To mark the one-year anniversary of South Carolina Republican Rep. Joe Wilson’s infamous “You lie!” moment, his Democratic opponent sent a fundraising solicitation Thursday morning titled “Joe Wilson’s Shame.”
“One year ago today, we all witnessed Joe Wilson’s embarrassing outburst during a joint session of Congress,” Rob Miller’s campaign manager Lindsay Zoeller wrote in the e-mail to supporters. “Afterward, Joe shamefully started raising money from it.”
The e-mail then launches into a fundraising pitch of its own by asking donors to “help us end Joe’s Washington ways by contributing $5, $10 or $15 now.”
The solicitation then takes Wilson to task for his part in an ongoing ethics investigation over the use of overseas travel funds. It wraps up by hitting the Congressman for “playing the victim while he begs for money,” before again asking supporters to cut a check to Miller’s campaign.
Wilson’s consultant Wesley Donehue said the e-mail from Zoeller shows “blatant hypocrisy” on the part of the Miller campaign.
“The guy is accepting donations from MoveOn.org, ActBlue and all of [Speaker] Nancy Pelosi’s liberal puppets,” Donehue said Thursday. “For him to call out conservatives around the country who rallied behind the Congressman is pretty sad.”
Even by Congressional campaign standards, Miller and Wilson have raised staggering sums of cash this cycle, the vast majority of which came in the days and weeks after Wilson’s national TV moment on Sept. 9, 2009.
Within 24 hours of Wilson’s outburst during President Barack Obama’s speech to a joint session of Congress, Miller had reportedly raised $700,000 and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee had released a fundraising solicitation mentioning the incident. Wilson recorded a video fundraising pitch the next day and had reportedly raised $700,000 for his campaign within 48 hours of the outburst.
As of June 30, the Congressman had raised about $4 million for his campaign. He took in about $2.7 million in the third quarter of 2009, which ended three weeks after the incident. Miller had raised more than $2.5 million at the end of June, with more than $1.7 million coming in the third quarter of last year. On Thursday, ActBlue, a fundraising clearinghouse for Democratic candidates, claimed to have moved more than $1 million in donations to Miller through its website.
On Wednesday, Wilson launched a new ad on cable and broadcast television that targets Miller for the support he received from MoveOn.org.
The ad features retired Marine Major General Jim Livingston calling on Miller, a retired Marine, to return the money he received from MoveOn because of the organization’s past criticism of Gen. David Petraeus. The ad accuses MoveOn of meddling in South Carolina politics to the tune of over $370,000. The commercial is Wilson’s fifth ad of the campaign.
Miller launched his first ad on Aug. 18. It is a biographical piece that talks about his service as a Marine.