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. attorneybylaw

    this guy is a joke!!!!!

    October 16, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  2. Gale

    Yep, every time someone disagrees with Obama, he or she's a racist. And, Dutch, your comment just proves who are Obama's supporters, the hood?

    October 16, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  3. Sam in Houston

    Wilson for Preident

    October 16, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  4. YBM

    This whole Obama thing is real fishy. I am no Hillary Clinton fan but Obama should never have been able to beat her in the primaries. A first term junior Senator that spent his first two years voting present and his last two years campaigning for the office of President, against Hillary's experience and popularity? and winning???? That by itself smells, but then to win the presidency of the US??? This whole situation is rank. No thinking or intelligent person would have voted for this guy. I guess it shows the dumbing down of America is working. America is being sent the same way the Roman Empire went and for the same reasons. Only a lot faster. At least the Roman's had a thousand years or so.

    October 16, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  5. ThinkAgain

    Wow, Wilson's mother must be soooooo proud! Her son is such a loser that his only claim to fame will be that he rudely shouted out a lie at the President of the United States during a joint session of Congress.

    Pathetic!

    October 16, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  6. Thomas

    *** White Collar Crime Pays ***

    October 16, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  7. Shelly CO

    My friends find it reprehensible that Rep. Wilson acted so disrespectfully while the invited President was giving a speech. They said that they don't always agree with PM Harper's policies but they ALWAYS respect him.
    It is called PATRIOTISM. They see the anti Obama people as unpatriotic.
    If you love your country you respect your democratically elected leadership. That is true democracy.
    I

    October 16, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  8. ThinkAgain

    We DO want a public option – 65% of Americans say so and unless math has changed, that's a MAJORITY!

    Medical malpractice reform would only reduce health care costs by about 2-3%.

    The biggest drain is the exorbitant salaries of health insurance company CEOs, who average $14 million a year.

    October 16, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  9. ThinkAgain

    People who think that cutting taxes will stimulate economic growth and job creation haven't been paying attention.

    Bush cut taxes for the wealthy and what did we get? More unemployment and the collapse of the global financial system.

    Cutting taxes on the wealthy only stimulates them to build more factories overseas and export jobs, which results in real wages in America going down and more and more people out of work.

    October 16, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  10. Independent Bob

    It is time we elected (hired) representatives who are more interested in serving then getting re-elected. We had a tradition of volutary quits in this country until political careerism became the norm.

    Political careerism is the bane of good governance in this country. Politics is about doing what is expedient to ensure one is elected/re-elected.

    We need to start electing candidates that will put the Country before their own selfish interests. I am sure the perks associated with holding federal office are very enticing and are hard to part with. I guess that is why our elected offcials spend so much time working on their re-election from the moment they are sworn into office.

    We need to elect candidates that will serve under self imposed term limits and return to the tradition of volutary quits. We need citizen legislators and not career politicians. If we want real change we must break the cycle of political careerism and begin to elect citizen legislators.

    October 16, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  11. Carlos

    Money that was well spent.

    October 16, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  12. rebekah

    @ GAr.. teh Republicans want tort reform..so the insurance companies can keep more money in their pockets. As far as a public option... you mean to tell me it's fine by you that these senators (who are there for you) get public option insurance some of the best doctors available the best care for their family and children, prescription benefits like no other and it is all paid for by our taxes.. but you don't want this? What is wrong with you people? Has big corporations, cell phones, twitter and entertainment media corrupted your thought processes? Jesus never said it was about the money, he helped people no matter what back ground. We are now a sad hateful nation.

    October 16, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  13. ThinkAgain

    It's so funny to read these posts about how President Obama "lies a lot."

    They just type, but never back up what they say with facts.

    Here's a fact to chew on: Bush and Cheney told us Iraq had WMDs to take us into war; just this year, Cheney admitted that there never were WMDs and even had the gall to say that he never said Iraq did have WMDs.

    EVEN THOUGH WE HAVE HIM ON TAPE SAYING IT!

    Now THAT'S lying with a capital L!

    October 16, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  14. Mickey, NY

    Of course he spent heavily...so did Joseph Goebbels. This idiot Wilson is a Fascist. Period.

    Is this what the Republican Party has devolved into? The entire party is riddled with bigoted racists who capitalize on fear, and nothing more.

    Evolve or die.

    October 16, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  15. Gregory York

    I must let you know about Rep. Wilson is a Nazi, period.

    October 16, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  16. Norman

    I read some of the political stories on CNN and as a non-American, I'm often left wondering if Americans are really paying attention to what's going on in your own country.

