Rep. Wilson Plays Victim In Fund-Raising Letter For Virginia GOP

11/22/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • Sam Stein Senior Politics Editor, The Huffington Post

Rep. Joe Wilson's "You lie!" outburst may have landed him in political hot water for a few weeks but the South Carolina Republican is now using his experience to raise money for fellow GOP lawmakers.

In an email forwarded to the Huffington Post, Wilson plays the role of political victim as a means of soliciting campaign contributions for the Virginia Republican Party and the state's House Speaker Bill Howell.

"In the last two weeks, I have learned what it's like to be the No. 1 target of liberal Democrats across the nation," Wilson writes. "After the President's address to Congress, liberal activists and bloggers raised over one million dollars for my opponent--in an election that's over a year away."

The email uses the specter of ACORN and labor unions getting involved in the state elections to rally recipients into writing checks.

"Virginia House Speaker Bill Howell knows what it's like to be a target too. Virginia is one of only two states with an election this year--in just a month and a half--so he and his House Republican colleagues need your help today," the letter reads.

"Big liberal money from outside Virginia has flowed into House Democrat coffers because the Republican majority in the Virginia House has been the only firewall between Virginia citizens and the tax-and-spend agenda of a Democratic Governor and state Senate."

"Governor Tim Kaine, who spends half his time pushing a liberal agenda in Richmond and the other half as chairman of the Democratic National Committee, has already committed one million dollars from the DNC treasury to House Democrats (that's on top of the $5 million he's already committed to statewide candidates)."

The evolution of Wilson from a relatively obscure southern Republican to a semi-prominent fundraiser within the party is one of the more interesting consequences of his outburst during the president's health care address before Congress. While the congressman has been widely condemned for his antics and watched as his electoral opponent raised campaign funds, being thrust to the fringe of the party hasn't been all that bad. Wilson certainly is better-known and more in demand within the conservative community today than he was three weeks ago.