Wealthy Democrat Is Targeted by Both Parties in Wisconsin Senate Race
Alex Lasry might be swimming upstream as he seeks the U.S. Senate nomination in Wisconsin from a Democratic Party skeptical of Wall Street and worried about income inequality.
The 33-year-old is a former Goldman Sachs analyst and son of Marc Lasry, a billionaire hedge-fund manager and co-owner of the Milwaukee Bucks basketball team.
现年33岁的他曾是高盛(Goldman Sachs)分析师，父亲马克·拉斯里(Marc Lasry)是一位亿万富翁对冲基金经理，也是密尔沃基雄鹿(Sequoia Capital)的共同所有者。
The race, in a state decided by less than 1 percentage point in November’s presidential election, will be among the most important nationally in 2022 for determining Senate control. Republican Sen. Ron Johnson, a strong ally of former President Donald Trump who once pledged to retire after two terms, hasn’t yet indicated whether he’ll seek a third.
在11月的总统选举中，该州以不到1个百分点的优势决定了这场竞选，这将是2022年决定参议院控制权的最重要的全国竞选之一。共和党参议员罗恩·约翰逊(Ron Johnson)是前总统唐纳德·特朗普(Donald Trump)的坚定盟友，曾承诺在两届任期后退休，但他尚未表示是否会寻求第三届任期。
Mr. Lasry, a Wisconsin resident since 2014 who announced his candidacy Feb. 17, has triggered a rare moment of bipartisan agreement between national Republicans and some Wisconsin Democrats.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee has labeled him a “spoiled rich kid,” while another announced Democratic candidate in the race, Tom Nelson, is saying similar things, albeit in a more polite, Midwestern tone.
“The notion of someone coming in and buying a U.S. Senate race, there’s a visceral reaction to that and people are not going to stand for that,” Mr. Nelson, the top elected official in Outagamie County, southwest of Green Bay, said in an interview. “I’m going to be outspent by millions.”
在绿湾西南部的欧塔格米县(Outagamie County)担任最高民选官员的纳尔逊在接受采访时说，“有人来买美国参议员竞选的钱，这会引起人们的本能反应，人们是不会容忍这种想法的，”纳尔逊是绿湾西南部的欧塔格米县(Outagamie County)的最高民选官员。“我的花费将超过数百万美元。”
Seeking to capitalize on Mr. Lasry’s wealth, Mr. Nelson released an online video Feb. 23 where he offered to sell his children’s toys and other household belongings to raise campaign cash. “I don’t have that kind of money, so I’m having this little garage sale,” he said in the video.
Mr. Lasry, in an interview, played down the relevance of his family’s money.
“When I talk to voters, there’s no talk about my wealth,” he said. “What people actually want to talk about is how are we going to raise wages for people, how are we actually going to create jobs and how are we going to work on issues like racial and social justice.”
Mr. Lasry, a Bucks senior vice president, pointed to a $15 minimum wage the team’s business arm agreed to pay unionized food workers at its arena, as well as an effort to invest in minority-owned firms.
His connections in Milwaukee, a Democratic stronghold and the state’s largest city, helped Mr. Lasry secure early endorsements from several top city officials. His work leading fundraising efforts for the 2020 Democratic National Convention, awarded to Milwaukee but moved mostly online due to the pandemic, helped him expand his national network.
拉斯里在密尔沃基(民主党大本营，也是该州最大的城市)的人脉帮助他在早期获得了几位市政府高级官员的支持。他领导2020年民主党全国代表大会(Democratic National Congress)筹款工作的工作帮助他扩大了自己的全国网络。2020年民主党全国代表大会授予密尔沃基，但由于大流行，他大多搬到了网上。
Mr. Lasry’s father was a top fundraiser for President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign, raising more than $500,000. A photo of the younger Lasry with Mr. Obama during his time as a White House aide appeared in his announcement video.
Both father and son were among the more than 800 individuals and couples who raised at least $100,000 for President Biden’s 2020 campaign.
