Plumbers Union: McCain Manufactured Outrage over 'Joe the Plumber'

Update Friday, 10/17/2008: The Associated Builders & Contractors (ABC) deny that Wurzelbacher is an ABC member.

United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry (UA) says John McCain "manufactured outrage" over Barack Obama' tax plan last night by invoking the now-famous (or infamous) "Joe the Plumber."

"Last night John McCain made Joe the Plumber a household name. His manufactured outrage on behalf of Joe would be a lot more believable if his economic plan had anything to do with helping working people deal with the economic crisis," UA Assistant General President Steve Kelly said in a statement released this afternoon.

UA was the first union--in fact, it says, the first organization period--to endorse Obama in the presidential race. It did so Jan. 9, 2008.

Joe Wurzelbacher, the now-famous Toledo, Ohio plumber who sparred with Obama over taxes at a campaign event in his hometown, is not a UA member, a UA official told The Hill.

Wurzelbacher in fact is a member of the Associated Builders & Contractors (ABC), a non-union trade group that has endorsed McCain, according to the UA official. [Update: ABC denies that Wurzelbacher is an ABC member.] Wurzelbacher does not hold a plumber's license in the state of Ohio, the UA staffer said, a statement corroborated by Thomas Joseph, an official with the Toledo local plumbers' union.

"Unlike McCain's, Obama's outrage for the middle class is real. He will turn us in a new direction, not keep us on the same, tired old path of the Bush years," Kelly said, going on to blast McCain's tax proposal.

"McCain's plan gives massive tax giveaways to CEOs and mega-corporations while leaving working families out in the cold. At a time when our economy is bleeding jobs, McCain also opposes investment in infrastructure spending, which would create good jobs and help put our economy back on solid footing."