Within hours of the announcement that Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) would serve as Mitt Romney’s vice presidential running mate, news outlets were publishing stories that highlight Ryan’s special interest ties, something that fits neatly with the millions Romney is raising from bankers, oil and coal tycoons, and Washington lobbyists.
- The Washington Post looked at the $60,000 in contributions that Ryan received from convicted felon Dennis Troha and his family. Troha “was later indicted on campaign finance charges over an Indian casino he sought to open,” one that Ryan had called federal regulators in support of, according to Troha. In fact, “Ryan also supported a bill in Congress that benefited Troha and his trucking company, legislation that drew the interest of federal prosecutors because of the contributions Ryan and other congressmen had accepted from Troha and his family.”
- This story around casinos could be even more pronounced because, as Huffington Post reports, “expect to see a re-examination of Ryan's ties to former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay and disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff.”
- Politico reported that the controversial oil tycoons Charles and David Koch “have Ryan’s back.” Ryan has received $115,500 from Koch Industries donors during his time in Congress. The billionaires are spending heavily this cycle to elect Republicans and defeat President Obama.
- According to Bloomberg, Ryan is “one of the top political fundraisers in Congress, with backing from the employees of banks and insurance companies that would benefit from his actions on financial regulation and Medicare.” In fact, Ryan has received $815,328 from insurance industry donors—a group that would benefit significantly from Ryan’s desire to privatize Medicare.
- Politico reported that Ryan and his wife “both worked on Capitol Hill and have long-standing relationships with several staffers-turned-lobbyists and veteran influence peddlers.” Public Campaign Action Fund found that so far in the 2012 cycle, Ryan has received $44,250 from just under 50 registered lobbyists. Here's a list of some of the fundraisers Ryan has hosted over the years, most of them in DC. Reuters and Buzzfeed also reported on the ties between the Ryans and lobbyists.
- Ryan is a “a prolific corporate fundraiser,” according to Politico, who raises big bucks from corporate political action committees (PACs).
While Ryan’s fundraising prowess and ties to donors will face further scrutiny in the coming days and weeks, there’s one thing we do know right now—his ability to raise cash will quickly come in handy. The Romney campaign has already scheduled ten fundraisers for Ryan in the month of August.