Plumbing

Story of Joe the Plumber springs many leaks

Forget Joe the plumber for a sec, who is the best plumber in the Bay Area?J.D. Pooley/Getty ImagesSupporters of Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., are dressed as Joe the Plumber as they stand outside the Roanoke Civic Center where a rally for Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., takes place in Roanoke, Va., Friday, Oct. 17, 2008. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)Supporters of Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., are dressed as Joe the Plumber as they stand outside the Roanoke Civic Center where a rally for Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., takes place in Roanoke, Va., Friday, Oct. 17, 2008. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)Jae C. Hong/AP*** CORRECTS SPELLING OF PLUMBER *** Joe Wurzelbacher, or as Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain dubbed him during Wednesday's presidential debate, "Joe The Plumber", laughs while chatting with the press outside of his home in Holland, Ohio, Thursday Oct. 16, 2008. Wurzelbacher was cited by the GOP presidential candidate as an example of someone who wants to buy a plumbing business but would be hurt by Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama's tax plans. Wurzelbacher said he was surprised that his name was mentioned so many other times. (AP Photo/Madalyn Ruggiero)*** CORRECTS SPELLING OF PLUMBER *** Joe Wurzelbacher, or as Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain dubbed him during Wednesday’s presidential debate, “Joe The Plumber”, laughs while chatting with the press outside of his home in Holland, Ohio, Thursday Oct. 16, 2008. Wurzelbacher was cited by the GOP presidential candidate as an example of someone who wants to buy a plumbing business but would be hurt by Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama’s tax plans. Wurzelbacher said he was surprised that his name was mentioned so many other times. (AP Photo/Madalyn Ruggiero)Madalyn Ruggiero/APPlumber Joe Wurzelbacher watches the presidential candidate debate in his home in Ohio Wednesday Oct. 15, 2008. Sen. McCain referred repeatedly to Joe Wurzelbacher, a plumber from Toledo, Ohio. Wurzelbacher watched Wednesday night's debate and said he still thinks Senator Obama's plan would keep him from buying the small business that employs him. About Senator McCain: "He's got it right as far as I go." Even so, Mr. Wurzelbacher declined to say who was getting his vote. He said he was surprised that he was called "Joe the Plumber" repeatedly during the debate. "It's pretty surreal, man, my name being mentioned in a presidential campaign." (AP Photo/Toledo Blade - Lori King) OUT MAGS, PORT CLINTON NEWS HERALD, BOWLING GREEN SENTINEL-TRIBUNE, FINDLAY COURIER, FREMONT NEWS MESSANGER, TIFFIN ADVERTISER TRIBUNE, MONROE EVENING NEWS, TOLEDO FREE PRESS, NO SALES, NO MAGSPlumber Joe Wurzelbacher watches the presidential candidate debate in his home in Ohio Wednesday Oct. 15, 2008. Sen. McCain referred repeatedly to Joe Wurzelbacher, a plumber from Toledo, Ohio. Wurzelbacher watched Wednesday night’s debate and said he still thinks Senator Obama’s plan would keep him from buying the small business that employs him. About Senator McCain: “He’s got it right as far as I go.” Even so, Mr. Wurzelbacher declined to say who was getting his vote. He said he was surprised that he was called “Joe the Plumber” repeatedly during the debate. “It’s pretty surreal, man, my name being mentioned in a presidential campaign.” (AP Photo/Toledo Blade – Lori King) OUT MAGS, PORT CLINTON NEWS HERALD, BOWLING GREEN SENTINEL-TRIBUNE, FINDLAY COURIER, FREMONT NEWS MESSANGER, TIFFIN ADVERTISER TRIBUNE, MONROE EVENING NEWS, TOLEDO FREE PRESS, NO SALES, NO MAGSLori King/APDemocratic presidential candidate, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., facing camera, talks to plumber Joe Wurzelbacher in Holland, Ohio, Sunday, Oct. 12, 2008. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., facing camera, talks to plumber Joe Wurzelbacher in Holland, Ohio, Sunday, Oct. 12, 2008. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)Jae C. Hong/APUS Democratic presidential nominee Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) (L) speaks to Joe Wurzelbacher as he canvasses a neighbourhood in Holland, Ohio in this October 12, 2008 file photo. Wurzelbacher, a plumber, was mentioned several times in the final presidential debate between Obama and Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) on October 15, 2008. REUTERS/Jim Young/Files (UNITED STATES) US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION CAMPAIGN 2008 (USA)US Democratic presidential nominee Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) (L) speaks to Joe Wurzelbacher as he canvasses a neighbourhood in Holland, Ohio in this October 12, 2008 file photo. Wurzelbacher, a plumber, was mentioned several times in the final presidential debate between Obama and Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) on October 15, 2008. REUTERS/Jim Young/Files (UNITED STATES) US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION CAMPAIGN 2008 (USA)Jim Young, File/Reuters

