The analysis shows that the Republican leadership, including Speaker Paul Ryan and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, raises money from a vastly different set of political action committees than members further to the right. In fact, the donor bases for Ryan and McCarthy are actually more similar to some Democrats than to their colleagues in the main conservative grouping, the Freedom Caucus.
The conservative indictment against Washington, DC is that both sides pick winners and losers and more and more of the wealthy in this country depend on government subsidy to stifle competition and innovation. That Republican leaders have a closer connection to Demcorats in terms of donors is pretty telling.
The degree of similarity between Ryan’s 2014 PAC donors and those of Freedom Caucus members Justin Amash of Michigan and Ted Yoho of Florida was close to nil: 0.03 and 0.16. Tim Huelskamp, a Kansas Republican who lost his seat on the House Agriculture Committee in 2012 for his votes against leadership, had few PAC donors in common with Ryan (a score of 0.15) or any other House colleague in 2014: his highest score was 0.3, with fellow Kansan Mike Pompeo.
PAC donors to House Majority Leader McCarthy, of California, were more like Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer’s (0.53 score) than they were those of Ohio Republican Jim Jordan, who heads the Freedom Caucus (0.31).
If you believe in limited government and individual responsibility, the odds are that you will not support either Republican leaders or Democrats, but will support the Freedom Caucus. Republican and Democratic leaders both want to use government to reward their friends and fund their allies.