House Speaker Paul Ryan’s Republican primary challenger Paul Nehlen likes to tell everyone who will listen that he was Paul Ryan’s number one supporter. Nehlen often claims that he made calls, put up signs, knocked on doors, and even claims he donated to Paul Ryan before Ryan – allegedly – betrayed him.
There is an easy way to fact-check the claim that Nehlen gave money to Ryan.
According to an extensive Media Trackers review of federal campaign finance reports, Nehlen has never – never – given a dime to Paul Ryan.
Publicly available records from the Federal Elections Commission show that Nehlen donated $500 to the Republican National Committee in 2013. Other campaign finance records reveal that Nehlen donated a total of $1,775 to state level candidates between 2014 and 2015.
But not once has Nehlen given money to Paul Ryan.
As for Nehlen’s claim that he poured his heart and soul into working for Republican candidates like Ryan, well, that appears to be at best a misrepresentation of the facts, at worst a fabrication. Grassroots Republicans and conservatives in Wisconsin’s 1st Congressional District have been chatting on social media lately and none of them seem to remember Nehlen being involved in any campaigns in the past few years.
Chris Goebel, who is the chairman of the Walworth County Republican Party (Nehlen lives in Walworth County), said that while he has “put up and taken down hundreds of field and yard signs, made phone calls, walked in over a dozen parades, helped staff the Walworth County Fair tent, and at least 4-5 booths over the last 3 years in communities around the county. During those activities I do not recall ever working with or meeting Mr. Nehlen. I do not recall seeing a membership list with his name on it and in my time as County Chair I do not recall seeing or meeting him at a county party meeting or caucus.”