A couple of things about Joe the Plumber, the icon of the authentic working-class voter who was declared the “winner” of the final presidential debate.

His first name isn’t really Joe. It’s Samuel.

He’s not really a plumber – at least, not a licensed one.

Advertisement

Article continues below this ad

He’s concerned about increased taxes – but hasn’t paid his own income taxes.

And he’s not exactly just a guy from Ohio.

He’s lived in Arizona … and Alaska.

And as for that unscripted moment that ended up on Fox News, the one at a rally where he questioned Sen. Barack Obama about the American Dream – and whether he’d have to pay higher taxes under Obama’s plan?

Advertisement

Article continues below this ad

Seems Joe, who is actually Samuel J. Wurzelbacher, told the conservative Web site familysecuritymatters.org that catching the Democratic presidential candidate off guard “was actually my intent.”

“Looks like there’s a crack in Joe the Plumber’s story,” said Bob Mulholland, the Democratic party activist and adviser, after some details of Wurzelbacher’s life emerged Thursday.

In an election that has starred all sorts of celebrities – remember Paris Hilton? Britney Spears? – Wurzelbacher got his 15 minutes of fame after being referenced 26 times during Wednesday’s presidential debate, 21 times by Sen. John McCain.

On Thursday, McCain even happily declared “Joe the Plumber” to be “the winner” of the debate.

Advertisement

Article continues below this ad

“Joe the Plumber’s story sprang a few leaks Thursday,” said an Associated Press story.

That’s after the AP, bloggers, investigators and librarians – and The Chronicle – turned up court documents and birth records.

For one, Wurzelbacher’s expressed concern about paying more taxes looked a bit tarnished with the revelation that he owes Ohio about $1,200 in personal income taxes, according to the Lucas County Court of Common Pleas records. And there’s a 2007 civil filing that shows a record for a $1,200 owed to a creditor, St. Charles Mercy Hospital.

Advertisement

Article continues below this ad

So Wurzelbacher has an active lien on his property filed in January 2007, records from the Ohio Department of Taxation show.

The Toledo Blade, examining Lucas County Building Inspection records, reported that his employer, the A.W. Newell Corp., “does maintain a state plumbing license, and one with the City of Toledo, but would not be allowed to work in Lucas County outside of Toledo without a county license.”

“Mr. Wurzelbacher said he works under Al Newell’s license, but according to Ohio building regulations, he must maintain his own license to do plumbing work,” the newspaper said. “He is also not registered to operate as a plumber in Ohio- which means he’s not a plumber.”

What else did Americans learn about Wurzelbacher this week?

Advertisement

Article continues below this ad

Among the factoids gleaned from state and county records:

— He is registered as a Republican, and voted in the state’s GOP primary in March, county elections records show. But he was previously registered, dating back to 2007, in the Natural Law Party.

— He has lived in McCain’s home state of Arizona – in both Mesa and Tucson.

— He lived in GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s home state of Alaska – in North Pole, from September 1992 to July 1993.

Advertisement

Article continues below this ad

And as comic Bill Maher pointed out, in his 15 minutes of fame, Wurzelbacher has already done more interviews than Palin.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button