Don Paul Benjamin 
Member since Jan 17, 2012


Running for U.S. President

Updated on January 19, 2012 at 6:57 AM



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Biography Donald Paul Benjamin was born in Colorado in 1945. He grew up on a small acreage near the northeastern Colorado town of Greeley. He had the usual broken items: bones followed by heart then graduated high school in 1963. He entered the United States Army that same year as a volunteer. He served three years as an information specialist (journalist) working for U.S. Army publications in New York, San Francisco, Korea, and Japan. He attained the rank of Specialist Five (sergeant) and received the Army Commendation Medal for showing up. His marksmanship badge was the ordinary one, not the one with the cool clusters or the bull’s-eye. He once saved a truckload of guys from drowning and got in trouble doing it. Pretty neat when you consider he can’t swim worth a hoot. He was honorably discharged in 1966 and entered the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley (then Colorado State College). He majored first in theatre with a minor in art. His parents despaired of him ever translating those areas of study into a paying job. For a time he majored in art with a minor in theatre, ditto reaction from his parents. Then he heard that a nearby elementary school was hiring males to work with an all-male primary school experiment and he was hooked on teaching. Not the doctor/lawyer/engineer his parents were looking for, but a decent living, they hoped. In addition to serving as a paid classroom aid for three years, Benjamin (who goes variously by Don-Paul, Ben, and Benjamin) served as president of the Associate for Childhood Education, a member of the College Center Commission (which booked events and talent for the student union), and worked with Army buddy Ted Rosen as part of a comedy duo known as Rosen and Benjamin. The pair performed throughout northern Colorado appearing at hospitals, schools, and conventions. They filmed a pilot television program for the Public Broadcasting System (PBS Affiliate) in Denver. Rosen became a high school drama teacher and retired recently with a theatre named for him at Bear Creek High in Colorado. Benjamin graduate with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, magna cum laude with honors and taught in the Greeley District and neighboring rural district. In the mid 1970’s he was elected to serve on the District Board of Education where he rewrote the District’s student code of conduct and disciplinary procedures and, along with other board members, presided over an ambitious project to refurbish all schools in the District and build several new schools to accommodate student growth. From 1971-1975 he served as the first campus ombudsman for the University of Northern Colorado. From 1975-77, he worked as a freelance author and cartoonist. In 1977, he returned again to teaching and earned his master degree in teaching reading. In 1979, he accepted an assistantship to enter a doctoral program in higher education at Oregon State University in Corvallis. He studied there for three years and opted out of the doctoral program choosing instead to earn a practitioners degree in college student services administration: a masters of education (M.Ed). To this day, his UNC alumni association keeps sending his alumni newsletter to Dr. Donald Benjamin; despite multiple corrections provided by Benjamin, they just don’t get it. In 1982, he began working at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff performing several roles for admissions including: foreign student admissions, residency classification for tuition purposes, and design of new student publications. During his father’s illness in 1986, he returned briefly to Colorado and worked for UNC as an assistant registrar in charge of computer registration. In 1987, he was married in Colorado and returned to Flagstaff to serve in several interim capacities as Director of Educational Support Programs (Upward Bound, Talent Search, and Learning Assistance Center); research analyst for the Student Services Research Center; adjunct instructor in speech communication; instructor new student orientation class; and coordinator of advising for the School of Communication. He divorced in 1988. He has no children. After a university career, he moved to the community college system serving as Coordinator of Extension Services for Yavapai College operating in Flagstaff, Williams, Page, Grand Canyon, Sedona, Forest Lakes, and on the Navajo Reservation. When Coconino County voters approved the formation of a new community college district, he served as interim in Dean of Students and Registrar for the Coconino County Community College. He served briefly as coordinator of Sun Sounds Radio Reading Service for the Blind operated in Flagstaff by Rio Salado College. In 1995, he accepted a position as Assistant for Academic and Student Affairs with the Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR) in Phoenix. He held that position until 2000 when he became an Assistant Director the State Board of Directors for Community Colleges of Arizona (SBDCCA). Shortly thereafter, the Arizona Legislature discontinued the activities of SBDCCA. From 2001-2009 he was a member of the teaching artists roster maintained by the Arizona Commission on the Arts. During this period he traveled extensively and ultimately worked with hundreds of students in forty-five different schools. In 2009 he established the Creative Cartooning Studio and he continues to teach classes in