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Joe The Plumber Checks More Extensive

From Ohio’s Columbus Dispatch:

Checks on ‘Joe’ more extensive than first acknowledged

Tax, welfare info also sought on McCain ally

Wednesday,  October 29, 2008 8:05 PM
By Randy Ludlow

A state agency has revealed that its checks of computer systems for potential information on “Joe the Plumber” were more extensive than it first acknowledged.

Helen Jones-Kelley, director of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, disclosed today that computer inquiries on Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher were not restricted to a child-support system.

The agency also checked Wurzelbacher in its computer systems to determine whether he was receiving welfare assistance or owed unemployment compensation taxes, she wrote.

Jones-Kelley made the revelations in a letter to Ohio Senate President Bill M. Harris, R-Ashland, who demanded answers on why state officials checked out Wurzelbacher.

Harris called the multiple records checks “questionable” and said he awaits more answers. “It’s kind of like Big Brother is looking in your pocket,” he said.

If state employees run checks on every person listed in newspaper stories as buying a business, “it must take a lot of people a lot of time to run these checks,” he said. “Where do you draw the line?”

The checks were run after the news media reported that Wurzelbacher was considering buying a plumbing business with more than $250,000 in annual income, Jones-Kelley wrote.

“Given our understanding that Mr. Wurzelbacher had publicly indicated that he had the means to purchase a substantial business enterprise, ODJFS, consistent with past departmental practice, checked confidential databases ,” she wrote.

“Not surprisingly, when a person behind in child support payments or receiving public assistance is receiving significant media attention which suggests that the person appears to have available financial resources, the Department risks justifiable criticism if it fails to take note and respond,” Jones-Kelley wrote.

The results of the searches were not publicly released and remain confidential, she wrote. Wurzelbacher has said he is not involved in a child-support case and has not purchased any business.

Jones-Kelley wrote that the checks were “well-meaning,” but misinterpreted amid the heated final weeks of a presidential election

Republicans have painted the checks on Wurzelbacher as a politically motivated bid by Democrats to dig up dirt and discredit the McCain ally. The Obama campaign has said it has no ties to the checks and supports investigations.

The administration of Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland has said the information was not improperly shared and that there were no political motives behind the checks.

The Dispatch has uncovered four uses of state computer systems to access personal information on Wurzelbacher, including the child-support check authorized by Jones-Kelley.

She said on Monday that her department frequently runs checks for any unpaid child support obligations “when someone is thrust quickly into the public spotlight.”

Republican legislators have challenged Jones-Kelley’s reason for checking on Wurzelbacher as “frightening” and flimsy.

Jones-Kelly also has denied any connections between the computer checks on Wurzelbacher and her support for Obama. She donated the maximum $2,500 this year to the Obama campaign.

Ohio Inspector General Thomas P. Charles is investigating whether the child-support check on Wurzelbacher was legal.

Where is the outrage?

Alas, we may have to get used to this.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Wednesday, October 29th, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

15 Responses to “Joe The Plumber Checks More Extensive”

  1. curvyred

    If Obama wins, the spying on Joe will happen to any PERSON who dares to dissent, and sadly the Obama supporters cannot even see how vile this whole episode is.

    My understanding is Joe/Sam has custody of his child, and owes no child support, this whole story is appalling, and as an American Citizen makes me so upset.

    “Jones-Kelley wrote that the checks were “well-meaning,” but misinterpreted amid the heated final weeks of a presidential election… ”

    TRANSLATION: WE GOT CAUGHT WITH OUR HANDS IN THE COOKIE JAR

  2. Consilience

    curvyred, if the thug messiah is elected, this sort of thing will be “normalized”. If dare question his most high thuggishness, we’ll be investigated. This thing is a menance and must be defeated…

  3. Sir Corky

    I mean, he really did have it coming. He spoke out against the messiah.

    So, if Obama is the messiah, and Oprah launched him on a national scale, does that confirm her own belief that she is in fact, God?

  4. David

    So we can listen in to known terrorist phone calls because that violates their fundamental rights but spying on an American Citizen who disagrees with you politics is all well and good as long as the spying is “well-meaning”. Joe should join Al Qaeda then he could probably get the ACLU to look into this.

  5. If we could only get “Animal Farm” or “1984” by George Orwell back in the schools, this thing would not happen…

  6. BillK

    OneAmericanCitizen, you’re incorrect there.

    School teachers have successfully been painting the Patriot Act as the herald of “Big Brother” for almost a decade now.

    Remember, Republicans are those who want to “control” you, Democrats simply “mean well.”

