The Big Money Behind Paul Ryan's Political Career

Financial, insurance firms and Koch brothers helped Wisconsin Republican build House's largest war chest.

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House Budget Committee chairman Rep. Paul Ryan, the newly-announced running mate of Mitt Romney.

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[Photos: Obama's Re-Election Campaign]

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 scline@usnews.com or follow him on Twitter.

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