cartooning at urban and rural schools and libraries throughout the state and in Colorado. His experience as a teaching artist includes one-day guest appearances, school-wide residencies ranging from two-weeks to an entire semester, and year-long after-school programs. In the early 2000’s he worked part-time in telephone and non-fiction reference for the Phoenix Public Library System at Burton Barr Central Library. He currently works as an academic program advisor for Phoenix College, a position he has held since January 2004. The skeletons in his closet are these: He was married for less than a year before his divorce. However, his ex-wife and he divorced without rancor. The record is on file in the Coconino County Courthouse. He has never remarried though he was twice engaged. He is a flaming heterosexual and avid fisherman. He only went as high as Cub Scout then got bored although he liked the outfit. He collected unemployment for about two months. He owns a gun which he has no intention of carrying on campus whatever the Arizona legislature decides. He has killed several animals with fur and feathers (that is, the animals had fur and feather; he killed them with a Red Ryder BB-gun, a bow and arrow, a 30-06 rifle, a 30-30 rifle, a 12 gauge shotgun, and a 410 gauge shotgun). He has not killed anything lately. He is a catch-and-release fisherman who clips treble-hooks down to a single hook and bends down or removes barbs from all remaining hooks; it is a wonder he lands anything at all. He has never shot a hunting companion. He did not fire his weapon in anger while serving in the U.S. Army, nor was he fired upon. He did however throw rocks at a North Korean infiltrator but only after the infiltrator threw rocks at him. He has never been actually fired from a job although he was shown the door a couple of times. Since presidential hopefuls think this is a big deal, Benjamin discloses that he has worked mostly for the ‘public’ sector: the military, schools, colleges, universities, and libraries. However his work in private sector—where he learned how the economy works and what a drag on productivity the government is—has been extensive: selling doughnuts and seeds door to door, collecting pop bottles, restocking shelves at a drug store, digging holes for a tree nursery, operating a scooter to sell ice cream, ‘bucking’ hay (if you don’t know what this is, ask a farmer), feeding chickens and rabbits, delivering milk and eggs on horseback, emptying a box car full of lumber, exercising horses (and being exercised by them in return), cleaning tack, caddying, serving as a pin boy at a bowling alley, running a miniature golf course, cleaning up tree limbs and other debris after snowstorms, a paper route, watering neighbor’s yard, clerking in a bookstore, delivering phone books, cooking doughnuts at 4 a.m. (not recommended), driving grain truck, cleaning department store (moving the mannequins was fun), selling ads for weekly newspaper, operating concessions at wrestling matches and trap shooting club, collecting Christmas trees after the holidays and dragging them out into the countryside to make pheasant shelters, shining shoes at and sweeping up for barber shop and beauty parlor, mowing lawns and cleaning out irrigation ditches, helping excavate an archeological site; gathering eggs; herding cattle, horses, mice, and cats; judging contests (beauty, pie-eating, art, spelling and goat-roping); interviewing nurses in training; stand-up comedian; splicing cable and film; rescuing animals, people, and dignity; teaching Sunday school. Also worked as actor portraying my ancestor—Abraham Lincoln and playwright and actor in touring melodrama. Served as child- goat- cabin- chicken- horse- cat- dog- and pole-sitter, caretaker and guardian for my elderly uncle, cleaned dog, chicken, and rabbit pens and shuttled cats from veterinarian where they had be neutered to animal shelter (they were unhappy kittens, the only way to calm them down was to let them listen to opera on the radio). Worked as volunteer procuring materials for Red Cross disaster relief services, as projection leadership boy (technically public sector I suppose, showed such classics as ‘Our Friend the Atom,’ ‘How a Bill Becomes a Law,’ ‘Conjunction Junction—What’s Your Function?,’ ‘Dating Etiquette,’ ‘It’s Your Teeth,’ and ‘Reefer Madness’), as manager rock band and city league basketball team (so much for evenings and weekends), and as coach for children’s sports. Made spending money rebuilding fences, washing cars and trucks, repairing small appliances, painting a house inside and out (take my advice and wear a hat when doing the ceiling), disc jockeying and doing voices for radio ads. Throughout above distractions, worked as freelance artist and cartoonist, and yet to be published author of fiction and non-fiction although he did win third place in a humorous writing competition, the winner wrote about how her husband never puts the toilet seat down; how can you compete with that? Famous people he has known or almost known. Politics is all about who you know and he knows a lot of important people but very few famous people. Politically speaking, it’s better to know famous people. Maybe some will contact him later, but for now here’s his Six Degrees of Separation List: he served as go-fer for Tom Paxton, Willy Nelson, Judy Collins, and Paul Winter—musicians, Moshe Dayan—politician and military general, Gene Barry—actor, and John Holt and Anais Nin—authors. He met with and talked to cartoonists Syd Hoff (Danny the Dinosuar and The Horse in Harry’s Room) and