“Tito the Builder” Goes National

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Earlier today, Sarah Palin introduced us to Joe the Plumber’s replacement. And he’s a man we met over the weekend: Tito Munoz, aka “Tito the Builder”.

Speaking to supporters in Grand Junction, Colorado, Palin said, “Tito is not pleased with how the Barack Obama campaign and some of the media friends there have been roughing up Joe the Plumber.” “Not pleased” is putting it mildly. Our David Corn was at the center of the Tito maelstrom on Saturday, when Munoz intentionally drew a crowd after a McCain rally in order to berate the press. David posed questions to Munoz and the crowd of unhappy McCain supporters surrounding Munoz — the result was the video we posted yesterday, titled “Mad for McCain.”

Today, Palin said of Munoz, “Tito wants to know, and I quote, he asked, ‘Why the heck are you going after Joe the Plumber? Joe the Plumber has an idea. He has a future. He wants to be something greater. He wants to be something else. Why is that so wrong?'” (For the record, Tito’s question was “Why the hell are you going after Joe the Plumber?” but we won’t quibble.)

Tito the Builder isn’t exactly Joe the Plumber. Joe refuses to tell the press who he is voting for. He displays no anger. Munoz is a serious step up: he’s passionately anti-media and anti-Obama. (If you watch the video linked to above, you’ll note that he is also passionately anti-socialism.) Perhaps his chutzpah makes him a better surrogate for the McCain campaign. Welcome to your 15 minutes of fame, Tito.

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Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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