"There was a letter by a Mr. Don den Daas, of Tulsa who takes exception with Ken Neal's assertion that CfRG should stop the recall effort and focus on beating me in next year's elections. Mr. den Daas writes:
Such a strong statement was worthy of some investigation. So I got on the internet and started looking for anything that I could learn about Don den Daas.
"His comment about how Chris Medlock Inc. has treated elected officials of neighboring cities is right on. Medlock's arrogant and condescending behavior has placed these officials in a position to watch Tulsa's city government with jaundiced eyes.
However, I disagree with Mr. Neal about the timing of citizens expressing their wishes at the ballot box. The people of Medlock's and Jim Mautino's districts have spoken. They want an opportunity to vote on these two councilors again at the earliest possible date. The petition names have been correctly validated by the city clerk."
What I found first is that Mr. den Daas lives in my district. In fact, he's only a couple of blocks from my house, as the crow flies. That then led me to check to see if he was, by chance, a signatory on my recall petition. So I pulled up the list from my own web site and did a CNTR-F check for his name. Lo and behold, there he was along with his wife, Judith.
It took me about three minutes to retrieve the file in which I keep my copy of the recall petition, and a just a couple of minutes more for me to find signatures of the den Daas'. Who would you guess was the circulator of the petition the couple signed? No...no...not Jim Burdge. No...it was none other than John Benjamin of Bixby. You know, the former Tulsa city councilor who recruited current councilors Randy Sullivan of District 7 (by way of District 9) and Bill Christiansen of District 8.
The fact that Benjamin circulated the petition signed by this citizen who so eloquently wrote of my arrogance and the need to " have an opportunity to vote on [a] Tulsa city councilor change as soon as possible," wasn't that strange, in and of itself. However, I dug a bit more.
I went to Google and ran a few searches, starting with the gentleman's full name, Donald Roeland den Daas. When that pulled up nothing, I just kept reducing the formality of his name until I got to, "Don den Daas." That was the ticket!
If you click on the hyperlink above, you'll see three hits. The first one is by far the most interesting. It simply says, "Bowling Team." Click on this hyperlink and you are directed to a web page dedicated to the bowling team of none other than the Southside Rotary Club.
Once viewing the page, one can scroll down a tad and...saints preserve us...there he is...John Benjamin of Bixby, himself! He's wearing a broad smile and is holding up a single index finger, which either declares his team's relative ranking among all other Rotary Club bowling teams, or identifies his favorite implementation tool for cleaning clogged nasal passages.
The good news from Mr. den Daas is, that he was declared to be this year's "Most Improved Bowler." The bad news is, at least for those that read my blog, Mr. den Daas' credibility as an objective commentator on recent events took a major blow.
The Southside Rotary Club is ground zero for the recall efforts. The club, among many other notable members, proudly counts among its members such luminaries as:
- Bill Christiansen
- Randy Sullivan
- Mike Buchert--Public Works Exec and Golf Commentator
Remember to, that it was at the Downtown Rotary, that Mayor Bill LaFortune first called for the business community to call their councilors to complain about the council not reappointing Messrs. Cameron and Reynolds. That venue, too, is where a few months later, Bob Poe took some of his more vitriolic shots at my character.
Given that Mr. den Daas appears to be service club brother with the man that has bragged that he's the "brains behind recall," as well as two of my fellow city councilors, who lamely claimed not to have any real opinion on recall just before certifying the petition that Mr. den Daas signed an Mr. Benjamin circulated, I think it might be interesting to do a similar check on some of the other names that have recently written pro-recall letters to the Tulsa World.
Stay tuned. I let you know if my research bears fruit.
Until then, be contrite in the knowledge that Mr. den Daan's letter proves one thing for sure. When it comes to "spin," no one can top a Rotarian.