US Senate candidate Lasry calls for boosting wages, unions
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alex Lasry on Wednesday put forward an economic plan that calls for raising the minimum wage, encouraging unionization, making tuition free for the first two years of public community college or technical school, and increasing apprenticeships.
Lasry, who is on leave from his job as an executive with the Milwaukee Bucks, is one of several Democrats seeking to take on Republican U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson. Others in the race include Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, state Treasurer Sarah Godlewski and Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson.
Many of the policies Lasry details in his economic plan are included in proposals that are stuck in Congress and are backed by other Democrats in the race, such as increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour.
Lasry, whose father is Bucks co-owner Marc Lasry, has made the work he has done helping to get the team’s new stadium built a centerpiece of his campaign. That includes ensuring that workers at Fiserv Forum in downtown Milwaukee are union workers from Wisconsin and are paid a $15 minimum wage.
Lasry also calls for making union dues tax deductible and expanding labor rights; allowing contract workers to itemize tax deductions on gas mileage, lodging, dining and work clothes; extending a child tax credit; extending paid family and medical leave; and restoring the home office deduction.
Lasry also supports the passage of the “Made in America Act,” which was co-sponsored by Wisconsin’s Democratic senator, Tammy Baldwin, and is designed to increase the use of American-made products in government-funded infrastructure projects.
“I want to help bring real change and real results for the people of Wisconsin and that starts with putting more money back in the pockets of hard-working Wisconsinites,” Lasry said in a statement. “Through the right mix of job training, tax deductions and incentives, investing in and buying American, and strengthening our unions, we can raise wages and bring more jobs and investment to Wisconsin.”
Nelson, a self-described underdog in the race who is not a millionaire like Lasry and Godlewski, said Lasry’s plan doesn’t go far enough. Lasry has put nearly $2.4 million of his own money into the race so far and Godlewski has put in just under $1.8 million.
“A serious economic plan taxes the rich and busts-up monopolies,” Nelson tweeted. “What’s good for the workers is not always good for the ultra wealthy. That’s why we can’t send another millionaire to the US Senate.”
The Democratic primary is Aug. 9.