Small-Town Muckraker Joey Dauben Will Run the World Some Day. Just Ask Him.

In the little towns outside of Dallas, publisher and aspiring politician Joey Dauben is on a crusade to expose abuses of power, civic mischief and -- most of all -- himself.

One of the men arrested in Ennis claimed his stepfather had been the killer, and Dauben ran with the lead. Citing anonymous sources, Dauben ran a bullet-point list of personal information Dauben says incriminates the man, including the guy's home address and phone number.

"This is Watergate for us. This is Wiki-leaks," he says. "I'm staking my belief on this guy so much that — I'm not kidding — if it comes out tomorrow that he did not do it, I'll shut down the Ellis County Observer."

Dauben alerted Dallas media to the lead (and his role in breaking the story). TV reporters rushed to follow up, and a series of pieces aired on WFAA. But the mainstream media's since gone quiet on the story, even while Dauben continues posting updates on his blog under a "Child Pornography Ring Updates" banner.

"I've known most of my career that I was supposed to break open a child pornography ring in Ellis County," Dauben writes in one blog post, alleging that the murder was just one wrinkle in a kiddie-porn conspiracy that spans the globe.


After his mayoral announcement, Dauben swore he wasn't running against anyone in particular. But not long after his first day of door-knocking, his challenger emerged: Palmer's Kenneth Bateman, an eight-year council member, owner of Bug Out Pest Control, and a member of the Fundamental Baptist Church — Dauben's strongest opponents on the beer and wine election that he eventually won by 19 votes. With the current mayor, Lance Anglin, stepping down, Bateman was the next best establishment candidate.

Bateman says he's generally steered clear of Dauben's blog and the Post, only checking it out when he hears he's been written about. "To me, it's a lot of smoke and mirrors. I don't like to tell somebody something that I can't come through on or prove."

Dauben rails against the city for the brown water that comes out of pipes in some homes, saying he'd find a way to buy bottled water for people instead. But the city's nearly halfway through replacing the bad pipes around town, Bateman says. He says the city just ran a hydrant to the elementary school for fire protection, and that's the kind of project the city needs to spend money on.

"I don't personally feel like he's looking out for the city as much as he's basically trying to sell his wares," says Palmer City Administrator Doug Young, another man who turns up frequently on Dauben's site.

Young says he tried correcting Dauben when he got things wrong the first few years, but quickly learned it wasn't much use. "Whatever I say, Joey tends to twist to fit his own needs," Young says. "He prints what he wants, he handles what he wants. I'm not gonna try to post a correction."

While city officials are polite enough about their resident muckraker, by the time mid-May rolls around, Dauben finds himself the victim of an anonymous smear campaign that might've come right out of his own playbook.

Two days before Election Day, pink papers mailed from somewhere in Dallas made their way to homes all around Palmer. "Before you go to the polls for the City election on May 14th, there are a few things you need to know about the candidates," the letter begins. "When the invocation is given at City Council meetings, JOEY DAUBEN looks away. When the Pledge of Allegiance is said, he turns his back to our flag!" The letter goes on to call Dauben out for printing lies and half-baked stories, and for cursing at the council at its April meeting. "It is frightening that a person such as Joey is even trying to be Mayor of Palmer." Perhaps most damningly, the letter accuses Dauben of wanting to raise the city's taxes. "Watch OUT Palmer! We'll never have enough money for 'Joey's visions.'"


Hours before the polls close on May 14, Dauben is running damage control around Green Acres, a residential neighborhood he says is home to most of the town's registered voters. He catches people out mowing their lawns, sitting on their doorsteps or out in the yard. "Ducks in a pond right here," Dauben says, dialing up his campaign demeanor for the last big push.

"If Green Acres comes out today, I'm gonna be your new mayor," Dauben tells a guy in his mid-30s. "There's a lot of older people in this town that're scared of seeing the town grow."

He finds another woman unloading her car with two kids. "Are you married?" he asks her. "Your husband's a very lucky man."

Along the way, he checks in with Owen and his other campaign volunteers, who are walking other neighborhoods for him, and with Bridge, who he's appointed as his poll watcher. Dauben is fighting an uphill battle, he says, because the only place to vote in town is inside the Fundamental Baptist Church. The church had a barbecue in their parking lot earlier today, and Dauben says Bateman was hanging around glad-handing folks right next to the polling place.

As the polls near closing time, Dauben's team spills out of a pair of cars and joins him in the street. Dauben leans in and whispers that they're carrying "protection" around town. Asked what kind of danger they're worried about, he says, "Hits out on my life." But he isn't too concerned. "I don't think they're willing to do that and vindicate everything I've ever done," he says.

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62 comments
Sharon
Sharon

Good job Observer for glorifying a child molester.

Pato
Pato

Joey was arrested in Navarro County today for sexual assault.

