[UPDATED] Ohio Official’s $5,000 Donation to Obama Raises Questions about Investigation into Joe the Plumber
According to today’s edition of the Columbus Dispatch, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services’s checks into Joe the Plumber’s confidential records were more extensive than previously admitted: not only did they perform searches in order to determine whether or not Joe the Plumber owed child support; they also searched tax records and welfare assistance records in an attempt to uncover any information that could be used to impugn the character of Sam Wurzelbacher.
Here is the weak justification Obama supporter Helen Jones-Kelley, the Director of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, provides for her department’s questionable probing into Sam Wurzelbacher’s private records:
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.
Her argument is anything but compelling. Does her department perform a search on anyone and everyone who announces they may have funds? Do they perform searches on everyone who intends to purchase a business? Is everyone discussed on television a subject of a search of her department?
Or is this the reason Jones-Kelley and her department performed questionable searches into Joe the Plumber’s confidential records?
DAYTON, OH 45415
STATE OF OHIO/DEPT DIRECTOR
OBAMA VICTORY FUND
07/30/2008 2500.00 28932562122
DAYTON, OH 45415
STATE OF OHIO
$5,000 is not one of those small contributions about which we hear from the Obamamedia. No wonder why the Ohio state Senate President who is launching an investigation into the potentially illegal probes into Joe the Plumber’s private financial records issued the following respone to Jones-Kelley’s statement:
Harris [the Ohio state Senate President] 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?”
I guess one draws the line along the partisan divide. Or at least this is where Jones-Kelley draws the line when her department rummages through the private lives of those they see on television.
I also found this statement by Jones-Kelley somewhat laughable:
The results of the searches were not publicly released and remain confidential, she wrote.
If this is the case, why did stories such as this diary and this diary surface on the Internet on 16 OCT, or just after Joe the Plumber became a topic of discussion in the media? Who leaked this information to news organizations? Who leaked this information to partisan bloggers?
According to the Dispatch, Jones-Kelley did perform a search in order to determine whether or not Joe the Plumber owed unemployment compensation taxes. What conclusion are we to make now that we know Jones-Kelley is an Obamabot who donated $5,000 to the Obama campaign? Did her office leak records regarding the taxes Wurzelbacher owed to Democratic operatives who then contacted blogs and the traditional media with information that could be used to intimidate and smear Joe the Plumber? What did her office do with this information, and why did they perform these searches?
Be afraid, be very afraid, especially if you reside in Ohio.