Joe Wilson Raised (And Spent ) Big Money After 'You Lie!'

It’s no secret that Rep. Joe Wilson’s “You lie!” outburst turned into major cash cow for the South Carolina Republican and his Democratic opponent Rob Miller, but we’re now learning more details on exactly how many millions those two words generated in the race and where that money came from. According to a fundraising report filed late last week with the Federal Election Commission, Wilson raised $2.7 million between July 1 and Sept. 30—the bulk of that money coming in the final three weeks of the month, after he heckled President Obama during his Sept. 9 speech to Congress. According to Wilson’s FEC report, about 80 percent of that total—roughly $2.1 million—came from small-donor contributors who gave $200 or less. A little bit of perspective: Wilson raised $1.2 million for his last race against Miller in 2008. That’s $1.2 million over 24 months—a total Wilson virtually doubled in just three weeks of fundraising last month. Where did the money come from? While Wilson raised the bulk of his funds from South Carolina donors during the 2008 cycle, his latest fundraising report lists contributions from all over the country—including dozens of checks between $1,000 and $3,000 from donors in Ohio, California, New York, Florida, Texas, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. Wilson ended September with nearly $2.6 million in the bank.

Of course, Miller didn’t do so bad either. According to his FEC report, Miller raised roughly $1.7 million—almost three times what he raised for his 2008 race against Wilson. About $1.4 million of that came via small donors under $200, and, like Wilson, Miller raised virtually all that money in the final weeks of September from all over the country. Among his donors: writer John Grisham, who contributed $2,400; and  singer Don Henley, who also contributed $2,400. Miller had help raising money. Almost $371,000 of the checks were routed through’s political action committee, while ActBlue raised more than $939,000 on Miller’s behalf. In fact, Miller’s campaign committee paid ActBlue more than $37,000 in credit-card-processing fees, according to his FEC report.

But that’s nothing compared with what Wilson spent to raise funds off of his sudden publicity. According his FEC report, Wilson’s campaign paid out more than $200,000 to fundraising and communications consultants after his now-infamous heckle. Among the payouts: $42,400 to the David All Group—a GOP consulting firm that helped Wilson set up online fundraising ads, including those on Google, and get control of his online presence on Twitter and YouTube when the “You lie!” controversy erupted. According to his FEC reports, Wilson still owes the company more than $157,000 for its services.

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