The Company That Rick Perry Keeps – Part II

Earlier this week we wrote a post about Pastor Stephen Broden, one of the endorsers of Gov. Rick Perry’s “The Response” prayer rally, asserting that the possibility of violently overthrowing the government must always remain on the table.

Broden was just the latest in a long line of radical right-wing activists that have signed on to support Perry’s rally, raising serious questions about just the sorts of people with whom Perry is aligning himself.

And we can now add Timothy Johnson of the Fredrick Douglass Foundation to that list because, as Sarah Posner reported last year, Johnson has a rather sketchy record:

A leading figure in efforts to build a movement of African-American conservative Christian Republicans, Johnson was elected to his GOP post by party delegates last year despite a felony domestic violence conviction, questions raised about his military service and the validity of the doctorate that appears on his resume. An investigation by AlterNet turned up records of a second domestic violence arrest and raised further questions about Johnson’s military service.

Just days before Johnson stood for election to his party office at the North Carolina Republican state convention in June 2009, a local television news station revealed that Johnson had pleaded guilty in 1996 to a felony domestic violence charge in Cleveland, Ohio, and served 18 months probation. Johnson reacted to that revelation by issuing a statement, infused with Biblical references, asserting he had put the incident behind him: “There seems to be an attempt to discredit me, bring shame to my family and to publicly promote a distorted view of a particularly disappointing time in my life.”

Johnson also attached an endorsement letter from Ofelia Felix-Johnson, his former wife, whom he was convicted of assaulting. At the time of the assault, the two were still married. But this month, Mountain Xpress, an independent paper in Asheville, reported that Felix-Johnson contends that her ex-husband fabricated the letter.

“I absolutely did not say that,” she told the paper. “This was not done with my consent, and I didn’t even know about it. I didn’t appreciate him putting my name out there when I had nothing to do with it.”

According to court records, Johnson was arrested on Christmas Day 1995 in Cleveland, Ohio, and was later indicted by a grand jury for two felony counts, one of felonious assault and the other of kidnapping. According to the arrest report, when the police arrived, they found Felix-Johnson bleeding from the face. Timothy Johnson told the officers, according to their report, “I admit it. I hit her, that’s the only way I can get her attention.” Felix-Johnson told the officers he restrained her on the couch, holding down her neck. One officer reports Ofelia Felix-Johnson saying that Johnson also punched her breasts, saying that she had no heart, and hit her over the back and buttocks with a plastic shoe rack, breaking the rack. The police report in the court file states that Johnson broke his wife’s nose and toes, causing her to be hospitalized.