Charles Shultz (Peanuts) and baseball player Luis Gonzalez (Arizona Diamondback), and football player Pat Tillman (Arizona Cardinals) and General J.W. Schwartz—commander of U.S. Army Letterman General Hospital, Presidio of San Francisico and survivor of the Bataan Death March. Just missed meeting: Danny Kaye and Robert Redford—actors. He received kind letters from Sparky Shultz (a.k.a, Charles Shultz, I mention him twice because he’s such a cool guy), Kurt Vonnegut Jr., Barbra Streisand, and J.R.R. Tolkien. He met a guy who works as a special effects guy for Jackie Chan and a woman whose son is on the crew for Myth Busters (she says Jamie and Adam are just like you would think they would be; you can catch a glimpse of her son in a wet suit wearing a diving mask in the episode where Adam tries to escape from a submerging car.) He saw Bobbie Kennedy right before the man with no name shot him (Kennedy was about ‘this big’ from where he was sitting in a Denver auditorium) and he passed Newt Gambridge last autumn in the Des Moines International Airport. Newton was going out, Benjamin was coming in; perhaps a prophetic encounter. (Newt’s about three feet tall, no kidding.) Saw a lot of musicians in concert but that probably doesn’t count unless he had drinks with them afterwards. He did not have drinks with them afterwards. Politically, he entered and won one election—for Greeley School District Six board of education. His father (now dead) was his campaign manager and his headquarters was the local barber shop. Mostly on the strength of his father’s reputation and the dispensing of superior shoe-shines, he carried every precinct in the city. He has registered as both an Independent and a Democrat in Colorado and Arizona. He registered as a Republican at 11:42 a.m. on January 5, 2012. He voted for Obama in the last presidential election but has been disappointed that the President has not been able to accomplish more and he did not vote for the current Arizona governor. He is pretty sure George Bush the younger is responsible for most of our current economic woes and he thinks George Bush senior thinks so too. He thinks G.B. the younger is probably a friendly guy who was mostly harmless except for creating the climate that ruined the economy and also made a big mistake invading Iraq. He did about the best he could with 9/11 which Benjamin doubts was an inside job despite what a bumper sticker says. He likes what Michael Moore has to say but thinks he should take his hat off in the house. He is really, really tired of Dick Cheney and would like to see Colin Powell kick his butt. He thinks Ann Coulter is hot but would make her pay for her own drink. Benjamin has, from time to time, suffered from mild seasonal depression for which he has received counseling and for which he briefly took Lexapro, a drug prescribed for such purposes. He does not like snakes but has reached an agreement with them whereby that do not come to his house and he does not go to their house. He is a lapsed Presbyterian and is looking into Buddhism. He is a pacifist but respects and admires all who serve—as he did—in the military. He has received the following citations: speeding (thrice), failure to obey a stop sign (it was knocked over, he swears), and unattended camp fire (He got a call from the computer help desk and had to walk to the campground men’s room to get reception on his computer and plum forgot, the Ranger was real nice but he still got a fine). He often misuses the semi-colon. Here’s some stuff Benjamin didn’t do: did not take money from lobbyists; form a political action committee—or give tacit approval to same and then hold up his hands as if to say ‘Hey, you know, I can’t help what they do. They do what that do.’ Thus he has not sanctioned his surrogate PAC to attack his competitors while he pleads for a civil debate of the issues. He has not championed health care reform in his home state then later denied it as the cock crowed thrice. He has used the word ‘thrice’ only sparingly in his campaign and now he stops at a thrice reference. He did not promote ear marks when he was governor or senator or whatever and then rail against them when he suddenly decided to be president. He did not call a competitor childish even when he was. He did not waffle on everything including what kind of waffle he prefers. Anybody who wants to can read my tax returns (boring). As for his competition, he goes on record as saying: 1) I look at least as good in a suit as Ron Paul and, employing a magic marker, I can use his old campaign posters when he is done with them. (Make Ron Paul read Don-Paul, see?) I’ll hire some graffiti guys to help. 2) People with names like ‘Mitt’ and ‘Newt’ who are not twelve should not use names like ‘Mitt’ and ‘Newt.’ 3) People who never actually roll their sleeves up should not do so in public especially when they don’t know how to do it properly. (This is directed especially at President Obama and Governor Romney. Could they look any more pandering when they do this?) Proudest accomplishments: His nieces and nephews. His forty-five year career as a freelance cartoonist and author (at 66 still a kid with a crazy dream of getting published). His eleven years as a teaching artist in public schools and libraries. His military service. His rewarding and challenging work with community college students. In case you’re wondering, he has a State of Arizona Department of Public Safety Fingerprint Clearance Card and his rescued cats all placed in good homes. Biggest faults: Procrastination. Talks too much. Not good with numbers.

