Under the Dome

NCGOP leaders trade charges

N.C. Republican Party chairman Tom Fetzer has chastised the party's vice-chairman over an incident involving a staff member.

The rebuke has prompted the vice-chairman, Timothy F. Johnson, to accuse Fetzer of trying to exclude him from party business at least in part because Johnson is black.

In a letter to Johnson dated Sept. 3, Fetzer described an Aug. 23 incident in which Fetzer says Johnson, grabbed and berated a party staff member at a Greater Greensboro Republican Women's Club event.

"You approached her, grabbed her by the hand and would not let go of it while you berated her about the performance of the staff at the NCGOP headquarters for several minutes," Fetzer wrote. "During the entire conversation, she felt 'cornered' and unable to escape. She found your attitude to be condescending and the entire encounter to be very embarrassing."

Fetzer wrote that Johnson only let go after a witness got another party staff member to intervene.

"At best, as reported to me, you exhibited extremely poor manners, and at worst, conduct unbecoming an officer of the North Carolina Republican Party," Fetzer wrote.

Johnson said Fetzer's account is inaccurate. Johnson said while he talked, the two held hands in a protracted handshake.

"I surely was not trying to be angry with her," Johnson told Dome. "I wasn't trying to control her and not allow her to walk away."

One of Johnson's complaints was that he was not receiving e-mail messages from the party, implying that he had been deleted from the mailing list.

Johnson told Dome that he is being excluded from the party. He said he has asked for an office at party headquarters and to be included in events and planning.

"I'm the first black to serve at this role, as the state vice chair, and I'm not being included," he said. "All the people he's bringing on staff are continuing to perpetuate the traditional image of the party, which is just whites. That's all we have in our headquarters is whites."

More after the jump.


Johnson was elected to his position on a promise to diversify the party's appeal. His election came amid some controversy. Blogs began circulating a story that in 1996 he pleaded guilty to an aggravated assault charge. Johnson apologized to the party delegates for the incident, but said he was disappointed that the incident came up.

Johnson e-mailed an apology to the staff member Friday afternoon.

"With his apology..I consider the issue resolved," Fetzer told Dome. "My intention and focus needs to be on electing Republicans, not resolving internal issues like this, but hopefully this will resolve it."

That seems unlikely.

"It's not behind us," Johnson said. "This issue is between him and I. It's about him and I, the vice chair and the chair of the state GOP don't have a working relationship. That's the bottom line."


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Re: NCGOP leaders trade charges

WOW I am reading this all the way from NE. It truly amazes me how some people never change! I am behind the scenes watching how this all plays out. signed..well I better not say, for now

Re: NCGOP leaders trade charges

Hey Republicans, what is your job creation plan?

Re: NCGOP leaders trade charges

to blackdog: Strive to be smarter than the evil controlling original party of SLAVERY wants you to be...

Re: NCGOP leaders trade charges

neo_mom , you are funny, I hear Charlie Goodnights has an amateur night occasionally. You right wingers are always funny. I think the funniest thing on radio, now is Rush>>>He is a riot all that horse manure he spews everyday. Mark Levine is 2nd and Glen Beck is 3rd in the laugh-o-meter.

Re: NCGOP leaders trade charges

Joe gummint worker - blah blah blah blah

I'd take a look at the fractures starting to show in your party right now as well. Seems not all is well in unicorn and lollipop land. Obama promised everything to everybody and now isn't giving anything to anybody. If it weren't so tragic for the country, I would enjoy getting out the popcorn and watching.

Side question to the administrators here.... Why do all the threads about RC Soles keep disappearing - including one from yesterday?

Re: NCGOP leaders trade charges

I think its great that you guys can't get your act together. The neo-cons have split you guys into so many factions because the neo-cons are trying to purge the party of anyone who doesn't march lock step with them. Fascism at its finest. read the link below and go take a look in the mirror. Yes, its an old article and yes I know you will deny the contents are about the right but its YOU BABY, ITS YOU!!!!

Re: NCGOP leaders trade charges

No reason to be surprised since NC GOP know he had a previous assult conviction, and that his so called Doctorate is from a diploma mill.

Re: NCGOP leaders trade charges

...well...if the NCGOP wants to dump him, then go ahead and do it. While you're at it, replace Fetzer also. His leadership is weak.

Re: NCGOP leaders trade charges

I am a Republican & conservative and I do not care what color someone may be if he/she is willing to serve and help defeat the liberal Democarats. Color should not be an issue. There are many real issues that need to be addressed such as higher taxes, more spending, higher deficits and I could go on and on. The people of N.C. need to find a way to defeat the eastern N.C. Democrats and take of the N.C. General Assembly and especially the governors office from this moron who is in there currently. Let's stop playing childish games about race and arguing like teenagers and get down to defeating the democarats and get N.C. into the 21st century. Has anyone ever noticed that we can go south to S.C. or north to Va. and buy gas cheaper because of lower taxes. What does that tell you?

Grow up people.

Re: NCGOP leaders trade charges

This is yet another chapter in the saga with "Dr" Tim Johnson. His repugnant actions since being elected as Vice Chair have focused on his own political advancement, not to the benefit of the NCGOP. Mrs. Renfer is one of the most qualified and professional political operatives in NC politics today. I have no reason to question her accounting of the confrontation. Despite his background, many in the GOP were willing to give him a chance to prove himself on a state level. Perhaps the day will come when the NCGOP Exec Comm get to revisit that decision. Hopefully, that day will be sooner rather than later.

Re: NCGOP leaders trade charges

Even if Johnson is not "included", he is being "used".

Re: NCGOP leaders trade charges

Okay, regardless of whether his exclusion is real or imagined, or whether there are issues of race that need to be dealt with, his use of a "protracted handshake" with a female is beyond inappropriate.

Forgetting for a moment the physiological differences between male and female, when you use body language or actual physical contact to intimidate another person with whom you disagree, you're not only "implying" violence, you're actually engaging in it. Whatever point you're trying to make and whatever "just cause" you had is lost, maybe irretrievably.

Back to the male/female thing. This type of behavior is not rare or odd, it's all too common. Something like 1 in 4 females will suffer physical and/or sexual assault at the hands of a male before they reach middle-age, and the vast majority of those assaults come from men they know. It's a good bet some of the females reading this have experienced it, and possibly a few of the males reading this have done it. It's not okay, and it's not alright, and apologies mean nothing if this girl is going to flinch the next time some guy wants to shake her hand. Sometimes "little things" like this have long-term consequences, and usually the wrong person suffers those consequences.

Re: NCGOP leaders trade charges

Tim Johnson and Michael Steele are two of a kind. Token blacks.

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