October 16th, 2009
03:55 PM ET
5 years ago

Wilson spent heavily to capitalize on 'You Lie!'

Rep. Joe Wilson has raised $2.7 million so far this year, much of it as a result of his outburst.
Rep. Joe Wilson has raised $2.7 million so far this year, much of it as a result of his outburst.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Rep. Joe Wilson's congressional campaign spent nearly a quarter of a million dollars on an aggressive marketing and fundraising operation in the days after the South Carolina Republican shouted "You Lie!" at President Obama in early September, financial disclosure reports reveal.

So far this year, Wilson has collected about $2.7 million in contributions, most of which came in after the infamous outburst on Sept. 9 turned the little-known congressman into a household name. After the shout, his 2010 campaign organization set out to capitalize on the outpouring of support he received from conservatives around the country.

On Sept. 14, Wilson's campaign doled out $52,250 to the Virginia-based digital communications firm Active Engagement for web design and online advertising. On Sept. 16, the campaign paid $42,400 to retain the David All Group - a Washington-based Republican new media firm - to help boost Wilson's profile on Twitter and other social networking sites.

Piryx, a firm that processes online donations, received $72,007 from the campaign in September. Wilson's team also spent nearly $30,000 to rent a mailing list from the Richard Norman Company, a conservative fundraising organization in northern Virginia.

All told, the Wilson campaign spent roughly $235,000 on services related to fundraising and communications strategy.

Campaign disclosures show that the campaign owes another $157,424 to the David All Group and $65,633 to the Richard Norman Group.

Rob Miller, Wilson's Democratic challenger in South Carolina's 2nd Congressional district, raised $1.7 million over the same period - but his campaign spent considerably less on fundraising and marketing efforts.

The Miller campaign's largest expenditure in September was a $36,919 payment to the liberal fundraising site ActBlue for credit card processing fees, followed by a $4,576 payment to Envision Communications in Washington.

It should be noted that federal financial disclosures don't always outline how consulting firms spend the money doled by political campaigns. A source close to the Wilson campaign said, for instance, that three quarters of the money spent on Web strategy was then re-directed to online advertising efforts.

Story updated at 6:00 p.m. EST


Filed under: Joe Wilson • Rob Miller • South Carolina
soundoff (115 Responses)
  1. bob in illinois

    How in the world can this idiot call someone a liar, when he new full well the Bush administration that he backed, lied about WMD's in Iraq? he's just like Bob Livingston, and Newt, hypocrites all!!!

    October 16, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  2. Amazed in NY

    "If you love your country you respect your democratically elected leadership. That is true democracy."

    Really SHELLY CO? IS that what LIBS/DEMS said during Bush's eight years..... I think not....

    October 16, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  3. Dan, TX

    Way to go, Joe. You have our full support. I have already contributed to your campaign. These democrats need thrashing. Barack was lying and you said to him that he lied. It was a true story. Keep it up otherwise these democrats will sell America to Russians or Chinese.

    October 16, 2009 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  4. PuzzledByDuplicitousness

    "I don't believe in casting EVERY thing with a racist bias but this one CLEARLY is a racial thing – ANYONE who is giving money to this guy is primarily on the basis on Race".

    BushBahenchod are you actually saying that if anyone is to call someone else who has a different race a liar, they are a racist? If a Hispanic person was to call me a liar are they "automatically" racist?

    Seriously???Really??? That folks is the reason why real racism will never go away.... people try to pull out the term whenever they think they can inject it.

    October 16, 2009 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  5. LacrosseMom

    Its hateful and disrespectful what Wilson did. No ONE every shouted at BUSH..... YOU LIE! Though members of Congress knew that Bush was lying about the reason to attack Iraq!

    I may have disliked Bush, been against his politics and policies. But were Bush to come to my home today, I would greet him with respect!

    Respect is something the GOP-haters do not have for anyone, unless you agree with everything they believe in no matter how warped that belief is!

    What's most disturbing is that the GOP claims to be Christian! I do not know what gospel you people are reading..... but .... its NOT the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

    October 16, 2009 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  6. HNY

    "If you love your country you respect your democratically elected leadership"

    Does that hold true for Democrats when Republicans are in Office???

    Ya, didn't think so....

    October 16, 2009 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  7. Jackie in Dallas

    It figures. I knew it was a setup from day one. This whole thing was a scam to raise money for his campaign. Oh, I'm sure he believes his rhetoric, but I never bought that the TV and cameras would be focused on this basic nonentity of a congressman when there were 633 other members of Congress, not to mention the President and Vice President present, and various important people in the galleries. It was a setup, pure and simple.

    October 16, 2009 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  8. Oy Vey

    We like Wilson. He is doing a great job. Keep it up boca grande.

    October 16, 2009 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  9. Jackie in Dallas

    Wade,
    You are exactly correct in your definition of a democratic republic. Where you err is in saying that respect must be earned. While that is true on a personal basis, one should also be respectful of the office a person holds. There are a lot of Presidents I have not respected personally, but I always treat the office respectfully even when I disagree with the person holding it.

    In addition, every member of Congress is given a rule book of behavior (called Robert's Rules of Order) that they are expected to follow. That book is basically so that our sessions of Congress do not degrade into kindergarden fights and chaos. Those rules of conduct are especially enforced during Joint Sessions and especially Joint Sessions being addressed by the President. The President had the floor, as it is said in Roberts. Wilson's outburst, while it may be justified in his mind, was still a breach of decorum, and a slam at the office of President as well as Barack Obama. Every member of Congress is allowed rebuttal - if nothing else, in the published minutes of the session. That was the more respectful place for Wilson's comments. But that would not have made as good a soundbite, would it?

    October 16, 2009 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  10. Henry Miller, Libertarian, Cary, North Carolina

    Rahm Emanuel said, "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste."

    Well, Obama wasting trillions of taxpayers dollars and lying about it isn't something his opponents are going to waste either.

    October 16, 2009 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  11. Mike

    I'm sure I'm not the only one who's tired of see this picture and hearing about a Man who NEVER had the Backbone to call the former President a lie!!! CNN just call it a day with this guy!!! All it does if promote Hidden Racism!!! Just like the the Party of No on everything this President does!! Its not cutes and just because of freedom of speech......not every thing has to be heard or uttered.......and thats in the Bible.

    October 16, 2009 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  12. Still_in_Moderation_!

    So how much time does that leave for accomplishing anything in Congress. Isn't that why Joe was elected in the first place?

    October 16, 2009 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  13. B

    Any support Wilson gets is conformation of how extreme the right has become..

    The GOP as a very long way to go before becoming a viable party again,
    if ever!

    October 16, 2009 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  14. paul

    welcome to the United State of America ooops i lied the DIVIDED State of America- good job republican & democrat- why should the enemy of america do anything they can sit back and watch us kill each other...way to go patriots!!!

    October 16, 2009 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  15. Sniffit

    "We don't want a public option, we do want medical malpractice reform. We don't want any more deficit spending or entitlement programs. We want the government to cut spending, cut taxes and stimulated economic growth….."

    Check the polls again, sweetheart. Approx. 65% want a public option. Tort reform has not worked in the states that have tried it. If you don't want entitlement programs then stop scaring grandma by mischaracterizing projected savings in Medicare and Social Security as "cuts" in proposed health care reform bill, man up and call for Meidcare and Social Security to be eliminated. As for growth, the economy is shrinking more slowly than it was before...it has to do that before it starts growing again...it can no more do an about-face than you can in your car....try flipping it into reverse while doign 60 and you'll see what I mean.

    October 16, 2009 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
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