"Joe the Plumber," whose real name is Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher, has lost the lawsuit he filed against three Ohio Job and Family Services officials, according to AP.
Wurzelbacher first became famous for a videotaped interaction with Obama during the 2008 presidential campaign. He had asked the then-candidate about his taxation policies, and Obama's response was panned by conservatives; "When you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody," he said.
Since then, Wurzelbacher has become an author, commentator and politician. He won the Republican nomination for a seat in Ohio's House of Representatives, and will run against incumbent Rep. Marcy Kaptur in November.
In the suit, Wurzelbacher claimed that his rights were violated in 2008 by three officials who were motivated by their support for Obama. Those officials, he claimed, searched state records for unfavorable information about Wurzelbacher in order to discredit him.
A lower court had dismissed the lawsuit, and on Tuesday, the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld that dismissal. Judge Richard A. Griffin wrote that "Our conclusion is supported by the fact that Wurzelbacher was not deterred or chilled in the exercise of his First Amendment rights as a result of defendants' wrongful conduct," according to AP.
Wurzelbacher responded negatively to the decision. "The irony of this court ruling is that now any citizen who stands up and challenges candidates and elected officials is subject to intimidation by the same government that is supposed to protect our individual rights," he said in a statement.
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