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Is Joe Wurzelbacher related to Charles Keating — and does it matter?

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By Michelle Malkin  •  October 16, 2008 05:12 PM

Scroll for update…Eisenstadt is a hoaxer

That’s been the left-wing blogger obsession all day. It started with a post from GOP blogger Martin Eisenstadt, who says that Joe Wurzelbacher the Plumber is a “close relative” of Robert Wurzelbacher, who is the son-in-law of Charles Keating. Robert Wurzelbacher served time for his role in the Keating 5 S&L scandal, gave a lot of money to Republicans, and is retired in Cincinnati. There is still no clear indication how exactly they are related and what “close” means.

I asked a reporter on scene in Ohio to check on the claim. He told me that Wurzelbacher was asked this morning at an impromptu press conference outside his house whether he’s related to Keating, and the reporter said Wurzelbacher answered that he didn’t know anything about that. I’ve asked the reporter to follow up and ask specifically if Wurzelbacher is related to Robert Wurzelbacher. Still waiting to hear back.

FYI, there is no mention of the issue in this NYTimes piece published at 1:30pm Eastern. Several left-wing blogs have also erroneously misidentifed a totally separate and unrelated “Joe Wurzelbacher” in Cincinnati as Joe the Plumber — and quietly backtracked after wetting their pants over that find.

The Keating connection claim has sent the left into conspiratorial frenzy. Joe is a plant! Joe is a liar! Joe is a [profanity] member of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy programmed by John McCain!

Insane.

Obama dropped in on Wurzelbacher’s neighborhood, not vice versa. And there are plenty of “close relatives” in families who have nothing to do with each other, do not speak to each other, and stay away from each other’s politics and business.

But Team Obama will grasp at any straw to bring this guy down. I’ll have more on Joe The Plumber Derangement Syndrome in my syndicated column tomorrow.

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JTPDS takes over Toledo.

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Update: Well, this explains the Keating/Wurzelbacher hoax. The person who spread the rumor is a hoaxer.

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