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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Joe Wurzelbacher: Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy?

Wherein I get my own little nutbar conspiracy theorizing out of my system....

"Joe the Plumber": a GOP plant? Maybe. Or should I say, I wish.

As I've been reading about Joseph Wurzelbacher, aspiring plumber and defender of capitalism from Holland, Ohio, I have found an interesting convergence of Wurzelbacher names, money, and Republican politics. All circumstantial, all coincidence... all just waiting for one public record to pop up to tie it all together. Check it out:

--Manta.com lists two businesses owned by a Joseph Wurzelbacher of Cincinnati, Ohio: a construction firm started in 1974 and JCC Investments started in 2001, both at the same address.

--Record of Proceedings (PDF!), Special Meeting on a zoning request from Rumpke Sanitary Landfill, October 2, 2006, Colerain Township (?), north Cincinnati: "Joe Wurzelbacher of 12117 Stone Mill Road [same road as the above two businesses] is not an employee nor does he do business with them. He owns 118 acres within 2 miles of the Rumpke property. He has lived here for 70 years and not planning to leave. He urges the Board to approve."

--There is another Wurzelbacher, Richard R., who works in plumbing and septic systems just a couple miles down the road from the above Wurzelbachers.

--Search "Wurzelbacher" and "Ohio" at OpenSecrets.org, and you'll find $101,650 of contributions from Dennis and Dorothy of Cincinnati, R. and/or R.M. of Milford, Dr. Richard of Cincinnati, Robert and/or Robert M. (and Mrs. Robert M.) of Cincinnati and/or Milford, R.W. of Milford... and every penny for Republicans (though not a one for McCain yet!).

--And now for a journey into the Twilight Zone: On May 16, 1992, Charles H. Keating Jr.'s son-in-law and former senior vice-president of American Continental Corporation of Phoenix, pled guilty to "three Federal fraud counts in connection with the collapse of the Lincoln Savings and Loan Assocation." That son-in-law's name? Robert M. Wurzelbacher, Jr.

Now what does all this mean? Well, not much. There's no quickly apparent online connection between John McCain's new talking point and any of the above mentioned folks.

Consider this all a good example of how I am as prone see a pattern where there is none as the rest of humanity. I want there to be a pattern, I think there's a pattern... but I lack the connection to prove it.

Conspiracy buffs, knock yourselves out. But remember: there are probably a lot more Wurzelbachers in the world than you might think. I've got homework to do, South Dakota news to read, and a wife and baby to hug. Good night, all!

Update 08:22 CDT: And have fun we will: I'm not the only one giving the W and Z keys on my computer a workout.

And Father Theodosius notes Census figures that show that the median income in Joe's current hometown of Toledo, Ohio, to be $43,553. Joe must be doing pretty well compared to his neighbors.

Update 08:47: A commenter finds that Joe's real name may be Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher. A Samuel J. Wurzelbacher appeared as a defendant in a divorce proceeding in Toledo's Lucas County Court in 1997. [update 10:11] ...followed by his appearance in 2006 as plaintiff in dissolution/separation proceedings against a different woman. [12:30] And as we race headlong into the Twilight Zone, the 1997 divorce document lists Wurzelbacher's residence in Arizona (remember where John McCain is from)... and the WebOfDeception.com post shows he once lived on a street names Keating Avenue in Mesa, AZ.

Maybe things are tight for Joe already: this court document indicates he couldn't manage to pay $1,182.98 of his personal income tax and got hit with a tax lien.

Update 09:37: "Joe" tells ABC he's registered to vote... but if he is, it's not in Toledo. A review of the Lucas County voter registration list finds four Wurzelbachers: Phyllis, Frank, Robert, and Kimberly... but no Joe, or Joseph, or Samuel Joseph. [10:32] Ah! But Politico's Ben Smith finds (and my own review of the Lucas County rolls confirm) that Sam Joe is registered, but his name is spelled wrong: Worzelbacher. Sounds like another case of Republicans putting false names on the voter rolls! ;-)

...and he may not be a plumber: I searched the Ohio contractor's database and found no Wurzelbacher—Sam, Joe, or otherwise.

Wow—not paying taxes, not registered to vote, not a licensed plumber... this is starting to smell.

Update 16:14: Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher tells AP he doesn't have a plumbers license and doesn't need one. Lucas County appears to hold a different opinion. Cool—SJW isn't a plumber or a Republican; he's a Libertarian! ;-)

He also says he'd like to buy the business he currently works for, Newell Plumbing and Heating of Toledo, but "he doesn't have a good plan put together" on how to do that.

[16:20] Oh, wait, SJW really is a Republican: he can't count. JCinDE at Daily Kos finds a Manta.com profile of A.W. Newell Plumbing Company of Toledo that says the company (presumably Joe's outfit) makes $100,000 a year. That's a bit short of the $250–280K Joe estimated the business he wants to buy makes. Sounds like true Republican math to me.

[17:46] So SJW used to live at 1960 West Keating Drive, Mesa, AZ (couple diff. apartments: 150, 592). Huffington Post's FundRace 2008 lists another resident of that address (though no apartment #), Kimberley J. Piros, as a Republican donor. OpenSecrets says she has given $6,328 in the last five years to Republicans... though not a penny to McCain. Kimberley was also the name of the woman cited in SJW's 2006 marriage dissolution proceeding... oh! but it was Kimberley M. No cigar! If that middle initial had lined up, I was ready to really to turn the conspiracy theory into a love story: Sammy Joe tries to change the Presidential election, just to win back the love of his ex. Ah, if only....


  1. http://harrysworldnews.blogspot.com/2008/10/joe-plumber-has-no-internet-advertising.html

    Joe The Plumber Has No Internet Advertising?

    This "Joe the Plumber" character John McCain referred to in the debate- real or not real?

    Certainly a Joe Wurzelbacher exists, he is a person living in Ohio. There are mentions on the Internet of Wurzelbacher Brothers, a plumber at 11260 Colerain Avenue, Cincinnati OH 45252. Street view at this address depicted above does not show the sort of evidence a plumbing business making over $250,000 a year in profits (implying millions in revenue) would be likely to have. Like a sign. Or a single shred of Internet evidence that there is any such plumbing business at this address.

  2. Only 173 Wurzelbachers and Joe and Richard are from the same town and of the right ages to be and uncle/nephew for example. This connection might not be so tenuous.

  3. There are more Gibiliscos than you might suspect, too. With the help of Google, you might be led to believe that I am a lawyer in Louisiana with some less-than-honorable associations. Oh well. I know who to hire if anyone ever steals my identity.

  4. According to WaPo, Joe admitted he's not registered to vote, does not make anything near $250k per year (thus would pay lower taxes under Obama), and his father is a big republican donor.

  5. I spent last night not watching the debate. I was doing something more important... watching the Phillies set down the Dodgers to advance to the World Series! Go Philly!

  6. Joe the Plumber's real name


  7. Hang on, Stan: "Gibilisco" and "Wurzelbacher" both have four syllables... hmmm... I see another pattern forming... ;-)

  8. ...Joe the Plumber


  9. firedoglake.com has some interesting insights

  10. Using Zabsearch.com turns up a record for Samuel J. Wurzelbacher at 1960 KEATING Ave., Mesa AZ.

  11. I've done a bit of research into this, check it out at http://notabilia.us/blog/?p=38

  12. Hey Cory,

    Yes, those Germans and Italians with four-syllable surnames are a bunch of Potiçellis and Kettlemeisters, all of them, to the last Doppelgänger.


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