Alan Grayson, Joe Wilson Show That Controversy Pays

(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
For a little-known lawmaker, it seems, generating a national controversy can pay big dividends.

CNN reports that Joe Wilson, the South Carolina Republican who yelled "you lie!" during President Obama's address to a joint session of Congress, raised $2.7 million through September 30th, according to newly-filed Federal Elections Commission disclosure forms.

Nearly all of that money came following Wilson's outburst, which generated enormous media coverage and resulted in a resolution of disapproval being passed against Wilson in the House.

It's worth noting that Wilson wasn't the only beneficiary of his outburst: His likely Democratic challenger, Rob Miller, took in $1.7 million through Sept. 30th, nearly all of it following Wilson's moment in the spotlight, according to CNN.

(grayson.house.gov)
Alan Grayson, meanwhile – the self-proclaimed "Democrat with guts" who said the Republicans' health care plan is for sick patients to "die quickly" – made more than $100,000 on the day after his controversial comment, Politico reports, citing FEC forms. That was a third of his fundraising for the entire year.

Since Grayson made the comments on September 29th – and the FEC reports only go through the 30th – we don't yet know how much more money the comments brought in. But it is clear that Grayson's national profile is helping: On Sunday, his office sent reporters an email trumpeting the fact that an appearance on MSNBC's Countdown resulted in more than $50,000 in just a few hours.

"If the Republican Party had attacked me again, we would have received over $100,000 on Friday night," he joked.

Grayson hails from a swing district and has been on the list of vulnerable Democrats targeted by the Republican Party. But his fundraising explosion could discourage national Republicans from investing what could be the significant resources necessary to have a chance to defeat him.

Comments

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.