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. Ryan in cinci

    Everybody has an opinion! Mine is the Republicans are flat out ignorant and mean.

    October 16, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  2. Doug

    Makes it all sound very planned, doesn't it?

    October 16, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  3. gary davis Harbor Oregon

    this will come back and bite him right in the ass

    mark my word ,this guy is as the world sees the republicans . down the toilet and they have there hand on the handle themselves ..
    FLUSHHHHHH BYE BYE

    October 16, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  4. Wade

    Shelly CO
    If you love your country you respect your democratically elected leadership. That is true democracy.
    ------------------------------
    A little civics lesson for you Shelly, the US is not a Democracy.
    We are a Democratic Republic. We don't actually vote for our president. We vote for people to then vote for him.
    The electoral college is rigged in a manner than one only needs to win a state by 1 vote to inherit the votes of the entire state. Winner takes all even if he only wind by 1.
    There are only a few states that actually divide up the electoral votes based on the results, but they are still the minoroty.
    This is not a democratic way to elect a nations leader.
    Obama only won 51% of the vote yet took over 80% of the electoral vote.
    Sounds real democratic huh?
    Had we used the popular vote method, Bush would have never been in office.

    As for the respect part... it's earned, not deserved.
    We have the Bill of Rights which allows us to voice our disdain for our leaders without fear of prosecution.

    October 16, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  5. Once Upon a Horse

    with the likes of Limbaugh, Beck and Hannity with their bottomless pockets and multi million dollar intakes...for Joe Wilson to raise so much money after what he did is not a surprise to me. In fact any one of these guys esp. Rush could have taken a few million bucks out his wallet and never even missed it. But what it does tell me is that the GOP doesn't mind rewarding bad behavior even when the congressman had his facts confused and was wrong for calling the POTUS a liar. To me this would be equal to the Dems raising money for bail if they could for the man that threw his shoes at President Bush. Yet it wasn't until it was found that Wilson's opponent was getting all kinds of money that the Republicans said "uh oh we better get Joe some too so it won't make him look so bad!" Sorry RNC..the whole bunch.

    October 16, 2009 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  6. Shirley In California

    Rejoice [R]'s because a fool and his gold are soon parted.

    October 16, 2009 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  7. Amanda

    Surprise ! Wilson planned it in order to get $$$$. The GOP and its clowns will do whatever it takes to cash in.

    October 16, 2009 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  8. Indigo4

    TO YBM

    Yea...you make no sense. The difference between liberal and conservative is that the conservatives who aren't pro-choice, want to prevent everyone else from having a choice. Those who aren't their religion, the conservatives want to force them to believe what they believe. They want no government interference except for people they disagree with. Then they want totalitarianism.

    If conservatives truly believed in small government, they would kick the right-wing crazies who want to control reproductive choices and legislate morality out of their party. But they don't.

    October 16, 2009 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  9. jake

    Southern pig.

    October 16, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  10. Ted Tartaglia

    Wilson is just another bozo Repub trying to gain 15 minutes of infamy!

    October 16, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  11. Paul fom Kissimmee

    You liberals kill me, honestly. You have a problem with Wilson for saying obama lies, which he does, but you have no problem with that idiot from Florida who said the Republicans want you to die if you're sick? Get over yourselves. You can go ahead and follow this President straight off a cliff, because that's where he's taking you.

    October 16, 2009 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  12. Peggy

    You Republicans are really hateful people.
    And to make matters worse, you teach your innocent children the hateful ways that you have
    :( :( :( :(

    October 16, 2009 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  13. J Johnson

    I can't believe the things I'm hearing from the party of God and family values. How could any God fearing, right thinking, family oriented individual condone Joe Wilson's remarks? Whether one thinks the President was lying or not, that's not the venue to express it in.

    For a party to be represented by the likes of limbaugh, Hannity, and Beck, speaks volumes of the type morals contained within it. Do people actually believe the stuff that these guys preach? Everything that comes out of their mouths are laced with lies, deception, venom, and hatred. What type world would it be if people who believe as they do were in charge?
    Please, sensible Republicans let your voices be heard!

    October 16, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  14. John

    I'm shocked....shocked... to learn bigots were happy to shower Joe Wilson with money in the aftermath of his outburst.

    One might almost be tempted to believe Joe Wilson planned it that way.

    October 16, 2009 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  15. Tired of the Lies

    If voters are going to pay representatives millions of dollars in campaign contributions to make cat-calls at the president...

    Why oh why would we think this to be an isolated event?

    Once again the GOP breaks new ground in introducing slimy politics to Washington. Lincoln would be so proud.

    Your party does not embrace the values our forefathers cherished when they crafted our great nation. Patriotism didn't used to mean hoping the president fails, goodwill toward all men wasn't limited to your political party, and using the government to promote your religion's values used to be considered anathema to a free society.

    October 16, 2009 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  16. beachgirl

    Wilson= looser
    Wilson= lier
    Wilson = republican
    Wilson= represeting who?????????
    Wilson=DONE

    October 16, 2009 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  17. Ray

    When is this guy going to apologize to Congress and the American people for the disrespect he showed not only to the president but to us? That's OUR congress. That's OUR building. That's OUR president. Wilson has not apologized.

    Fire him.

    October 16, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  18. File under "Sarcasm"

    Ever hear the phrase, "Put your money where your mouth is". I guess a lot of people feel they should put their money where Mr. Wilson's mouth is before President Obama redistributes it to someone else.

    October 16, 2009 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  19. dave

    He' and idiot. When will we stop giving these people the publicity they so badly seek? No, it's not about disagreement; it's about disrespect plain and simple. A democrat would not have done that to Bush.

    October 16, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  20. What???

    Sam in Houston October 16th, 2009 4:33 pm ET

    Wilson for Preident
    *****************************

    Is this sarcasm, rhetoric or an inability to spell correctly. If the later, the GOP is in deep doo dah with an electorate this poorly educated!

    October 16, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  21. TH

    Face it, Obama did lie! Obama is still liing! Obama even liied in his campaign speeches! There's nothing racist about this comment and for anyone to imply that these comments were race based is completely off their rocker or just another meth dealer from the hood.

    October 16, 2009 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  22. Wheat

    Good for him. He is one of the few people in Washington that has had the guts to call the President out on his lies. Go Joe! Wilson 2012! BTW How is that stimulus working out? Unemployment below 8%, huh?

    October 16, 2009 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  23. Dave

    Wow. His apology was so sincere.

    October 16, 2009 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  24. MM

    It's not that I'm a conspiracy nut or anything – but isn't it strange that we have a close-up shot of Wilson pointing and shouting his incredibly rude comment? Were there cameras focused on everyone all of the time, was it just lucky that the cameras happened to focus in tight on this one man at this one moment, or was this more than an unplanned conincidence?

    October 16, 2009 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  25. Subhan Zia

    wow pricey

    October 16, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
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