March 30, 2012

Joe the Plumber, Now Running For Congress, Gives Up Plumbing for Special Interest Speaking Gigs

Samuel Wurzelbacher became better known as “Joe the Plumber” after he confronted then-candidate Barack Obama in 2008. Wurzelbacher told Obama that his tax policies would impact his ability to create a small plumbing business.

Wurzelbacher, now a candidate for Congress, never founded that business. But he has continued playing up his plumbing background. “I’m counting on your support because, as a plumber, I’m not going to be able to write my campaign a check,” writes Wurzelbacher in a recent campaign e-mail.

But he’s put down the plunger for the podium. Wurzelbacher has no plumbing income in the last two years. Rather, he’s been earning a modest income as a speaker for lobbying groups and political causes, many of which are funded by corporate interests.

According to financial disclosure forms collected by Republic Report, Wurzelbacher has made over $140,000 in honorarium fees — his only reported source of income since 2010. Like many candidates for office all over the country, including Democrats and Republicans, Wurzelbacher’s working class persona conflicts with his influence peddling income.

Here are some of the most interesting fees:

Dezenhall Resources, an aggressive lobbying and public relations firm, has paid Joe the Plumber at least $10,000 in speaking fees. Although Dezenhall does not disclose its clients, they have worked in the past for the payday lending industry, the American Chemistry Council (which represents firms like DuPont), and Eli Lilly, the drug company. Greenpeace alleges that Dow Chemical hired Dezenhall to plant spies within its organization. Dezenhall paid Wurzelbacher two years in a row.

Americans for Prosperity, the group financed in part by the billionaire Koch brothers and led by the astroturf lobbyist Tim Phillips, has paid Joe the Plumber at least $32,000.

Churchill Strategies, a “design and branding” company, paid Joe the Plumber $4,000.

Friends of Herman Cain, the committee supporting Herman Cain for President, paid Joe the Plumber $10,000 to speak.

The disclosure forms reviewed by Republic Report indicate that Wurzelbacher has forgone plumbing for a career as a political speaker, one closely tied to special interests that might be looking for payback if Joe the Plumber becomes Joe the Congressman. The closest Wurzelbacher came to professional plumbing in the last three years was a speech to Wolverine Brass, a toilet-making company. He was paid $6,000 for the speech.

Click more to view a copy of the disclosures:

[scribd id=87248625 key=key-pifx3295srqilwdjxv1 mode=list]

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  • AFV

    Trig Palin is his speechwriter.

    • Maliengus

      Save that kind of lame crap for the Republicans, AFV.

  • Ungrateful male whore riding Obama’s coattails to the tune of $140,000 and counting. This guy is worse than Jeff Gannon on steroids.

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  • Joe the Plumber has, it’s sad to say, more work experience and business experience than President Barrack Obama’s entire cabinet combined. Good thing Obama and them’s got all that book learning or else we’d be in big trouble with the wrecked economy and ruined prospects. In the meantime, I’m sure this Joe Plumber guy would be a big improvement over whoever is already there. By every measure and every statistic the country is crashing. The price of energy is soaring and there aren’t any jobs and people are desperate and if we wait on Obama to find the time to care about anything that involves the ‘little people’ we are doomed. Might as well call a plumber and wait for that.

    • ntjk

      MIYE: I think Drod’s posting is describing you. As Lee Atwater said (paraphrasing): “We (republicans) can always convince the idiots with an extra chromosone to vote against their own interests”

      Joe the plumber was never a plumber – hell- he probably never got his hands dirty!

  • Drod

    Typical ignorant, white, blue collar, trailer trash, dumber than a GED student who sides with a party whose only existence is to lower taxes for corporations and billionaires. He just doesn’t get the irony of it because of his own stupidity.

  • Maliengus

    Typical of a tea bagger pol. Go ahead and lie, lie, lie… because the majority of those who are listening to you won’t bother to check and you know it.

  • kneaddough

    another low information rethugliklan tea bagger speaking to other informational challenged tea bag rethugliklans

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  • Steve

    Just what we need a guy who can hardly spell the word plumber now thinks he can run a district. Politics is so screwy, credentials and qualifications mean squat, the only thing that matters is will this guy do what I tell him to do! Joe take the money and get some training.

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  • Elmer Fittery

    I guess I am preaching to the choir. Most of you see that ROMNEY = $$$ and special interests. Obama = people making less thaan $250,000. Nobody begrudges people making lots of money because we all wish we would make lots of money. There should be a class war between the 1% and the 99%. Voting for Republicans if you are a 99% is like cutting off your nose to spite your face.

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