(Corrects to show that Northwestern donation number does not
include Ryan's leadership PAC)
* Ryan energizing donors on Wall Street scene
* But his ability to attract small donors unclear
* Candidate's Midwestern roots could be an asset
By Alina Selyukh and Alexander Cohen and Sam Forgione
WASHINGTON/NEW YORK, Aug 14 Paul Ryan, the
Wisconsin congressman who has breathed new life into Republican
Mitt Romney's bid for the White House, also brings his status as
a fundraising heavyweight.
During his 14-year career in Congress, Ryan has been
propelled by sizeable donations from insurance companies and
other players in the financial sector, including notable hedge
Ryan's campaign has so far reported raising $4.3 million
this election cycle, with $5.4 million in cash on hand as of
July 25, making it one of the top-raising congressional
campaigns this year.
His leadership Prosperity PAC, or political action
committee, has collected another $3.7 million this cycle.
The biggest contributors behind Ryan this cycle are family
members and employees of Elliott Management, a Wall Street hedge
fund run by prominent Republican donor Paul Singer, who has
helped raise millions for the party, including for Romney.
Now, as Romney's vice presidential pick for the Republican
ticket, Ryan is already energizing donors, especially those in
the Wall Street scene.
Anthony Scaramucci, managing partner at alternative
investment firm SkyBridge Capital LLC, said people in the hedge
fund community with whom he has spoken are "ecstatic" about the
"Of everybody in the Republican leadership, there's nobody
that understands pro-growth economic policies and how massive
deficit spending can actually lead to a drag on job creation
better than Paul Ryan," said Scaramucci.
Scaramucci, who is one of the eight co-chairs of Romney's
National Finance Committee, gave $5,000 last year to Ryan's
Ryan, a 42-year-old Washington insider who has spent
practically his entire career on Capitol Hill, has in recent
years garnered national attention for his dramatic proposals to
slash the federal budget.
The campaign money has followed.
Financial firms went all-out for Ryan in the 2010 election
cycle, when Republicans swept into the House of Representatives
as the majority party and Ryan became chairman of the powerful
House Budget Committee.
That year, Ryan received nearly $500,000 from the securities
and investment industry, according to the Center for Responsive
Politics, a nonpartisan research group.
Top givers included Elliott employees with $35,419, and
Affiliated Managers Group, a Massachusetts-based asset
manager, with $22,666.
Ryan also received $23,364 from SAC Capital Advisors, one of
the world's biggest and most successful hedge funds that is run
by billionaire Steven Cohen.
Representatives for Cohen and Singer declined comment.
Topping the list of Ryan's 2010 donors as well as the list
of his biggest donors over his career since 1998 is Northwestern
Mutual, a life insurance company based in Milwaukee, in Ryan's
home state of Wisconsin, according to a tally by CRP.
Northwestern's PAC and employees have given $89,300 to
Ryan's campaign since his first run for Congress in 1998, CRP
"Congressman Ryan - whose district includes our Franklin,
Wis., Campus - has always expressed a willingness to listen to
our views on public policy matters and appreciates the
importance of individuals' planning for their financial
security," company spokeswoman Betsy Hoylman said in an emailed
Among Ryan's other top 10 donors over the course of his
career are mobile carrier AT&T with $74,850, drug company
Abbott Laboratories with $61,700, and health insurer
Blue Cross Blue Shield with $58,150.
Ryan has received $65,500, his sixth-biggest donation, from
the energy company Koch Industries, run by prominent
conservative financiers and big 2012 election donors the Koch
Many of Ryan's biggest donations came from trade groups,
including the National Beer Wholesalers Association at $75,000,
National Auto Dealers Association at $68,500, National
Association of Home Builders with $67,750 and National
Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors with $65,000.
WILL SMALL DONOR GIVE?
While Ryan's youthful energy has fired up the Republican
Party's conservative base, the fundraising disclosures show Ryan
appealing to a similar group of donors - retired professionals,
insurance and finance workers - as Romney.
What is less clear is Ryan's ability to attract small
Romney and the Republican Party have outraised President
Barack Obama and the Democrats for the past three months in a
row, topping $100 million a month largely thanks to his appeal
to a disgruntled Wall Street.
But one area where Romney continues to lag is Obama's
historic advantage: the small donors, which are seen as a gauge
of grassroots enthusiasm and support.
Obama has raised almost 40 percent from donors giving $200
or less as of June 30, compared with Romney's haul of only 15
percent from such donors, according to an analysis by the
Campaign Finance Institute.
Some observers argue that Ryan, who plays up his Midwestern
roots, could offset Romney's lackluster appeal to less-wealthy
But Ryan's history hardly indicates an outpouring of
grassroots enthusiasm. Ryan has already raised more this
election than his 2010 haul of $3.8 million, but no thanks to
small donors. Their contributions dropped to 15 percent of his
haul from 22 percent in 2010, according to Reuters' analysis of
Ryan's campaign donations.
(Reporting by Alina Selyukh and Alexander Cohen in Washington,
and Sam Forgione in New York; Editing by Karey Wutkowski and