Recent Comments

Re: “Severely Awesome

As one of the "old white dudes" running for the GOP presidential nomination, I second the Tucson Weekly's endorsement of Sarah Gonzales. Leaving aside that Tucson Weekly's use of the term "old white dude" is ageist, racist, and sexist, I think Sarah is an articulate spokesperson for her generation, her gender, and the Hispanic community. Rock on, Sarah, and best wishes to the other courageous candidates. And because I, like Kip, didn't get to say it on Saturday--Penis.

Posted by Don Paul Benjamin on 02/23/2012 at 7:08 AM

Re: “Presidential Candidate Donald Benjamin: "Congress Shall Adjourn for Two Years Without Pay Before They Can Do Any More Damage"

And last but not least, for 2014 substitute 2015. There, was that so hard. At least I know people have read my platform since several have pointed out my miscalculation on the years. Several meaning two. See, I'm learning to be a politican already. Kip Dean has some great ideas, be sure to read his platform which I'm sure contains no errors.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Don Paul Benjamin on 01/20/2012 at 10:25 AM

Re: “Presidential Candidate Donald Benjamin: "Congress Shall Adjourn for Two Years Without Pay Before They Can Do Any More Damage"

My corrected platform dates should read as follows: for 2012, substitue 2013. For 2013, substitute 2014. These things happen when you reach 66 or am I 67? When I was in the Army on my way to Korea, I passed the International Date Line on a troop ship on my birthday and so had two birthdays that year. This may account for the oversights in my original platform. The only other adjustment I would make is to eliminate the wise-cracks about VP Cheney and Mr. Nader. There's enough sniping going on around without me adding to it so delete my references to these two statesmen. Thank you. And my cat thanks you.

Posted by Don Paul Benjamin on 01/17/2012 at 6:20 PM

Re: “Presidential Candidate Donald Benjamin: "Congress Shall Adjourn for Two Years Without Pay Before They Can Do Any More Damage"

Jim, What's a year or two between friends? Just wishful thinking that I can get the House in order by dismissing them earlier. I'll correct the dates on my webpage. Hope your concert went well. See you in New Mexico later this week.

Posted by Don Paul Benjamin on 01/17/2012 at 1:12 PM

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