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Joe the Plumber Sues Former Ohio Officials Over Records Probe

Joe the Plumber is claming in a federal lawsuit that he can no longer live up to his name after his 15 minutes of fame exposed his conservative politics.

His ability to do his work is impaired if "I show up to your house...and you don't like my politics," Joe, who once was known only as Samuel J. Wurzelbacher, said at a news conference Thursday.

Wurzelbacher is suing three former state officials in Ohio, saying they violated his privacy when they gathered personal information in a records search.

He says in the federal lawsuit filed Thursday that he suffered emotional distress, harassment, personal humiliation and embarrassment as a result of their actions. He's seeking unspecified punitive damages.

He also told reporters Thursday that he's making less money now doing journalistic work for a Web site called Pajamas TV than he made when he crawled under people's sinks.

The lawsuit names Helen Jones-Kelley, who resigned in December as director of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, and two assistants.

An investigation that month by Ohio's inspector general found that Jones-Kelley improperly used state computers to find personal information on Wurzelbacher and conducted improper political fundraising activity for Barack Obama when he was running for president.