The Witch Hunt of Joe the Plumber

31 Oct

Since it’s Halloween, it’s the perfect time for a frightening (and true) ‘Obama supporter doing something sneaky and creepy’ story.

director.jpg

via HotAir

When last we heard from Helen Jones-Kelley, the director of Ohio’s Job and Family Services Division insisted that she has everyone who gets public attention checked to see if they owe family support.  Now, with more details about the searches performed on Joe Wurzelbacher becoming public, Jones-Kelley acknowledges she didn’t quite tell the entire truth at first.  Her department also ran checks on taxes and welfare payments to see if they could catch Joe the Plumber cheating the system:

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.

The entire episode seems rather Orwellian.  Joe the Plumber has the temerity to ask a question of Barack Obama, only after Obama approached Joe.  For this crime of sudden notoriety — and because Obama gave an embarrassing answer that has plagued him for weeks — Jones-Kelley ran several checks to see whether she could have him arrested.  Jones-Kelley, it should be noted, has given the maximum donation to Obama for this election.

Big Brother is watching. Harris is right, and he’s not buying Jones-Kelley’s explanation even in the abstract.  Do JFS employees routinely flip through newspapers and watch television all day and then run the names of all Ohioans who appear?  If so, they must not have much time to get any other work done.

On the other hand, it sounds like a perfect job for a blogger — sit around all day reading the newspapers and watching TV, and then wasting the rest of the day running pointless searches through government systems just on the off chance of finding something sensational.

Where do I sign up?

The real message this sends Ohioans is one of intimidation.  Don’t ask questions of public officials, Jones-Kelley’s actions say, or else watch your reputation get shredded.  Be quiet.  Don’t rock the boat.  We know where you live, and we know what you’ve done.

This, apparently, is Hope and Change for Ohio.  Want to bet that’s a 57-state strategy as well?

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4 Responses to “The Witch Hunt of Joe the Plumber”

  1. erin October 31, 2008 at 12:42 am #

    I live in Ohio. Between this and the voter fraud issues here, the State is quickly becoming the joke that Florida was back in 2004.

    I don’t want my lovely home State to be known like that. I’m taking action and I hope you will join me too.

    Write to Governor Strickland (he was a strong Hillary supporter during the Dem Primaries) and demand Helen Jones-Kelley is reprimanded for her shameful actions of abusing a publicly funded database.

    http://governor.ohio.gov/Assistance/ContacttheGovernor/tabid/150/Default.aspx

    Helen Jones-Kelley needs to be held responsible for the innapropriate and partisan abuse of her access to a State database. These records are not meant to be mined for personal information to be used against private citizens for political gain.

    It’s a blatant abuse of her position and a terrible violation of personal privacy.

    She is an Obama supporter, who donated $5,000 to the Obama campaign (according to public donation records). She went fishing for ‘dirt’ on Joe the Plumber and got caught.

    There needs to be accountability. Also, an apology to Joe the Plumber is in order as well.

  2. Constable X October 31, 2008 at 11:00 am #

    Talk about voter fraud and abuse of power!

    The crimes of these Obama followers are worse than anything they could dig up on Palin.. geesh.

  3. Jerry October 31, 2008 at 11:09 am #

    I have to agree that abusing your power is totally unacceptable. We should not have to contact the Governor of Ohio to start and investigation and should not have to demand this woman be reprimanded for her total lack of principles.

  4. Jerry October 31, 2008 at 11:15 am #

    I sent my complaint to the governor its not hard takes like 4 minutes i recommend that everyone who feels this was an abuse of power to do the same.

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