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Originally published Sunday, October 26, 2008 at 12:00 AM

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Campaign Notebook

Court test of Obama dismissed

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit challenging Barack Obama's qualifications to be president. U.S. District Judge R. Barclay Surrick late Friday...

PHILADELPHIA — A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit challenging Barack Obama's qualifications to be president.

U.S. District Judge R. Barclay Surrick late Friday rejected the suit by attorney Philip Berg, a Hillary Rodham Clinton supporter and 9/11 conspiracy theorist who claimed that Obama was not a U.S. citizen and therefore ineligible for the presidency.

Berg claimed Obama is either a citizen of his father's native Kenya or became a citizen of Indonesia after he moved there as a boy.

Surrick ruled that Berg lacked standing to bring the case.

Obama is a U.S. citizen. According to documents, he was born in Hawaii to an American mother and a Kenyan father. His parents divorced, and his mother married an Indonesian man.

"Joe the plumber" has new aspiration

Samuel J. Wurzelbacher, aka "Joe the plumber," said Friday that he is interested in challenging Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio, in 2010.

"I'll tell you what, we'd definitely be in one heck of a fight," he told conservative radio talk-show host Laura Ingraham. "But, you know, I'd be up for it."

Wurzelbacher, who has criticized Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama's tax policy and has become a centerpiece of Republican John McCain's campaign, said he instead supports the "fair tax," which would repeal income taxes established in the 16th Amendment and replace them with a national sales tax.

"I like the principles of it, and especially the idea of doing away with the IRS," said Wurzelbacher, who also noted that he is a proponent of the flat tax, which would tax all household income at a constant marginal rate.

McCain's brother out of campaign

WASHINGTON — Joe McCain, the brother of the Republican presidential nominee, said Friday that he'll withdraw from campaigning for his brother after calling 911 and Alexandria, Va., police on the morning of Oct. 21 to complain about traffic. He also apologized for making the calls.

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Also

A first: Sen. Barack Obama is scheduled to campaign for the first time alongside former President Clinton on Wednesday at a rally in Orlando, Fla., an Obama spokeswoman said.

Special address: Michelle Obama delivered the Democrats' weekly radio address Saturday and urged voters to go to the polls Nov. 4 and vote for her husband, Barack.

Seattle Times staff and news services

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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