Yesterday, Samuel "Joe" Wurzelbacher announced that he now has a union job at Chrysler Group LLC. Wurzelbacher earned the nickname "Joe the Plumber" during the 2008 presidential election after challenging Barack Obama on his small-business tax plan during a campaign stop in Ohio. Senator John McCain repeatedly referenced "Joe the Plumber" for the rest of the campaign, turning Wurzelbacher into a symbol of conservative working-class America. Toledo Blade reports: In long message [on Facebook], Mr. Wurzelbacher said, “I was just recently hired on at Chrysler,” and explained that while he's known as a conservative, he's not an enemy of private unions. “In order to work for Chrysler, you are required to join the Union, in this case UAW. There’s no choice—it’s a union shop—the employees voted to have it that way and in America that’s the way it is,” he wrote. … "Yes, I have a website that puts out conservative news. Yes, I am part owner of a gun company. Yes, I’m a Republican who was cast into the limelight for having the temerity to confront Barack Obama on the question of redistributing wealth … But I’m a working man and I’m working,” he wrote.Since he was thrust into the spotlight in 2008, Wurzelbacher has been at the center of several media controversies surrounding his plumbing credentials (or lack thereof), unpaid taxes and statements about the Holocaust. Wurzelbacher ran for Congress in 2012 as the Republican nominee for Ohio's 9th Congressional District, but was defeated by Democrat Marcy Kaptur.
Sarah Berlin is an intern at In These Times.