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The Washington Independent
The Washington Independent

Regrets? Joe the Plumber Has a Few

Samuel Joe the Plumber Wurzelbacher was a late addition to the speaker lineup at the How to Take Back America Conference last weekend in St. Louis, but I

Habiba Ashton
Last updated: Jul 31, 2020 | Sep 28, 2009

Samuel “Joe the Plumber” Wurzelbacher was a late addition to the speaker lineup at the How to Take Back America Conference last weekend in St. Louis, but I don’t know what the attendees would have done without him. After his short Friday night dinner speech, Wurzelbacher was given a golden wrench and a golden plunger by Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) and Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa). When the dinner ended, he was mobbed by fans asking for pictures with him. Because he showed up in a T-shirt and jeans — as he’s done to every conservative conference I’ve seen him at — photos with Wurzelbacher look like they were taken the day he met Barack Obama in his Ohio neighborhood.

When I got a few minutes with Wurzelbacher, I wanted to know: What ever happened to, the Website where users were asked to pay $0.99 for a phone call to “vote the IRS out of business” and replace the income tax with a FairTax? While the site is still up and running, Wurzelbacher admitted that endorsing the site was probably a mistake.

“I’m learning,” he said. He started to say something about the people who hound him to endorse their products, but he thought better of it. “The basics were there for a great idea but they definitely want to do it just for money. And it was sold to me as more of a chance of doing something else. The publicity that they promised never came.”

Wurzelbacher shrugged. The idea had made sense to him, he said — people will vote for American Idol, so why not something important? But he said he’d walked away from the project, and his PajamasTV reporting job was only a three-month gig, so the high-profile projects of earlier this year were no more. He had, however, endorsed a conservative comic strip called “Microman USA,” which was on sale at the conference.

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The woman right behind Wurzelbacher with the white and black Jacket is Cheryl Eager, a conservative candidate running against Sen. Bob Bennett (R-Utah). The woman right in front is Kitty Werthmann, a South Dakota Eagle Forum leader who led a workshop on the conference on “How to Recognize Living Under Nazis & Communists.”

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Habiba Ashton | BCS Growth Fund (Israel) L.P., a private investment fund specializing in investments in technologically focused businesses with high growth potential, employs Habiba as an analyst. Mrs. Ashton served as an analyst and information manager at the Israel International Fund, the first Israeli venture capital fund designed specifically for Japanese corporate investors, prior to joining BCS. Habiba graduated with honors from Israel's College of Management with a B.A. in Business Administration.


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