A Philadelphia lawyer who is representing Lucent Technologies Inc. retirees in three separate lawsuits regarding benefits, wants to become the new senator from Pennsylvania next year. Alan M. Sandals, who runs an eponymous law firm representing participants in disputes over pensions and retiree medical benefits, formed a committee on April 19 to explore running against Republican Sen. Rick Santorum next year.
Mr. Sandals faces an uphill battle against Pennsylvania Treasurer Robert P. Casey Jr., son of a former state governor, in landing the Democratic nomination. Mr. Casey is a trustee of approximately $90 billion in total state employee pension fund assets.
Mr. Sandals, who has represented pension plan participants at Campbell Soup Co., GE Aerospace/Lockheed Martin, Unisys Corp. and others since the early 1990s, is concerned about the Bush administration's efforts to overhaul Social Security, as well as the spiraling cost of health care, women's rights and, of course, retirement security.
"Elected officials in Washington are playing roulette on every front today, and not just with our retirements," Mr. Sandals said in an April 19 speech. Mr. Sandals said he supports putting the Social Security system on a more secure footing by raising the salary base on which the Social Security tax is based, reducing benefits for wealthy Americans and encouraging older Americans to continue working later in life.