Patricia Lee
Patricia Lee

I am very proud to have known Joey Dauben. Ellis Co. needs him to keep the good old girls and boys in their institutions accountable. As a past resident of Ferris Tx., I was happy to leave this town but miss some nice people and wish them the best. I laughed hard reading this article, thanks. PL

Michaelmeissner
Michaelmeissner

Hmmmmm Karma can be a bitch can't it, poor Joey, looks like he just can't take it when someone investigates HIM. You can't call yourself a journalist when you only take one side of a story or a rumor and post it up as fact. Perhaps this will teach him to have a little empathy for others, but I doubt it. He keeps doing the same reckless things that have got him arrested AGAIN...and then just can't shut up about it, a defense attourney's nightmare!

Darnell
Darnell

Ellis County's very own Don Quixote. Bueno suerte, Joey!

Msaw
Msaw

Fascinating story about someone who has never finished doing what he started and never managed to hold on to a long term job telling others how to run things. Ignorance is bliss.

Robert
Robert

Joey Dauben is like a character straight out of It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia. I'm thinking Charlie Kelly.

Some guy I used to read on Twitter once said that Idiocracy isn't a comedy. It's a documentary. I feel the same way about It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia and no I don't want to be Frank Reynolds.

Hideki Matsui
Hideki Matsui

Why didn't Joey mention his drug use and "teenage experimentation with homosexuality"? Are you cured, Joey? Was it the pedophilia or the hatemongering that did the job?

Coleman
Coleman

Fox News has taught an entire generation of derivative right-wing morons that with just a little bit off shitslinging and a dependence on "positive thinking" they too can become Sarah Palin. Absolutely disgusting.

Daubencheri
Daubencheri

Erik, is this still over the YouTube channel? Get over it...you are a just a jealous, control freak.

Peggys1974
Peggys1974

Gay ag teacher? Who cares? How is this germane to the issue? That one sentence lost me. I am not gay, but this intolerance of others who are doing no harm is getting old.

gadsdengurl
gadsdengurl

Had the pleasure of working aside Joey at the Obama Town Hall of 2009 in NH -- you know the one where ONE guy was singled out for carrying and who appeared on Chris Matthews? What the dopes didn't know is that EVERYONE in NH 'carries'.... there were probably 300 of them there, many women too. Much ado about nothing.

Firedog274
Firedog274

Just be careful OBSERVER, Joey wins,he may battle you guys next and your www.backpage.com that has all the innocent sweet working girls and their adds in it ! " The Oldest Occupation in The World " LOL

Steve Snyder
Steve Snyder

The "Rupert Murdoch" of Dallas, including stereotyping and stigmatizing gays ... and being too nutbar for the borderline-racist rantings of the Ellis County Press. That's "our" Joey; at least he's finally fessed up to his cybersquatting and why.

trannyntraining
trannyntraining

If it were not having the sense to reason i'd have enjoyed this article.

Joey G. Dauben
Joey G. Dauben

...meanwhile, we just launched The Odessa Observer news Web site, which will eventually become its own newspaper as well.

tim_lebsack
tim_lebsack

Excellent article. Joey D., I wish half the electorate were half as passionate.

HubCity Ed
HubCity Ed

Nice article. Keep up the good work Joey.

Steve
Steve

Quick question:

Who the fuck is this dipshit twat and who the fuck cares about him enough to make it a cover story?

Catbird
Catbird

JD is looking old and scared. It's really a shame. He's a smart guy and he seems to be a nice guy most of the time. I truly hope he gets out of this "publishing medical records" scrape and turns over a new leaf. The worst thing would be a conviction and prison time.

I Mcgaugh
I Mcgaugh

What is your point you hateful smug? You know our constitutionis written on hemp. and God gave us free will to learn what was right and wrong. Without experiementation I guess we'd all be shallow, close minded, one liner regurgitating fools like yourself. Hows your beamer doing to pock up chicks you mid life loser.

Ian C. McGaughey
Ian C. McGaughey

Whats sad is my fellow liberal won't own up to MSNBC doing the same. I don't think he idolizes Ms. Palin, who never had an electable chance without immediate revolution following. Im pretty progressive...but Ron Paul has VERY valid points. Jesus gave me my courage to follow a path on positivity, not FOX or any other subjugative media outlet. Listen to Thom Hartmann and drop the other side hate. We used to enjoy political debate, dissent, and criticism. It is he who stands firm on hallowed ground who stands for the Lord.

Joey G. Dauben
Joey G. Dauben

It was more John Rockefeller and the Art of War that helped me :) That quote from Rockefeller summed it up: "Own nothing, control everything." Oh, and Jesus. He definitely got my start.

Keep quacking, Coleman.

