There is an alternative weekly paper in Columbus, called The Other Paper, who has a managing editor named Dan Williamson. He sometimes writes articles that include political figures and political issues.
I’m also known as Dan Williamson. My first media exposure in a political vein occurred when I was a Republican candidate running for state representative against incumbent Democrat Joe Koziura, of Lorain, in Ohio’s 56th House District in 2002. I listed my name on the ballot as Daniel Jack Williamson for two reasons, one reason being that my dad, Jack Williamson of rural Bellevue in Seneca County, was a candidate in the Republican primary for an open seat in the 58th House District, which neighbors the 56th, and I thought where media coverage about those two state rep races overlaps, my middle name on the ballot might somehow improve his name recognition. I wrote letters to the editors of newspapers, and I posted comments at an online community forum at LorainCounty.com, but that was just about the greatest extent of my writing contributions to the media at that time. I ran again for state rep in 2004 (an image of my 2004 campaign literature here–you’ll have to scroll to see the whole image). My political writing had not expanded beyond what it had been during the 2002 campaign.
In early 2005, not long after losing (again) the election in November 2004, I went to South Korea to teach English for a year (image), so I wasn’t even posting online comments at Lorain County.com during that time. In early 2006, I was back to posting online, but my comments, critical of Sherrod Brown before Paul Hackett withdrew from the Democrat primary for the U.S. Senate seat, kept getting deleted by the website, and after that, my comments went to moderation, and it would be about 24 hours before my comment would actually appear. By then, the conversation thread had lengthened quite a bit, so my comments weren’t likely to be read when they did appear. That’s when I started looking to other blogs to comment. In 2007, I began contributing entries to blogs.
In the early 1990’s, I was living in Columbus. The Other Paper had emerged on the Columbus print media scene. Dan Williamson became a known byline. Most of my friends and co-workers called me Dan. I didn’t realize that some of them were confusing me with the journalist until the secretary of my boss at National City Bank (where I worked from September 1993 through May 1995 as a teller) gave me a compliment about my writing. LOL! I quickly corrected her and said that it wasn’t me. Until I moved out of Columbus at the very start of January 2000, I’d had a number of people approaching me similarly, and these were people who knew me quite well, some of whom I saw nearly every day!
So, the second reason I chose to include my middle name on the ballot? Because I already knew that people had been confusing me with the journalist for years, and that if I received media coverage as a candidate, I hoped that including my middle name would spare media observers the confusion. I continued using that middle name when I made my first foray into blogging for much the same reason.
But I suppose that once I start generating political commentary, and, in a sense, entering the arena that the journalist was already in, I suppose it was inevitable that the confusion would arise anyway. And so I guess writing this blog entry to set the record straight was inevitable.