak attacked Kane, but it backfired horribly. Kane easily took control, and demasked the Chicken as Pete Rose, the baseball legend.
Rose hoped for revenge because Kane had attacked him at the prior year’s WrestleMania. It didn’t work. Rose suffered the same fate as the year before: a tombstone piledriver.
For Mr. Chicken, he’s kept his distance from Kane: “I have not spoken to nor have personally visited with Mr. Jacobs since WrestleMania. It’s a good guess he doesn’t even know I sent a chicken feed donation to help the cause.”
Watch video of the confrontation at the top of the page.