Wilson Did Not Support Clyburn’s Daughter for State Position in 1998

Posted September 18, 2009 at 4:24pm

Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) voted against the daughter of House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) for a spot on the state Public Service Commission in 1998 when Wilson was a state Senator, contrary to a statement he made to Roll Call Wednesday.Wilson’s office acknowledged the error Friday after Clyburn’s office pointed out the discrepancy to Roll Call. Wilson had pointed to his supposed support of Mignon Clyburn a decade ago as a sign of his long friendship with the Congressman, but he actually voted for a competing candidate for the job, according to online archives kept by the state Legislature.“I was also pleased to support Jim Clyburn’s daughter, Mignon, in 1998 when I helped to gain support, as a state Senator, for her appointment to serve on the Public Service Commission,— Wilson said in a statement to Roll Call.“The Congressman was mistaken,— a Wilson aide acknowledged Friday. “He honestly thought he had voted in favor of her.—Clyburn, the third-ranking Democrat in the House, led the charge for a rare, formal rebuke of Wilson for shouting “You lie!— at President Barack Obama during last week’s joint address to Congress. Wilson was responding to Obama’s statement that illegal immigrants would not get benefits under his health care plan. The Congressman apologized to the White House but refused to apologize to the House of Representatives for the breach of decorum.In an interview Wednesday, Clyburn told Roll Call of a series of perceived slights and insensitivities on Wilson’s part over many years.Clyburn, who said he contributed financially to Wilson’s first political campaign, complained about everything from Wilson’s support for flying the Confederate flag over the state Capitol to his holding a town hall during the August recess at the high school Clyburn’s children attended.Here is Wilson’s full statement to Roll Call Wednesday:“I am honored to serve in a district adjacent to Jim Clyburn’s. He and I have worked together in Congress for 8 years for the betterment of South Carolina, and I was particularly proud to attend his swearing in as the Majority Whip in 2007. I was also pleased to support Jim Clyburn’s daughter, Mignon, in 1998 when I helped to gain support, as a State Senator, for her appointment to serve on the Public Service Commission. I look forward to continuing our friendship and efforts to promote health insurance reform for the American people.—Although Wilson didn’t vote for Mignon Clyburn in 1998, he did send her a letter of congratulations after she was appointed to the Federal Communications Commission earlier this year.