The Columbus Dispatch reports that "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,’" the nickname of Joe Wurzelbacher.
"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."
Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former Ohio Attorney General Betty Montgomery participated in a conference call set up by the McCain campaign to chat about this. (You can listen to the call HERE.)
Montgomery called for the inspector general in Ohio to immediately launch an investigation. "There are still very many questions to be answered," Montgomery said.
"In light of all of the allegations that are going on all over the country of voter fraud," Giuliani said, "to have this revelation also it seems to me to be something that is of really great concern to all of us."
"All Joe the Plumber did is ask a question," Giuliani said, giggling. "That should not open American citizens to having — if this happened — their private records probed because of some sort of political retribution. And if this is the way an Obama administration is going to conduct itself, the American people should know this before the fact."
When a reporter asked if there was any evidence that these records were breached by anyone with a political agenda, Giuliani said, "If this were someone on the Republican side you would not be asking the question." He said the inspector general needed to get to the bottom of why the information was sought.
When a reporter told Giuliani he was making some serious insinuations that the Obama campaign was involved in this, the former Mayor responded, "I don’t know if this came from the Obama campaign or not, but I think we have a right to find out. It is curious…"
Alluding to the Watergate break-in, Montgomery said it may be that this was "just a ‘third-rate burglary,’ quote, unquote, but it may not be, you never know."
"It does discourage people from asking questions," Giuliani said, "if they think that all of a sudden either at the direction of the campaign or just spontaneously all their personal records are going to get revealed if they ask a difficult question."