As you may have heard, the Republican Party is enthusiastic about the fact that 32 African American Republicans, a record number, are running for Congress this year. But they may not be so enthusiastic about one of the people leading the recruiting efforts: Timothy Johnson, the vice chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party. As TAP senior correspondent Sarah Posner reports in a revealing investigative report over at Alternet, Johnson doesn't seem like the kind of guy any political party wants to associate with:
At first glance, Dr. Timothy F. Johnson appears to be everything the Republican Party -- and its allies in the religious right and the Tea Party movement -- would want in a point man for the recruitment of African-American candidates to the GOP ticket.
Tall, trim and good-looking, with a Ph.D., according to his bio, and a 21-year military career -- from which he retired as an officer, according to his resume -- Johnson presents himself as a committed Christian family man. He is a spokesman for his cause at events convened by the religious right, such as the recent Freedom Federation Awakening Summit that took place at Liberty University last month, and to the media. In recent months, Johnson has been quoted by the New York Times and the Associated Press, and has appeared on CNN.
But in the year since he won the vice-chairmanship of the North Carolina Republican Party -- the first African American to win such a high office in the NCGOP -- key elements of Johnson's personal story are being questioned.
Turns out that 1) Johnson has multiple arrests for domestic violence; 2) he may have falsified an endorsement from his ex-wife; 3) there are questions about whether he has been honest about his military record; and 4) his "Ph.D" appears to come from a short-lived, unaccredited diploma mill.
-- Paul Waldman