Ryan challenger has only consulted for free


June 22, 2016

MADISON House Speaker Paul Ryan's primary challenger bills himself as the owner of a small consulting business even though he has only consulted with personal clients for free, his campaign said Tuesday.

Paul Nehlen's campaign website portrays him as an executive, entrepreneur and inventor. It notes he established a consulting firm called Blue Skies LLC. The site offers only a vague description of the firm's services, saying it "leverages key networks and technologies on behalf of the companies with which it partners, in order to ensure that they can deliver outstanding, cost-effective engineered products and projects."

Nehlen's campaign responded to Associated Press inquiries about the firm on Tuesday with an email saying Nehlen formed Blue Skies Global as a part-time, home-based consulting business in 2014. Shortly afterward, Nehlen took a full-time job as senior vice president with Neptune Benson, a Rhode Island-based water filtration company with a manufacturing plant in Beaver Dam.

Since he took that job, Nehlen has consulted only with "some personal clients on a pro bono basis" in his Blue Skies Global capacity, the campaign's statement said.

Nehlen and Ryan will square off in the Aug. 9 primary. The winner will advance to the Nov. 8 general election. Nehlen faces a steep uphill battle against Ryan, the highest-ranking Republican in the country and an 18-year incumbent.

Ryan's campaign spokesman declined comment.


Associated Press