OH bureaucrat and Obama supporter who plundered Joe the Plumber’s privacy records under false pretense quits
Karma can be a real female dog sometimes, can’t it? Here’s a warning, though: the following is a bit of revisionist bovine feces. Observe:
Helen Jones-Kelley, the state official placed on unpaid leave for improperly accessing confidential information from state databases on “Joe the Plumber,” has resigned.
Two senior managers at the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services who were involved in the incident also are being ousted, The Dispatch has learned.
Jones-Kelley, the agency’s director, had been scheduled to return to work Monday following a one-month suspension without pay.
In a four-paragraph statement, she said, “it is with sadness and clarity that I have decided to resign…This decision comes after having a time of pause, in which I realize that I continue to be used as a political postscript, providing a distraction from urgent state priorities.
“My professional career, and the legacy of service I have established, has been, and continues to be, far too important for me to allow my reputation and my commitment as a servant leader to be disparaged. I also remain concerned for the safety of my family and myself.”
Gov. Ted Strickland suspended Jones-Kelley last month after a report by Inspector General Thomas P. Charles found that checks into the background of Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher that were approved by Jones-Kelley were not conducted for any legitimate governmental purpose.
Someone dial “9-wah-wahhhhhhhhhh! and get a Waaaaaahhhhhhhhhh-mbulence on the scene, pronto!
Just so I’m clear on the goings-on here:
Joe the Plumber asks a question that could have brought some discomfort to The One. Jones-Kelly, who just so happened to have supported Uhhh-bama, just so happened to decide to snoop through JtP’s records because he had become an overnight celebrity and it was routine to snoop on overnight celebrities. When it was revealed by pretty much everyone in OH government that such a “new celebrity” clause doesn’t exist as justification of a state employee to go dumpster diving on a citizen, it became clear that Jones-Kelly (did I mention that she just so happened to have supported the subject of JtP’s less-than-fawning question?) had abused her power and had tried to get others to lie about it in order to cover it up. When that didn’t quite work out the way she envisioned it and was rightly criticized for her shameful (and possibly illegal) activity, she kicked off the Mother of All Pity Parties and resigned in a snit.
I guess it’s out fault that we made her snoop on someone’s records. We must be racist. Or something.
The Obamton is lying…pure and simple. Sue her, Joe! From C-bus:
Vanessa Niekamp said that when was asked to run a child-support check on Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher on Oct. 16, she thought it routine. A supervisor told her the man had contacted the state agency about his case.Niekamp didn’t know she just had checked on “Joe the Plumber,” who was elevated the night before to presidential politics prominence as Republican John McCain’s example in a debate of an average American.
The senior manager would not learn about “Joe” for another week, when she said her boss informed her and directed her to write an e-mail stating her computer check was a legitimate inquiry.
The reason Niekamp said she was given for checking if there was a child-support case on Wurzelbacher does not match the reason given by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.
Director Helen Jones-Kelley said her agency checks people who are “thrust into the public spotlight,” amid suggestions they may have come into money, to see if they owe support or are receiving undeserved public assistance.
Niekamp told The Dispatch she is unfamiliar with the practice of checking on the newly famous. “I’ve never done that before, I don’t know of anybody in my office who does that and I don’t remember anyone ever doing that,” she said today.
UPDATES KEEP ON COMING, BELOW.
Absolutely shameful. From Columbus:
“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.”
Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher became part of the national political lexicon Oct. 15 when Republican presidential candidate John McCain mentioned him frequently during his final debate with Democrat Barack Obama.
The 34-year-old from the Toledo suburb of Holland is held out by McCain as an example of an American who would be harmed by Obama’s tax proposals.
Public records requested by The Dispatch disclose that information on 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.
Paul Lindsay, Ohio spokesman for the McCain campaign, attempted to portray the inquiries as politically motivated. “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,” he said. …
The moral of the story? Don’t ask questions of public officials…they and their surrogates will make your life a living Hell.
BTW, it looks like Ace beat the C-bus fishwrap to the story. Kudos, Ace.
UPDATE (10/28/2008 – 07:20 A.M. EST): Well, well, well! It looks like the initiator of this brownshirt snoop job is none other than the OH Secretary of Job and Family Services…a Democrat who just so happened to donate the max amount to Barry O and who, as sheer luck would have it, initiated the search right after the third debate whereby Joe’s name was invoked against The One. But the governor of OH, who just so happens to be a Democrat, is satisfied there’s no political motive here. Well, isn’t that reassuring?
