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Charter Change

Charter Change
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Enemy Within Strikes at Josephine County's Home Rule Charter

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Retired Police Sgt. Faces 35 Years For Not Producing Drivers License

Sheriff Dave Daniel Plays While The Public Pays


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By Investigative Reporter
John Taft

November 14, 2003

A vicious assault on the right to elect county leaders was successfully repelled by those dedicated to the belief that freemen must be able to elect their own county, state, and national leaders. The liberal socialists and their dupes believe that it is better to have leaders appointed and be called professionals. This is the beginning of the murky road to a dangerous socialistic state. Americans can stand up and beat back those who promote this kind of government and win. Here is the story of what happened in Josephine County.

GRANTS PASS, Oregon -- A badge, six shooters, and gunsmoke symbolically set the scene for an attempted major political takeover in Josephine County prior to Election Day November 4th. The local sheriff joined up with a slick talking smooth-operating local gang of like-minded individuals pushing to install an unelected despot in place of voter elected commissioner representatives. Those who voted no believe if they had lost the election the result would have been higher taxes, less representation, and a good-old-boy form of government. A wink, a handshake, and back scratching behind closed doors would start the day in the courthouse. Gut- wrenching emotions appear to have driven the county sheriff, a key figure in this stealthily planned coup. Not only would this scheme wipe out the sheriff�s archenemy in the commissioner�s office, but it would also eliminate the other two commissioners and leave the sheriff the only department head that wouldn�t be touched by the authority of a county CEO (despot). No doubt this sheriff-friendly charter amendment was created in the dark of night without public input. Local insurance mogul Harry Mackin of Hart Insurance joined up with Activist Jerry Smith, a former guard in a detention center. Both were involved in researching and writing this document that would have been bad for the county and its residents, including the gray haired and balding retired folks who often have to decide between taxes and medicine. The Daily Courier�s editorial board, John Voorhies, Dennis Mack, and Editor Dennis Roler supported this planned takeover with an editorial endorsement. It seems the Courier has an ax to grind, and those with long necks should sleep with one eye open. As mentioned previously, the passage of this remnant of a Halloween prank would have resulted in less representation, most likely higher taxes, and a mob of good-old-boys in tailored suits wearing dark glasses.

Sixty-Six Percent of Voters Give Daniel, Smith, and Mackin the Raspberry

In support of the present home-rule charter, the Oregon Observer and are being publicly acknowledged as key factors in the defeat of this alleged attempted socialist coup. Without these two media giants with their ability to reach the public, this election could have been far different. A county manager political system is dangerous to the form of government the founding fathers envisioned and handed down to us the people. The man standing on top of the totem pole is known by many names such as manager, chief executive, CEO, or the big chief. He is the man the people don�t have access to, the man the people can�t vote out of office, the man who will step on the people�s fingers if they try to climb the pole to reach him. This is not a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. If you have a problem, he can tell you to get lost and take away your compass. He would have gargantuan powers comparable to a world class dictator, such as Fidel Castro of Cuba. Waltzing with the Prince of Darkness may be preferable to living with a county CEO. When the big wooden wheels of this ill-fated juggernaut stopped turning and the votes settled, approximately 66 percent of the voters threw the charter change gang out of the county courthouse built in 1916. This was the same year General Pershing chased Pancho Villa in Mexico after Villa raided a US border town.