  7. ptat

    Let’s not forget that Ohio, so willing to deeply investigate an innocent citizen, refuses to investigate the charge of voter fraud against the thoroughly corrupt ACORN! Hey Ohio (and Michigan)—you just keep voting for the “leadership” that brought you to the miserable situation you are in.

  8. Consilience

    The Patriot Act is a tough call on my end. I’m a retired vet and still work closely with folks in the national security arena. I agree that we must have an aggressive and muscular response to the islamic savages, but parts of the PA leave me wondering if we’ve ceded too much to the national government. Specifically, the “protections” for citizens is only as secure as the integrity of the “people” running the programs—-integrity seems to be in short supply in Washington these days, so I’m a little concerned we went too far. If the thug messiah is elected, the Patriot Act will be used as a weapon against his political enemies. This Joe the Plumber episode, when viewed in context of the reporters in Orlando NY being “shunned”/”shut-out”/”investigated” are illustrative of his minions willingness to violate our privacy when we dare question. Minions’ mischief, when a pattern is established (as we have), is mischief on the part of the candidate. Let’s not forget.
    Keep the faith!!!

  9. w3bgrrl

    Randy Ludlow has been doing a great job getting this story out. The Dispatch also had an editorial yesterday criticizing the heavy-handed Helen Jones-Kelley.

    The Ohio law which allows state agencies to cross-check lottery winners with child support and tax databases does not give Ms. Jones-Kelley blanket authority to snoop on anyone in the news as she claims. Surely she is aware of this and is lying in her letter to the Senate president.

    Here is a link to the applicable law recently passed in Ohio. In the past, lottery winners were to affirm by oath that they did not owe any child support or back taxes. She is either lying or incompetent and needs to be removed from her position.

    http://www.legislature.state.o.....26_HB_122_

  10. w3bgrrl

    I’d also like to submit this link which proves she is not incompetent. She is lying. She knows exactly for what purposes a check can be initiated by the agencies she oversees. This is a memo from Helen Jones-Kelley describing the rules for such checks: http://www.odjfs.state.oh.us/c.....sp?id=5331

    Page 7 of the document is where her lies completely break down. Notice the Lottery Commission must start the process of checking. They submit the name and social of a winner of $600 or more to OCS which then checks for payment arrears. It says, “Upon receipt of the information from OLC, OCS will determine whether the person is an obligor that has arrears under a support order being administered by a child support enforcement agency (CSEA).”

  11. Liberals Demise

    The Obammy campaign says it has no ties with the check and supports investigations.
    Yeah….sure you do!! Would this be after you wipe all your democrap fingerprints off of the inquearies?
    If I was a democrap in Ohio (or anywhere for that fact) and I helped Obammy in his goose step to the White House, I’d remember what happened to the friends of the Clintons after they set up a Bed & Breakfast there!! Fair warning…..those who don’t learn from their mistakes are doomed to repeat them!!
    It’s too late for Vince Foster and the others!!

  12. curvyred

    Obamby also claims no ties to ACORN, yet paid them eh excuse paid a subsidiary of theirs (Citizens) $832,598 to “get out the vote” efforts in Ohio, where currently 200,000 mismatched registrations sit because Brunner “doesn’t know what to do with them”

    And coincendentally enough she also attempted to throw out absentee ballots supplied by the McCain campaign, simply because they did not have an irrelevant box checked.

    I know that her Democratic status has nothing to do with any of the above.*sarcasm*

  13. Helena

    via the Toledo Blade:
    http://tinyurl.com/5fxyua

    “Toledo police records clerk charged with misconduct in ‘Joe The Plumber’ info inquiry
    BLADE STAFF

    A Toledo police records clerk has been charged with “gross misconduct” for allegedly making an improper inquiry for information regarding the man known as “Joe the Plumber,” city officials said Tuesday afternoon.

    Julie McConnell, a police employee since April, 1995, requested information Oct. 16 on Samuel Wurzelbacher, who gained national attention when he asked presidential candidate Barack Obama a question. Authorities said this was done for non-law enforcement purposes and was a violation of department policy and state policy governing law regarding the use of the Law Enforcement Automated Data System database.

    A discipline hearing will be scheduled within the next 10 days to discuss the matter. Ms. McConnell is a member of AFSCME Local 7.”

    Love it that she’s a union member.

  14. pinandpuller

    This is profiling for sure. QWR (Questioning While Republican).

  15. sheehanjihad

    It appears to be a not so veiled threat to any of us who would dare to be critical of the anointed one……we are on notice. Toe the party line, or suffer the consequences. Clinton’s use of the IRS pales by comparison to what honest questions will get anyone unfortunate enough to ask his highness without being pre scripted. So a lot of people have just taken to not saying anything. Thus, another rung on the ladder to complete domination. Silencing the critics vicariously.


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