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Joe Wilson’s Democratic Foe Raising Cash in D.C.

Updated: 10:09 a.m.

Members may be out of town for the Congressional recess, but that hasn’t stopped some candidates from coming to Washington in search of D.C. dollars.

Democrat Rob Miller, an Iraq war veteran running in South Carolina’s 2nd district, will be in D.C. on Thursday for fundraisers with separate groups of young Democratic donors.

One of those events is a $125 event that will take place at the lobbying firm Bryan Cave LLP. The other event will take place at the D.C. office of Salsa Labs, a company that provides online services for progressive political campaigns.

Miller is making his second run at Rep. Joe Wilson (R) in the heavily Republican 2nd district, but he’s entering the 2010 contest with a lot more name identification. Miller earned national attention last fall when Democrats from across the country poured money into his campaign as a way to express their anger over Wilson yelling “you lie” at President Barack Obama during an address to Congress on health care.

And while Thursday’s events are low-dollar affairs, Miller is still getting traction out of “you lie.”

Tim Lim, a regional director for the Grossman Marketing Group who is a host for one of Thursday’s events, referred to the incident in an e-mail invitation Wednesday.

“We have to send a message to politicians that no matter how different our beliefs, we still can maintain respect for one another,” Lim wrote. “Politicans need to lead by example and when they commit such an egregious act of disrespect in public, we need to stand up and do what we can to show them that this behavior will not stand.”

Miller raised an eye-popping $1.7 million in the third quarter of 2009, but his fundraising numbers came back down to earth after that. Miller raised about $227,000 in both the fourth quarter of 2009 and the first quarter of 2010. In six weeks from April to mid-May, he raised about $92,000. He had about $1.7 million on hand as of May 19, which still put him among the top tier for challenger candidates.

Wilson also got a boost from the conservative community in the wake of his now-famous comment. As of May 19, he had raised nearly $4 million, but he has also spent quite a bit of that. Wilson had $1.8 million on hand in mid-May.

Second-quarter fundraising reports are set to be released next week.

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