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Wisconsin candidate wants congressional pay cut

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A Democratic candidate vying for the seat held by retiring Wisconsin Democrat Rep. David R. Obey has proposed slashing Congress’ pay by 10 percent until the national unemployment rate returns to pre-2008 levels.

Julie Lassa, in her first television advertisement of her campaign, which began airing Thursday, added that if elected to Congress she won’t accept a pay increase unless the federal budget is balanced. She also called for an end to no-bid contracts and the abolition of earmarks — congressional pet spending projects inserted into legislation.

The salary for rank-and-file members of the House and Senate is $174,000 per year.

The nonfarm employment rate in July was 9.5 percent percent, compared with 5.7 percent in July 2008 and 7.2 percent in December 2008, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Lassa, a state senator from Stevens Point, faces real estate agent Don Raihala in the Sept. 14 primary. Former Ashland County District Attorney Sean Duffy and Dan Mielke, a farmer, are running in the Republican primary. Gary Kauther is running as an independent.

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