The election is over, but the Joe the Plumber case is not.
Ohio Inspector General Tom Charles said his office is now looking at a half-dozen agencies that accessed state records on Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher.
The Beacon Journal has learned that, in addition to the Department of Job and Family Services, two other state offices — the Ohio Department of Taxation and Ohio Attorney General Nancy Rogers — conducted database searches of Joe the Plumber.
Wurzelbacher became an instant celebrity after he asked Barack Obama a series of questions in his Toledo driveway about the Democrat's tax policies.
And what governmental purpose did these searches serve?
Kohlstrand said that the AG's office wanted access to the records so they could turn over to the national media lien information that was a public record in Lucas County. He said the national media did not have reporters in Toledo, so the attorney general's office was helping them out with public records.
So six Ohio governmental agencies were in a race to see who could provide the MSM with more information on Joe the Plumber.
I am going to try something. I’m going to call these Ohio agencies and ask for whatever information they can give me on their personnel. I’ll explain that I am part of the “National Media” and would like their assistance in uncovering whatever information I can get on these people since they are public figures.
Since they seem to see this as part of their public duty, I see no reason why they should not cooperate.
Here are some of the the names:
Ohio Attorney General Nancy Rogers
Ohio Tax Commissioner Richard A. Levin
Ohio Department of Job and Family Services Director Helen Jones-Kelley
Ohio Inspector General Tom Charles
Rick Anthony, deputy tax commissioner
Jim Gravelle, a spokesman for Attorney General Rogers
John Kohlstrand, a taxation department spokesman
This story illustrates the unprecedented transparency that technology is bringing to society. Just as (allegedly) Plumber Joe's privacy was breached, access logs in Ohio's information systems show when his data was accessed and from which particular government offices. That's powerful stuff. Data logs can probably enable a deeper investigation into precisely who made the access and whether it was legal. If people acted illegally, the digital evidence can lead to their punishment. Such transparency represents a big trend in society http://hack-igations.blogspot.com/2007/12/people-in-authority-sometimes-abuse.html --Ben
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