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By Investigative Reporter, John Taft

Posted 1:12 AM Eastern
May 16, 2004

GRANTS PASS, Oregon - The fraternal order of the Elks in Grants Pass has allowed itself to be debased and used as a political weapon to deny an applicant membership into the organization. False accusations, political subterfuge, and blackballing have been brought to this normally fair, and community minded organization. The Elks bylaws state. "The Order of Elks questions no person's religion, nor bars him/her because of race or creed. It is not concerned with political affiliations. It is nondenominational." What went wrong and allowed the Grants Pass Elks lodge to abandon its constitution and principles? No one in authority at the Elks spoke out against this illegal violation of the organization's principles and the applicant's rights. The Elks' secretary wrote the applicant that he regretted the denial of membership.

Witness Says: Sheriff and Deputies Intimidate Elk's Membership Vote

In exposing corruption Edward Snook, Publisher of the US Oregon Observer, incurs the wrath of many individuals who have gained notoriety and exposure on its pages. The Josephine County Sheriff David H. Daniel has felt the heat from many Observer articles during the past six years since he has held the position of sheriff. During this time he has built up a consuming grudge against Snook, the Observer and Investigative Reporter John Taft that reeks like another dead chicken hanging around the sheriff's neck. Being a member of the Elks gave Daniel the opportunity to retaliate against Snook when he applied for membership. A witness reported that Daniel had six deputies there supporting him, and he felt that the Elk's members were intimidated when voting on Snook's membership.

Snook said, "I wasn't actively trying to become a member, but was encouraged to do so by a number of individuals including a couple of Josephine County former public officials." When asked if he would reapply he said, "I do not intend to reapply to a club that would practice open blatant discrimination. If the Elks are what they claim to be then they need to do a formal investigation of this matter, and make a public statement and apology."

Observer Absolutely Defamed

In violation of the Elks' constitution and principles that have made it a great organization, Daniel took this self-serving petty means to defame the Observer and have Snook barred from membership. Daniel makes the accusation that the Observer is anti-government. The Observer is not antigovernment, it fully supports the US Constitution. It is opposed to bad government and demands accountability from all public employees.

When Snook found out that Daniel was behind his denial of membership in the Elks, he called him on the phone. Daniel didn't deny the accusations. In fact, he added he did it because of John Taft. Snook reminded Daniel his name was not John Taft.

Sheriff's Critic Barred from Elk's Membership

The B.P.O.E. is based upon the Golden Rule: "TO DO UNTO OTHERS AS YOU WOULD THEY SHOULD DO UNTO YOU." Does Daniel really care about the Elks and follow its creed? It's highly doubtful; it appears the Elks are merely a means to further Daniel's political ambitions and to be used as a club to discredit any political opponents that should want to join the Grants Pass Elks. Who's in charge of the Grants Pass Elks, the Exalted Ruler Dennis Smith, or the Exalted Sheriff David H. Daniel? If you're a political opponent of David H. Daniel and his deputy intimidators, what are your chances of obtaining fair play and membership in the Grants Pass Elks Lodge?

If the Elks are not interested in politics as their rules claim in determining membership and their motto is "THE FAULTS OF OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS WE WRITE UPON THE SAND, THEIR VIRTUES UPON THE TABLETS OF LOVE AND MEMORY," then there was no legitimate or ethical reason to have barred Edward Snook from membership in the Elks. The reasons to bar Snook were therefore, political, vengeful, and unethical. The National Elks Administrators would do well to investigate this case of alleged corruption in the Grants Pass Elks, which appears to have been manipulated by one man with an agenda.

� 2004 John Taft - All Rights Reserved

Ed Snook (541) 474-7885
Sheriff Dave Daniels (541) 474-5123

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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 John has 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  










"The Josephine County Sheriff David H. Daniel has felt the heat from many Observer articles during the past six years since he has held the position of sheriff. During this time he has built up a consuming grudge against Snook..."