    There are certain variables that, regardless of you being Republican or Democrat, Black or White, rich or poor, you should be able to see beyond. Disrespecting the leader of your country in a forum such as a joint session of congress should not be condoned, regardless of the reason. It's a simple matter of respect.

    I think President Obama was gracious in accepting the apology from Mr. Wilson; most people probably wouldn't have. However, Mr. Wilson's conduct afterwards shows that his contempt of your own government was premeditated and planned. Furthermore, it was obviously endorsed by the upper echelons of Republican leadership, and that is simply unacceptable, or at least it should have been.

    Many democrats disliked President Bush as far as I can tell, but none of them saw fit to disrespect him in such a way (at least as far as I can remember). What makes this situation worse is that there are Americans out there who saw fit to reward his blatant disrespect.

    You can feel no respect for the man (Obama), but as an American, at the very least you should respect the office. The President of the United States is invariably the President of ALL Americans.

    Which brings me to another point, Health Care Reform. If you're one of the many Americans with health care coverage, I guess it doesn't really matter to you whether this option is passed or not. However, what about those Americans that can't afford to have their loved ones taken care of when they fall ill?

    Just because healthcare reform does not matter to the majority, doesn't mean that it isn't essential to the American way of life. This is what scares me, I'm not even American, but even I can see the rationale behind Obama's arguments.

    At the rate American healthcare costs are increasing, it is unsustainable across the long term. Businesses won't be able to afford it sooner or later, and more of them will move to countries that will save them their bottom line.

    A public option makes it cheaper for big business. It will keep private companies on their toes. It will allow for greater competition, and competition is the impetus for economic growth.

    The final point I want to make is that it seems to be the concensus in America that your president is doing too much...he's putting too much on his plate. America HAS TO BE THE ONLY COUNTRY in the world where this is a bad thing.

    The economy isn't something where you make a decision and you're immediately able to reap the benefits or mistakes. It takes time to see the effect Obama's policies will have on long term, sustainable economic growth. What should he do in the meantime? Sit down and twiddle his thumbs, while making other decisions even though he's uncertain he's headed in the right direction.

    I have respect for America as one of the most innovative and ingenious countries in the world...in human history. Sadly, however, I'm quickly losing that respect when it comes to the everyday American. Surely, it doesn't take a university education to realize that following the likes of Sarah Palin will get you know where.

    Everyone else in the world can see this, why can't Americans?

    October 16, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  17. Rob R

    Sam in Houston...judging from your spelling...you must have been one of the contributors to Rep Wilson....all brains, I'm sure...

    October 16, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  18. Jean

    Stop talking about this Piece of Wasted Time individual. He will fade away, Thank God. In History he is really going to look like a Dweeb. He can have his legacy:)

    October 16, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  19. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Unforturnately for Joe Wilson's supporters no matter how much money he gets he will never be able to deliver. He's damaged goods for the GOP who are attempting to rebrand themselves and Joe Wilson sticks out like a sore thumb.

    October 16, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  20. Cant we all get along

    Regardless of how you feel about our President Obama, the fact remains that Wilson's comment not appropriate in that venue at that time. One should never forget manners and respect and Wilson's outburst was a blatant example of disrespect in the most extreme form. As an American, and as a politician, he should have known better than to interrupt the President during a speech. Very poor taste and low class.

    October 16, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  21. Dodge S.

    This proves it was planned. No doubt.

    October 16, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  22. AnotherGDlefty

    "So Joe speaks the truth and all you lib play the race card.
    Typical response.
    Never mind the fact that Obama did lie and continues to do so.
    He's a politician and they ALL lie."

    Too funny Wade..........
    Joe speaks the truth but he's a politician and all politicians lie ?
    Which is it?
    What color is the sky in your world ?

    October 16, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  23. Preco

    Only slime will drool in slime

    What a nerve? Trying to capitalize on his rude outburst against the President of the United States of America!

    May God deliver us all from crooks?

    October 16, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  24. Pragmatic

    oh ... I thought the totals were just an indication of ordinary Americans yelling with Joe .. spending $235,000 went to fund raising? Is that where your money went? Too bad – so sad.

    October 16, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  25. Barb

    "Spontaneous Outburst"... NOT!!!.... Calculated and timed!... Just go back and look at the wider picture of the outrage. The Republicans in the back of Wilson, and in front showed no amazement whatsoever. They were expecting it... one seemed almost gloating. So... stuff the "on the spot" reaction crap. The fact that Mr. Wilson's campaign coffers benefitted from the undeserved disrespect shown to the President tells a lot about the despair on the right and the rush to "Put President Obama in his place" (as they see it).

    October 16, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
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