Sheriff Tries to Smooch Lady Taxpayer and Gets Smacked in the Kisser

County Sheriff Dave Daniel attempted to use his prestige as sheriff to influence the vote in favor of this socialistic scheme that would take away the people�s right to elect their top county representatives. Daniel is also tied to Activist Jerry Smith, a key proponent for the ill-fated charter challenge. Smith, a long time supporter of the Sheriff, is reported to have said if he lost this charter change election he was getting out of politics. Some are hoping Smith is a man of his word. Daniel made a public stand for the charter change with his guest opinion in the Daily Courier, and he also did a KAJO radio interview caressing the county manager concept. It seems the Sheriff has spent a lot of time meddling in the functioning of other county government departments rather than devoting full time to the running of his elected office. It further seems he doesn�t take seriously the running of the sheriff�s office as a full time job. Daniel just returned to the sheriff�s office on November 3rd after being away for 21-days. With his salary and benefits around $80,000 he�s never had it so good with seemingly so little to do. It appears being a sheriff in Josephine County is like being a former Enron CEO. Lots of options. Fortunately, his recommendations were debunked and left at the curbside for the trash collector. Daniel hung his political reputation on the clothesline for all to see. Unfortunately, the wash water was dirty and left his reputation soiled. Even the best detergents won�t clean some stained reputations. It looks like the sheriff can�t hide the dirt any longer and may be all washed out.

Sheriff Refuses to Allow Media Access to Public Information

Sheriff Daniel has a long history of attempting to withhold public information from the Oregon Observer and This reporter has used the Oregon Revised Statute (ORS) to force Sheriff Daniel into compliance with the public information laws. For example, the sheriff remodeled his office at a cost of several thousand dollars. [Article] When requested, he initially refused to release this information. He was later forced to give an itemized listing of the money paid for remodeling his office. Daniel also refused to allow this reporter to photograph his office. In the most recent example of Daniel�s alleged obstruction of the public information law described in the ORS he has refused to allow this reporter to view the daily police log of arrests.

On behalf of the Observer and this reporter left a letter with the sheriff�s office for Daniel to stop his alleged illegal actions in denying this reporter access to the daily police log. Daniel has said he only recognizes the Daily Courier as a legitimate news source. Office manager Ms. Sue Watkins signed and dated the request for Daniel to stop his alleged illegal actions. This was done during the time Daniel was on vacation. All of Daniel�s staff was afraid to allow this reporter to view police logs while the sheriff was out of the office. Lt. Vernon Lee Harman, who was in charge while Daniel was on vacation, refused to return three phone messages left for him on his voice mail. This despite the fact Harman gave his promise to return the phone calls. These police logs are open to the Daily Courier and KAJO and other media. This shows the sheriff has a personal vendetta against this writer and the organizations he writes for. Josephine County Legal Counsel Steve Rich supplied this reporter and the sheriff�s office with the Oregon Revised Statue that shows this is public information, and Rich�s letter shows what the legal remedy is. Daniel is a public employee, contrary to what he may believe, and the purpose of the sheriff�s office is to carry out statute requirements, not Dave Daniel�s personal political agenda. It appears Daniel is now shaking with cold chills, and has pulled the cloak of concealment tightly around his exposed areas.

Bend or Break

On the issue of denying media access to his critics, Daniel doesn�t have a leg to stand on. The smart money is on Daniel�s legs being knocked out from under him on this issue. Daniel is destined to take a tumble and have his cloak of concealment stripped away. It�s about time Daniel did a little humble kowtowing and acknowledge he is wrong. Decision time is here; a storm of Sheriff Daniel�s own creation is upon him. Will he bend or break?

Sheriff Bends

After this article was written, Daniel kowtowed. A reliable source confirms that the Sheriff has backed off and told his staff that this reporter can now have access to the public records requested. This, in effect, acknowledges that the Observer and were right all along, and Daniel was wrong. If this wasn�t fact, Daniel would never have relented. The sheriff was allegedly caught violating Oregon law and will be publicly held accountable for his actions.

� 2003 John Taft - All Rights Reserved

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John Taft former president of Josephine County, OR. Taxpayers Association is presently an investigative reporter for the US-Oregon Observer and He has had many years of broadcasting, news writing and reporting experience. He also has written a popular conservative newsletter for a taxpayers organization to inform the public on taxing issues. John can be reached at John's Web site:










Daniel made a public stand for the charter change with his guest opinion in the Daily Courier, and he also did a KAJO radio interview caressing the county manager concept. It seems the Sheriff has spent a lot of time meddling in the functioning of other county government departments rather than devoting full time to the running of his elected office."