Joe the Plumber will be appearing at a town hall meeting Monday at the Coralville Holiday Inn and Conference Center.
Joe, whose real name is Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher, shot to stardom during the 2008 presidential campaign when he asked then Sen. Barack Obama at an Ohio campaign appearance about Obama's plan for taxing small businesses. Wurzelbacher said he was about to purchase a company that makes just over $250,000 in revenue, and was concerned that Obama's tax policy would hurt his future business.
The John McCain campaign quickly dubbed Wurzelbacher, a plumber, as "Joe the Plumber" and held him up as an example of hard-working Americans who would be hurt by what Wurzelbacher called "socialist" policies.
Wurzelbacher has parlayed his fame into a political career. On March 6, he won the Republican primary for the House seat in the 9th Congressional District of Ohio.
"This thing is beautiful," says my pal redistricting consultant Jerry Mandering. "Up by Sandusky it doesn't connect by land at all, they used a freakin' BRIDGE.."
"This is what we in the business call a Democratic vote sink," said Mandering. "You take all your best Democratic turf and cram it into one seat, to get those voters out of the next districts over where you want Republicans to win. There's no way Joe The Plumber can win this thing, and that's on purpose. That's why he's out in Iowa shilling for a superPAC instead of campaigning in Cleveland. Ohio lost two seats, the Republicans controlled the whole shebang, somebody had to get screwed, and that somebody was Dennis Kucinich. I'd feel sorry for him but now he gets to stay home with his wife. And the least famous person in this race, Marcy Kaptur, is the one who's gonna win."
So how did they extend the district all the way out to Coralville, Jerry? "Well, Coralville and Toledo is both on I-80, and I hear Coralville likes to use I-80 to connect districts."