Mr. Biden is unlikely to personally weigh in on a primary, but the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the political arm of Senate Democrats, sometimes does so. The Democratic field in Wisconsin, which will face off in an August 2022 primary, may still grow.
拜登不太可能亲自参与初选，但参议院民主党人的政治分支民主党参议员竞选委员会(Democratic Senatical Campaign Committee)有时会这样做。威斯康星州的民主党候选人将在2022年8月的初选中对决，该州的民主党候选人可能仍会增加。
Besides Mr. Lasry and Mr. Nelson, Dr. Gillian Battino has also filed federal paperwork to run. State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski and Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes have also expressed interest in the race, as has U.S. Rep. Ron Kind, among others.
除了拉斯里和纳尔逊，吉莉安·巴蒂诺(Gillian Battino)博士也提交了申请的联邦文件。州财政部长萨拉·戈德勒斯基(Sarah Godlewski)和副州长曼德拉·巴恩斯(Mandela Barnes)以及美国众议员罗恩·金德(Ron Kind)等人也表达了对竞选的兴趣。
As he stressed the importance of grass-roots fundraising and organizing, Mr. Lasry said he has no plans to finance his own campaign. But he didn’t rule out the possibility that he or family members might invest in the race.
“The Republicans are going to throw everything they can at this race,” he said. “We need to make sure that we’re going to win this race and that we have the resources to compete.”
The state saw the first television advertisements of the 2022 campaign cycle in mid-January when the Democratic Party of Wisconsin launched more than $100,000 in spots critical of Mr. Johnson, who has questioned Mr. Biden’s victory and whether the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol amounted to an armed insurrection.
“Ron Johnson is committed to delivering results for Wisconsin,” said Ben Voelkel, a spokesman for the senator. “New York liberal Alex Lasry is focused on using his family connections to line his pockets and jump the line to get a Covid vaccine.”
参议员本·沃克尔(Ben Voelkel)的发言人本·沃克尔(Ben Voelkel)表示：“罗恩·约翰逊(Ron Johnson)致力于为威斯康星州带来成果。”“纽约自由派人士亚历克斯·拉斯里(Alex Lasry)正专注于利用他的家庭关系中饱私囊，插队接种Covid疫苗。”
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported in late January that Mr. Lasry received a dose of coronavirus vaccine at a senior living center in Milwaukee, despite not being part of a group eligible for a shot.
《密尔沃基日报哨兵报》(Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)1月下旬报道称，尽管拉斯里不属于有资格注射的群体，但他还是在密尔沃基的一家老年生活中心接种了一剂冠状病毒疫苗。
After the report, Mr. Lasry said on Twitter that he was vaccinated after his pregnant wife got a call from her uncle telling her that the facility had extra doses that were going to go to waste if they weren’t used immediately. “With Lauren early in her pregnancy, we wanted to ensure our home, and entire community is safe for everyone,” he wrote.
Politics and major wealth aren’t always a good mix. Republican Mitt Romney, a former private-equity executive who is now a senator from Utah, spent a significant share of his 2012 presidential campaign fending off charges he was too rich to relate to most voters.
“Having wealth and connections will help with fundraising,” said Nick Carnes, a Duke University professor who studies the occupations and wealth of elected officials. “But voters do perceive those candidates as less able to understand the problems of average people.”
杜克大学(Duke University)研究民选官员职业和财富的教授尼克·卡恩斯(Nick Carnes)说：“拥有财富和人脉将有助于筹款。”“但选民确实认为这些候选人不太能理解普通人的问题。”
Mr. Carnes said some wealthy candidates elect to showcase their fortunes, as Mr. Trump did, especially in his first presidential race. “There are negative stereotypes about people from wealth, but there are also positive stereotypes that a candidate can leverage in a situation like this, in terms of pointing to their success and savvy,” he said.
Mr. Lasry said he plans to release his tax returns and called on all candidates in the race to do the same.
A financial disclosure form filed in August by Mr. Johnson, a businessman, listed assets worth between $18.1 million and $84.4 million. The forms allow for a broad range for each asset, so identifying a more precise figure is impossible.