Paul F. Nehlen III is the man who wants to make Speaker of the House Paul Ryan the next Eric Cantor. Ryan, who has represented Wisconsin’s 1st Congressional District since 1999, was elected Speaker of the House by his Republican colleagues in October of 2015. Now, six months into his tenure as the top Republican in the House, an obscure businessman wants to take him out in a primary.
Cantor (R-VA) lost his re-election primary in 2014 while serving as House Majority Leader.
To say that Nehlen has his work cut out for him is an understatement. In comments published by the Washington Times, Nehlen complained “Paul Ryan hasn’t been focused on his constituents for a very long time.” As it turns out, however, Nehlen hasn’t been a terribly active constituent of Ryan’s.
According to a review of Wisconsin Government Accountability Board voting records, Nehlen hasn’t cast a ballot in Wisconsin since 2014 and even then, he only voted in the fall general election, not the August primary election of that year.
Including the 2008 general election – the first time it appears Nehlen cast a ballot in the Badger State – he has only voted three times. He voted in the June 5, 2012 recall election (but not the recall election primary that proceeded it) and the 2014 general election.
Government Accountability Board voting history records are accurate, the state agency claims, from 2006 onward. No record exists in the system that shows Nehlen voting before November 2008.
From 2008 until today, Wisconsin has had numerous high profile elections that Nehlen did not cast a ballot in. Those elections include the 2010 primary and general elections that sent Republican majorities to the state legislature and elected Gov. Scott Walker and Sen. Ron Johnson, the hotly contested 2011 Supreme Court election, the 2012 recall election primary, the 2012 presidential preference primary, the 2012 August primary and the 2012 general election, the 2014 August primary, and the 2015 Supreme Court election.
In all of those elections, which saw Wisconsin conservatives turnout to oppose liberal candidates backed by labor unions and far leftwing groups, Nehlen was absent. He can make the claim Paul Ryan isn’t fighting for his constituents, but Nehlen certainly wasn’t a part of a number of high profile state level battles that Ryan himself participated in, and elections in which he at least cast a ballot.
In case you missed it, Erick wrote on Wednesday about why he is personally supporting Paul Ryan.
Below are screen shots of the voting history records.