The left gets bent about Bush snooping on al Qaeda phone calls, but on American citizens who ask leaders questions? Not so much.
UPDATE (10/28/2008 – 08:50 P.M. EST): Joe the Plumber’s got himself an attorney. Plus, the snooping has come from three different government agencies in Ohio. One is the aforementioned Secretary of Job and Family Services. Another is an outside contractor with access to the Attorney General’s test account. Then there is the Toledo Police Dept., and a clerk there has been charged for it.
UPDATE (10/30/2008 – 07:55 A.M. EST): More extensive than we thought. Big Brother ‘Bama ought to be a hoot when he’s officially running the Snoop show, eh?
Kentucky Representative Tim Couch filed a bill this week to make anonymous posting online illegal.
The bill would require anyone who contributes to a website to register their real name, address and e-mail address with that site.
Their full name would be used anytime a comment is posted.
If the bill becomes law, the website operator would have to pay if someone was allowed to post anonymously on their site. The fine would be five-hundred dollars for a first offense and one-thousand dollars for each offense after that.
Representative Couch says he filed the bill in hopes of cutting down on online bullying. He says that has especially been a problem in his Eastern Kentucky district.
Action News 36 asked people what they thought about the bill.
Some said they felt it was a violation of First Amendment rights. Others say it is a good tool toward eliminating online harassment.
Represntative Couch says enforcing this bill if it became law would be a challenge.
“Sure, my bill’s not enforceable, but at least I get to tell my constituents that I ‘did something’, now don’t I?”
Goodness knows that the p#ssies who lurk here wanting to spew their venom behind their veils of IP-based cowardice would disappear if something like this became law. It’s clear that many people wear masks of bravado on blogs and in chat rooms, saying things online that they’d never say in person. However, I’m going to do something I rarely do: I’m going to defend the moonbats.
OK, anonymity obviously doesn’t apply only to moonbats. Most of us here don’t use our real or full names, and I don’t blame you. For some of us, maybe it’s due to fear that our employers will punish us for contrary opinions from theirs. In the case of you moonbats, you don’t have employers to worry about. For others, maybe you’re in a line of work that deals with the general public and you cannot afford to alienate (or even remotely risk the possibility of alienation) potential customers, fans, etc. For yet others, you don’t want to run the risk of having moonbats stalk you (trust me, my friends, that DOES happen). And for yet others, you just want to use an online handle, period.
The point is that there are varying reasons for using anonymity online. We can feel freer to express ourselves, and in the case of moonbats, free to express yourself in a way that illustrates your sheer stupidity and instability. It’s not illegal to be a barking moonbat (yet). Sure, cyberbullies and moonbats and a host of other miscreants abuse their anonymity by harassing, intimidating, annoying, etc. However, what about the 90+% of online folks who do not do any of those things? If Couch gets his way, the baby will be thrown out with the bath water. I suspect that his hairbrained idea won’t become law, and even if it did, it would likely not pass constitutional muster.
Boy, it seems like just yesterday the left and the MSM (pardon the redundancy) were appalled at the wiretapping of terrorist phone calls. Not so much these days. I’m guessing the American people don’t care to protect terrorists’ privacy rights. We can be funny that way.
Anywho, from the NYT:
Two months after vowing to roll back broad new wiretapping powers won by the Bush administration, Congressional Democrats appear ready to make concessions that could extend some of the key powers granted to the National Security Agency.
Bush administration officials say they are confident they will win approval of the broadened wiretapping authority that they secured temporarily in August as Congress rushed toward recess, and some Democratic officials admit that they may not come up with the votes to rein in the administration.
As the debate over the N.S.A.’s wiretapping powers begins anew this week, the emerging legislation reflects the political reality confronting the Democrats. While they are willing to oppose the White House on the conduct of the war in Iraq, they remain nervous that they will be labeled as soft on terrorism if they insist on strict curbs on intelligence gathering. (You don’t say? Who’da thunk it? – Ed.)
When they didn’t control Congress, they squealed louder than Ned Beatty in Deliverance. What a difference a couple of months (and their recently obtained power) makes.
If there’s any silver living here, it’s that the moonbatosphere is probably going to get even more nutso than they already are.
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