For scientists, the flash of inspiration that leads to discovery is sometimes called the “a ha moment.” But political scientists trying to discover something about an until-recently obscure GOP congressman from South Carolina (Hey, there's only one mention of him in the Modern Healthcare archives), are having an “AHA moment.”
Outliers: Who gave money to Joe Wilson? Ask the AHA
One of the first things Googlers learn about Rep. Joe Wilson—now infamous for shouting, “You lie!” during President Barack Obama's address last week to Congress on healthcare—is that his leading campaign contributor for the 2009-10 election cycle are individuals and groups affiliated with the American Hospital Association. They have contributed a total of $7,000 so far. Scrolling down the Center for Responsive Politics' list of Wilson's contributors, after one goes past the Credit Union National Association's $5,000 gift and the $4,999 (!!!???) from UPS, one finds Blue Cross and Blue Shield-affiliated donors in 11th place at $3,250, and conclusions are leapt to about who is buttering the shouting congressman's bread. Donors affiliated with the American Society of Anesthesiologists have ponied up $2,500, as has AstraZeneca (not to mention the National Beer Wholesalers Association).
In reality, however, all Wilson may be receiving are crumbs. For the 2007-08 cycle, AHA-affiliated donors poured $1,312,256 (63%) into Democratic campaign coffers and $784,475 (37%) to the GOP, the center reports. For 2010, the gaps widens with $351,385 (76%) being given to Democrats and $111,650 (24%) going to Republicans.
Outliers will be watching to see if these groups will continue to give Wilson a “shout out” with some more cash.
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