Joey G. Dauben
Joey G. Dauben

It wasn't the ag teacher. Brandy clarified this remark, and so did I (on The Ellis County Observer.) We were discussing an ag teacher, yes, but the thing about the sexual molestation/sex scandal involved an In-School-Suspension teacher at Palmer High School, not the gay ag teacher.

Joey G. Dauben
Joey G. Dauben

Thanks, man. I do believe we just inked a deal to expand Newspaper No. 42 into the "north-of-Fort-Worth-area."

Brandy Lemmon Owen
Brandy Lemmon Owen

LOL the guy who wrote the story "liked" this comment! That is funny.

Joey G. Dauben
Joey G. Dauben

lol, wow, such a mean person. Steve, I'm in need of very opinionated writers, if you ever wanna jump on my media rocketship ;)

Hideki
Hideki

Joey Dauben: violating your civil liberties so the government won't have to.

Coleman
Coleman

Ron Paul is a fucking joke and Jesus isn't real.

Catbird
Catbird

Didn't you learn anything during your stay in the Big House?

Ian C. McGaughey
Ian C. McGaughey

Way to keep your integrity Dauben. I may not agree completely with you, but I appreciate your courage and willingness to do something, which is a lot more than most. Steve is a jerk who probably never gets laid unless he hits backpage!!!!!!!

Ian C. McGaughey
Ian C. McGaughey

"Was it the pedophilia or the hatemongering that did the job?"Do you hear yourself? Mr. h8 h8 h8 h8?Look what you've let yourself act like, just to defend yourself. I don't dislike you, just the hate you've accepted into your life. I have compassion for your existence, unlike yourself. You've resorted to nana-bobo retorts instead of debating. You seem smarter than that, but the evidence is lacking...

Ian C. McGaughey
Ian C. McGaughey

Will check it out! You think it suits me? Thanks for the help in findnig fellow like minded Americans! I would love to be part of what you hate...if only to be away from the HATE that you and others who share your view, spew.

Hideki Matsui
Hideki Matsui

Good job. Let's throw comprehension and context completely out the window. Good luck with your Jungian studies. May it make you the most interesting of interns at the Ellis County Gazette or whatever shitrag you aspire to toil your labors at.

Ian C. McGaughey
Ian C. McGaughey

"If we are not consciously growing, our subconscious is." -JungSuffice-to be enough for.

Ian C. McGaughey
Ian C. McGaughey

Coming from Mr. H8!!1 Hahahahahahaha! You and the late Mr. Bush seem to have more in common...

Hideki Matsui
Hideki Matsui

And, you sir, I implore you to enroll in a remedial English class.

Ian C. McGaughey
Ian C. McGaughey

It is your reliance on communicating anger to get your point across, using names like fucknut morons. Your anger and ignorance illuminate your unevolved perspective. You don't have to be miserable or discontent...that is your mind's expectations causing you to get angry. Nothing else.I guess I'm a fucknut moron because you disagree with ME, or my viewpoint? I'm confused as to how disagreeing with similar heores of mine and Mr. Dauber's makes me a fucknut moron. You obviously dislike Ron Pauls view and hate Jesus, or the religion that loves him so. Why else would you state your doubt of his existence? How does that help, by trashing Mr. Dauber? Do you have any opinions of your own, or are they just knee-jerk negative reactions to feeling uncomfortable with that which you do not understand?

I emplore you to you use your grey-matter for more than sufficing your subconscious.

Coleman
Coleman

It's always the people who disagree with fucknut morons who are "unevolved" and "unloved," huh?

Ian C. McGaughey
Ian C. McGaughey

My beliefs don't require that you believe them. I don't care if you think he was real, he is an inevitable archetypal outcome of a world society stuggling to evolve from fear to love. If not then...eventually. How happy are you, buddy? How's your perspective workin for ya? Lots of friends and love in your life huh? Some of us are actually trying. I can't wait for the next elections, we'll see how funny he is to you then! Eventually, I will be able to welcome you to the unconditional loving perspective your soul longs for, but your unevolved human mind has yet to discover.

He's right, keep quacking Coleman.

Vickimccall79
Vickimccall79

Good job Joey!!! I'm not at all scarrd to stand behind someone that is for the truth. Nreds to be more people that are not afraid in my book.

Catbird
Catbird

Or maybe it's "Jesus"...he was a teacher wasn't he?

Joey G. Dauben
Joey G. Dauben

Yeah, I did. I learned to go after everybody in public office who subscribes to the view that not being honest is a trait to possess. Joseph in Hebrew means "God Shall Increase." And the Combine PD tried to silence Freedom of the Press. My first day in, I said, "I will increase Freedom of the Press that they tried to silence." And thus, Freedom of the Press Group was formed...

I learned quite a deal while locked up for 12 days. Now I'm teaching the lessons.

 
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