Beyond criticism and a swift apology, the incident has already provided a fundraising bonanza for Wilson’s opponent, Rob Miller, a Democrat and Marine Corps veteran. Miller raised over $50,000 in just a few hours after Wilson’s outburst, after activists and small donors flooded his page on ActBlue. Bloggers and readers at Daily Kos, a popular liberal blog, also used the site to instantly create a dedicated fundraising page highlighting the incident. The portal, titled “Defeating the man who yelled ‘liar’ at Obama: Goodbye Rep Joe Wilson,” has already raised $35,000 for Wilson from over 1,050 individual donors.
Adrian Arroyo, an official with ActBlue, noted that Rep. Wilson’s antics struck such a strong chord, references to “you lie” on Twitter even surpassed Jay-Z, the popular musician who has led chatter on the site in anticipation of his new album debuting this week.
UPDATE: By Thursday afternoon, Miller’s haul topped $300,000 from over 8,000 donors.
Some monkey business on Valley highways is not bringing a laugh from the Arizona Department of Public Safety.
DPS is pursuing 37 unpaid photo enforcement tickets issued to Dave Vontesmar. Vontesmar said the photos depict somebody in a monkey mask and he wasn’t the speeding driver.
Not so, said DPS Lt. Steve Harrison.
“We think there’s sufficient evidence, certainly, to charge him, and it’s up to the court to decide whether he’s guilty or not,” said Harrison.
Harrison said officers have seen Vontesmar donning masks.
“Our officers actually conducted surveillance on him and observed him putting the mask on just prior to the photo enforcement zone. So obviously, he intended on speeding through the zone and was covering his face intentionally,” Harrison added. “He had two masks. One appeared to be a monkey, the other one appeared to be a giraffe or some type of gazelle design.”