Nathan Sass

Do Paul Ryan and Gwen Moore Have an “Arrangement”?

In Backroom Deals, Gwen Moore, Paul Ryan, Politics, Tea Party on October 27, 2010 at 5:00 AM

Recently the Republican Liberty Caucus of WI posted a story alleging that a “backroom deal” exists with Paul Ryan, Jim Sensenbrenner and Gwen Moore to mutually refrain from “interfering” with the re-election of any of the 3.

That means no contributions or endorsements of candidates attempting to unseat these incumbents.

Some have questioned the validity and/or veracity of the allegations, and have stated that there is no “proof” supporting the allegations.  I have done a bit of further investigating to determine if there is any information that either supports or refutes the allegations. 

What I have found is just a bit disturbing.

I dove into the campaign finance data for Paul Ryan via  This data comes from federal campaign finance reports, and can be considered factual.

In the 2010 election cycle, Ryan has amassed quite a war chest.  His cash on hand totals $2,844,533, well above the average for a Congressional candidate and nearly double his intake in any other previous cycle.  It is important to note that while this fund raising is occurring, Ryan faces no real serious opposition in the 2010 elections.

In looking at his campaign expenditures, we find a extensive list of state level candidates that Ryan has contributed to, most not even in his district.  The donations total $6,500 (details below)

Friends of Dane Deutsch, Rice Lake, WI $500 (Out of District)
Friends of Ed Thompson, Tomah, WI $1,000 (Out of District)
Friends of Erin Decker, Silver Lake, WI $200 (Out of District)
Friends of Kurt Schlicht, Cross Plains, WI $500 (Out of District)
Friends Of Leah Vukmir, Wauwatosa, WI $1,000 (Out of District)
Friends of Pam Galloway, Wausau, WI $500 (Out of District)
Friends of Terry Moulton, Chippewa Falls, WI $1,000 (Out of District)
Friends Of Van Wanggard, Racine, WI $2,000

Those who support Mr. Ryan may then contend he has chosen to refrain from contributing to any candidates for federal office to avoid any appearance of undue influence.  This is certainly possible, and the data above does seem to point in that direction.

But further investigation destroys this argument.

Mr. Ryan’s PAC, Prosperity PAC, has made extensive contributions to Congressional candidates.  These contributions total over $145,000 in the 2010 election cycle alone.

Bucshon, Larry D (R-IN) $5,000
Burns, Tim (R-PA) $5,000
Calvert, Ken (R-CA) $1,000
Cao, Joseph (R-LA) $1,000
Chabot, Steve (R-OH) $5,000
Dent, Charlie (R-PA) $1,000
Djou, Charles (R-HI) $3,000
Flores, William (R-TX) $5,000
Gardner, Cory (R-CO) $5,000
Gerlach, Jim (R-PA) $1,000
Griffin, Tim (R-AR) $5,000
Griffith, Morgan (R-VA) $5,000
Griffith, Parker (R-AL) $1,000
Hanna, Richard L (R-NY) $5,000
Harper, Gregg (R-MS) $1,000
Harris, Andy (R-MD) $5,000
Hastert, Ethan (R-IL) $2,000
Hurt, Robert (R-VA) $5,000
Jenkins, Lynn (R-KS) $1,000
Kinzinger, Adam (R-IL) $1,000
Lance, Leonard (R-NJ) $1,000
Lee, Christopher J (R-NY) $1,000
Lummis, Cynthia Marie (R-WY) $2,000
McCotter, Thad (R-MI) $1,000
Meehan, Patrick L (R-PA) $5,000
Nunnelee, Alan (R-MS) $5,000
Paulsen, Erik (R-MN) $1,000
Pearce, Steve (R-NM) $5,000
Reichert, Dave (R-WA) $6,000
Renacci, James B (R-OH) $5,000
Rigell, Scott (R-VA) $5,000
Rivera, David (R-FL) $5,000
Roby, Martha (R-AL) $5,000
Rooney, Tom (R-FL) $1,000
Ross, Dennis (R-FL) $5,000
Stivers, Steve (R-OH) $5,000
Tedisco, Jim (R-NY) $7,000
Terry, Lee (R-NE) $1,000
Tiberi, Patrick J (R-OH) $3,500
Walorski, Jackie (R-IN) $5,000
Ward, Vaughn L (R-ID) $5,000
West, Allen B (R-FL) $5,000
Wittman, Rob (R-VA) $1,000

Those still defending Mr. Ryan could contend that this list includes no candidates from WI, and that Mr. Ryan is refraining from influencing races in the same state.   But, then there is this little nugget:

Duffy, Sean P (R-WI) $10,000

Well, maybe Ryan is not donating to races in Wisconsin where there is a sitting incumbent, based on a gentleman’s agreement to not interfere.  A little more digging finds:

Johnson, Ron (R-WI) $10,000

The campaign donation evidence therefore shows that Ryan will donate to candidate running against incumbents in WI.

Gwen Moore is an incumbent, and has an opponent, and yet Ryan has not donated a single cent.  But he has spread money all over the state, and all over the country to other similar candidates.

It may not be a smoking gun, but it does seem to point to the conclusion that there is a “deal” in place between at least Ryan and Moore to protect each other from opposition.

Is this what we are supposed to expect from a man who has spoken at Tea Party rally where he extolled the virtues of the grass roots effort and the uprising of the people. 

I guess perhaps that is true for Ryan everywhere but the 4th Congressional District.  If you are a Tea Party member in the 4th Congressional District, Paul Ryan cannot help you.

To me, this has every bit the feel of two crime families carving up turf, and not stepping on each other’s toes.

That is exactly what the Tea Party formed to combat.


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