Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Ryan: Boy Scout or bagman to the rich?

The Boy Scout image of Rep. Paul Ryan continues to be shattered as reports show him to be a bagman for special interests -- mainly outside of Wisconsin. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports today that as congressman, $3 out of every $4 of donations he received came from outside Wisconsin. And of the $1.7 million to his Prosperity PAC leadership committee? Only 1% from Wisconsin.

Why is money gushing to Ryan from outside of his own district? His dedication to tax breaks for the rich, most likely, and his position as chairman of the House Budget Committee, where he tries to make those gifts to the rich a reality.

The Journal Sentinel article also talks about problems he faces with donations from a wealthy Wisconsin businessman:
"In recent days, several news outlets have delved into the Journal Sentinel's past coverage of Ryan's financial connections to former Kenosha trucking magnate Dennis Troha, whose family gave $58,102 to the congressman. Troha pleaded guilty in 2008 to two misdemeanors for funneling campaign donations through family members to then-President George W. Bush's campaign and the Democratic Party. 
In 2005, Ryan called federal regulators at Troha's request to discuss the businessman's proposed $808 million Indian casino in Ryan's district. Ryan maintained he was neutral on the project, though records show Ryan told federal officials that his constituents wanted the casino.
No Quarter also disclosed in 2007 that Ryan was one of several congressmen who helped insert a provision in a highway spending bill that allowed trucking firms such as the one previously owned by Troha to haul more cabs on each route. Troha received at least $107,000 in consulting fees from the trucking company because the legislation became law."
Ryan's not some man of the average people in his district. He's a man of the moneyed people outside of Wisconsin, and at least one trucking magnate in the state who was convicted of illegal donations to President George W. Bush. And it's paid off handsomely -- he's sitting on the largest cash campaign balance of any House candidate.

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