Joe the Plumber’s identity hacked by government employees

Republican presidential candidate John McCain made Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher, otherwise known as “Joe the Plumber,” famous during the October 15 debate with Democrat Barack Obama, and in subsequent television advertisements. Since then, numerous personal details have been disclosed about this working class Ohio guy who did not want pay higher taxes on income over $250,000 that he had not yet earned.

And now, according to the Columbus Dispatch, it appears that government computers in Ohio may have been used to illegally access personal information about Wurzelbacher. In the days after the debate, information on Wurzelbacher’s driver’s license or his sport utility vehicle was retrieved from the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles database three times, the Dispatch reported. With access to such information limited to legitimate law enforcement and government business, state and local officials are investigating whether the information was obtained illegally.

An Ohio spokesman for the McCain campaign told the Dispatch that the information breach may have been politically motivated. The Obama campaign has refuted the claim.