Ryan's wife, Janna Little Ryan, has also entangled Ryan in some potential conflicts of interest. Her family owns stakes in land and energy companies in Texas and Oklahoma, and according to her husband's personal financial forms, the couple has at least $800,000 worth of holdings in those companies. An investigation by the Daily Beast last year found that those companies would receive $45 billion in tax breaks and subsidies under Ryan's proposed budget.
Mrs. Ryan also spent a decade in Washington as a corporate lobbyist, where she worked primarily at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Not only is PricewaterhouseCoopers one of her husband's largest sources of contributions, but so are two of her clients while working there: United Parcel Service and Blue Cross Blue Shield. Altogether the three companies and their employees have given Ryan more than $150,000 over the years.
Then there's Ryan's connections to a Wisconsin businessman, Dennis Troha, who with his family gave Ryan nearly $60,000 in contributions from 1999 to 2005, according to the Washington Post. Troha was simultaneously trying to open a large Indian casino in Ryan's district and lobbying for legislation giving his trucking company special hauling privileges. To do so, Troha enlisted Ryan, who made phone calls to federal agencies and pushed for the truck legislation on Troha's behalf.
In 2007, Troha was indicted on charges of funneling illegal campaign contributions to Wisconsin politicians to advance his gaming and trucking interests, and Ryan was the only politician named in the court documents when Troha's associate pleaded guilty to the scheme. Ryan would later donate the equivalent of Troha's contributions to a local Boys and Girls Club.
Seth Cline is a reporter with U.S. News and World Report. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter.