Government Computers Used to Dig for Joe Plumber’s Information (Updated)

The ‘sleuths’ behind the crime are identified:

Ohio’s inspector general is investigating why a state agency director approved checking the state child-support computer system for information on “Joe the Plumber.”

Helen Jones-Kelly, director of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, confirmed today that she OK’d the check on Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher following the Oct. 15 presidential debate.

She said there were no political reasons for the check on the sudden presidential campaign fixture though the Support Enforcement Tracking System.

That’s bullshit on stilts. She’s an Obama supporter and monetary contributor.

Amid questions from the media and others about “Joe the Plumber,” Jones-Kelley said she approved a check to determine if he was current on any ordered child-support payments.

He is current, by the way.

And how many Obama-supporting deadbeats are behind on their payments? She’d know if she dug for their information.

“Our practice is when someone is thrust quickly into the public spotlight, we often take a look” at them, Jones-Kelley said, citing a case where a lottery winner was found to owe past-due child support. “Our practice is to basically look at what is coming our way.”

Translation: Speak out against THE ONE, and we’ll ‘spread the wealth’ of your personal information.

Ohio Inspector General Thomas P. Charles confirmed today that he is investigating the incident to determine if “Joe”s” records were legally accessed by Job and Family Services employees.

……Democrat Gov. Ted Strickland is satisfied that there are no political overtures to the check on Wurzelbacher, a spokesman said.

Again, bullshit.

Someone in the police chief’s association was at it as well:

The state attorney general’s office said today that information on “Joe” was accessed from a test account it shared with contractors who developed a computer network for the Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police.

……At least four state computer checks on Wurzelbacher were conducted shortly after Republican John McCain frequently brought up “Joe the Plumber” during his final presidential debate with Democrat Barack Obama on Oct. 15.

……The Dispatch reported Saturday that authorities are investigating why driver’s license and vehicle registration information on “Joe” was pulled from Bureau of Motor Vehicles computers.

BMV information on Wurzelbacher also was obtained through accounts assigned to the Cuyahoga County Child Support Enforcement Agency and the Toledo Police Department. Both checks are under investigation.

http://www.dispatchpolitics.com/live/content/local_news/stories/2008/10/27/copy/joe28.html?adsec=politics&sid=101

Joe got himself a lawyer and has this to say:

“It bothers me greatly,” Wurzelbacher said as he joined former Republican U.S. Rep. Rob Portman and small-business owners on a bus tour to back McCain and attack Obama’s tax policies.

“I’d like to see justice done,” he said. “That’s just for other people who dare ask their elected officials a question. They shouldn’t have to go through the scrutiny that I’ve gone through.”

http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/local_news/stories/2008/10/28/joe29.html?sid=101

“State and local officials are investigating if state and law-enforcement computer systems were illegally accessed when they were tapped for personal information about “Joe the Plumber.”
Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher became part of the national political lexicon Oct. 15 when Republican presidential candidate John McCain mentioned him frequently during his final debate with Democrat Barack Obama.

The 34-year-old from the Toledo suburb of Holland is held out by McCain as an example of an American who would be harmed by Obama’s tax proposals.

Public records requested by The Dispatch disclose that information on Wurzelbacher’s driver’s license or his sport-utility vehicle was pulled from the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles database three times shortly after the debate.

Information on Wurzelbacher was accessed by accounts assigned to the office of Ohio Attorney General Nancy H. Rogers, the Cuyahoga County Child Support Enforcement Agency and the Toledo Police Department.

It has not been determined who checked on Wurzelbacher, or why. Direct access to driver’s license and vehicle registration information from BMV computers is restricted to legitimate law enforcement and government business.

Three guesses, first two don’t count.

Paul Lindsay, Ohio spokesman for the McCain campaign, attempted to portray the inquiries as politically motivated. “It’s outrageous to see how quickly Barack Obama’s allies would abuse government power in an attempt to smear a private citizen who dared to ask a legitimate question,” he said.

More here: http://www.columbusdispatch.com/live/content/local_news/stories/2008/10/24/joe.html?

Previews of coming attractions if THE ONE gets elected.

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