News Cycle

A look at the news, politics and journalism in today’s 24-hour media.

Report: Government Computers Might Have Been Used to Investigate Joe the Plumber

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The Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch reports that 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.”

Public records requested by The Dispatch disclose that information on [Joe] 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.

Sen. John McCain referred to this on the campaign trail this morning in New Mexico.

Paul Lindsay, Ohio spokesman for the McCain campaign, said that: “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.”

Isaac Baker, Obama’s Ohio spokesman, denounced Lindsay’s statement. “Invasions of privacy should not be tolerated. If these records were accessed inappropriately, it had nothing to do with our campaign and should be investigated fully.”


Written by newscycle

October 25, 2008 at 12:31 pm

Posted in Joe the Plumber

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