Millionaire Alex Lasry is one of several U.S. Senate candidates who received an extension to file an annual financial disclosure report after their partisan primary, which government watchdogs say violates the spirit of a law meant to help voters stay informed.

Lasry’s 90-day extension allows him to file a report outlining his assets by Aug. 15. The Democratic U.S. Senate primary is Aug. 9.

The extension was granted by the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Ethics despite a clause in the ethics code saying extensions should not be granted within 30 days of an election. Committee staff did not respond to more than a dozen requests for comment about their decision.

According to Lasry’s campaign, that 30-day window doesn’t apply if the candidate already filed the report in the prior year. Longtime Democratic attorney Joe Sandler said for as long as he can remember the committee has granted extensions for candidates filing reports beyond election dates as long as it wasn’t the candidates’ first report.

Besides Lasry, other candidates receiving extensions beyond their respective primary election dates this cycle include Wisconsin Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Steven Olikara, Georgia Republican U.S. Senate candidate Herschel Walker and Pennsylvania Democratic U.S. Senate candidate John Fetterman. In all of those cases, including Lasry’s, the candidates listed their assets in 2021.

“My question is, ‘Why 90 days?’” said Beth Rotman, director of money in politics and ethics at the liberal government watchdog group Common Cause. “Ninety days is a long extension and taking it after the election instead of before the election, I think, deprives the public of information.”

Kendric Payne, an executive at the nonpartisan government watchdog group Campaign Legal Center, said the law governing financial disclosures exists “because voters have a right to know a candidate’s financial interest that may conflict with the duties of office before they cast a ballot.”

“When candidates delay transparency, they deny voters the truth,” said Payne, former deputy chief counsel at the federal Office of Congressional Ethics, where he oversaw financial disclosure violations in the House of Representatives.

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Within the Senate committee’s instructions for candidates filing forms is a stipulation that candidates can file for extensions to provide their financial disclosure reports, which detail their salaries and financial assets. But a note below it clarifies, “Extension requests for Candidate Reports cannot be granted if the requested due date is fewer than 30 days prior to a primary or general election in which the reporting individual is a candidate.”

Lasry campaign spokesperson Thad Nation said the committee told Lasry’s campaign that the requirement to file a report within 30 days of an election only applied to a candidate’s first report, not their second or subsequent reports. Nation pointed out that other campaigns receive extensions that go past primary dates.

But Nation declined to say whether Lasry — a Milwaukee Bucks executive-on-leave whose form last year detailed millions of dollars in real estate and an ownership stake in the Milwaukee Bucks of more than $50 million — would file his report before the Aug. 9 primary.

“We will file when all the information is collected. We are following the same protocol we followed with our original financial disclosure statement last year,” he said.

‘Feingold’s seat’

Irene Lin, a spokesperson for U.S. Senate candidate Tom Nelson, one of Lasry’s opponents in the Aug. 9 primary, noted the last Democrat to hold the seat for which Lasry is running was a champion of campaign transparency.

“This is Russ Feingold’s seat,” Lin said. “It is an act of supreme cynicism and arrogance for Alex Lasry to try and get away with hiding his million-dollar investments and conflicts of interest from the public. If he wants to hide in the dark, he should go under the Brooklyn Bridge.”

Lasry also delayed filing last year’s form, receiving an extension in May 2021 to file his form in August 2021.

Millionaire Alex Lasry gets extension, won't have to disclose assets until after August primary

Lasry’s asset disclosure last year revealed stock in dozens of public entities, including millions of dollars in real estate, mutual funds and public companies like Walmart, Uber, Moderna, Amazon and Facebook. His disclosure showed a $300,000 salary and at least $5 million in private equity funds as well as the over $50 million in Milwaukee Bucks stock.

“Unless there’s some extraordinary circumstance here that we may not know about, then I would hope that this candidate would file before the deadline and before the election,” Rotman said. “That is certainly the purpose and the intent of these filings, that the public has clear information of any potential conflicts of interest so an informed decision can be made.”

Other candidates

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate and Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, who holds a slight edge in the latest Marquette Law School Poll, shows a salary of just under $110,000 and between $5,005 and $75,000 in assets in his filing.

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate and state Treasurer Sarah Godlewski’s form shows millions in public and non-public stocks, real estate, money market accounts and government securities. Among her stock holdings are Alphabet, Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Uber, Lyft, PayPal and General Electric.

Nelson’s form shows a $111,000 salary, at least $250,001 in a pension plan, at least $350,002 in term life insurance policies and tens of thousands of dollars in mutual funds.

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