I used to be so naive. I figured, if someone was running for political office, they must be a member of the party they represent. So, if I vote straight party, I am actually voting for people who think like me. Right? After all, why would anybody lie about that? Isn’t that something the parties check out? And, why would anyone even try to infiltrate the opposing party? Won’t they get caught sooner or later?
Well, not in the Harris County Republican Party. Here, a 5-D (strong Democrat) voter can apparently buy or talk his way onto the Republican Primary ballot and, for an extra $1,000, can buy a seat at the Republican Leadership Council. With apparently no one checking his background, he simply smooth talks his way through the primary using all the right conservative lingo - “God”, “Military Service”, “Family”, “Duty”, “Honor”, “Courage”, “Christian”, “Ministry”… The voters assume the well educated, well spoken candidate has been checked out by their party and take him at his word.
Harris County GOP website?
Let’s start with something simple like – where does he live?
According to his own campaign website, “Republican” candidate, Richard Andrew Johnson III was born 2/3/1961 in Houston and is “ happily married to attorney Dante’ N. Johnson, and has four wonderful children”. His campaign financial reports list his wife as his campaign treasurer. It all sounds great. But, a little checking of public records raises some confusing discrepancies.
- Richard Andrew Johnson III (along with five other voters) is registered to vote at 8738 Fannette St 77029, an 1,189 sq ft home with 1 bathroom in CD 18, owned by “WHITEHEAD ALJERETTI H B” .
- His wife, Dante Nicole Johnson (along with one other voter) is registered to vote at 8030 Hertfordshire Cir., Spring 77379, a 5369 sq ft home with 4.5 bathrooms owned by “JOHNSON RICHAD A III & CARLA” in CD 2.
- His Campaign Financial Report filed with Harris County on 4/30/2012 lists his mailing address as the house where his wife is registered to vote, 8030 Hertfordshire Cir. in Spring .
At first I thought there was a simple explanation – the couple was separated – something that happens to lots of people. But, when I emailed Mr. Johnson directly for him to explain, all he would give me was confirmation of his voter registration address and say that he and his wife are NOT separated. When I asked him to explain why a happily married couple lives – or is registered to vote - in separate houses, he would not reply.
Then, I did a simple check of his voting record. This “Republican” candidate has NEVER voted in a Republican Primary!!! Well, that might be easy to explain. He could be like me. Someone who has always been independent but now understands if you don’t vote in the primaries, you have no say in the selection of candidates for the general elections. But, Mr. Johnson has been voting in the Democratic Primaries for years.
Richard Andrew Johnson III’s voting record:
But, that is just the tip of the iceberg. He is apparently so well established in the Democratic Party, a simple internet search leads to a blog post from Aug. 16, 2005 revealing that Richard Andrew Johnson III’s political affiliation has been so strongly Democrat, he was considering running for the CHAIRMANSHIP of the HARRIS COUNTY DEMOCRATIC PARTY in 2006!!!!
His less-than-conservative political affiliations go way back, and include some well known Houston liberals like Ron Wilson and Quanelle X. A Google search leads to a number of issues in his past that call into question the “lifelong conservative Christian values” that he claims in his ads as well as concerns about some of his background. When asked directly about his affiliation with Quanelle X, Mr. Johnson had a very believable reply. Mr. Johnson had simply hired Quanelle X as an employee before Quanelle Ralph Evans changed his name to Quanelle X and became involved with the Nation of Islam . But, the archives of the Houston press tell a different story.
As you read through the articles below about Richard Andrew Johnson III - a candidate who is currently running in the Republican Primary for Harris County School Trustee - just think –
when you donate to the Harris County
GOP – this is who you are supporting!!!!
- The Houston Press reported on 12/4/1997:
…“In late 1993, shortly after he was elected to City Council, Yarbrough and his chief of staff Johnson joined the Institute Of Healthy Families and Community board of directors (the successor to Golden Eagle). Johnson eventually became board president, and in late 1994 he hired Quanell X to implement a military-style treatment program…”
“A licensed chemical-dependency counselor, Johnson (became) founder and president of the Golden Eagle Leadership Academy, a strictly regimented program for teenage substance abusers that emphasizes military-style discipline and individual responsibility… the Golden Eagle is funded by the Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, or TCADA, to run a 30-bed in-patient program for boys ages 13 through 17.
But according to current and former staff members and residents and parents of residents, the taxpayer-funded academy has another purpose --to recruit African-American youths into the MFOI, an organization formed by Quanell X, the Golden Eagle's program director and a former youth minister with the local Nation of Islam mosque.
Moreover, at least one teenage resident of the Golden Eagle and two parents of former residents have written letters of complaint to TCADA, alleging that white and Hispanic youngsters in the program have been physically abused by MFOI members. While none of the half-dozen or so residents interviewed by the Press for this story said they've been subjected to an assault at the Golden Eagle, they all professed to be familiar with what's known inside the facility as a "blanket party."
"Usually, it happens after somebody messes up," says one boy who is still a resident of the academy. "Sometimes they lock us down, put us in our rooms and then do it, or they wait until most of the other kids are off the unit."
Allegations of abuse and intimidation at the Golden Eagle have also reached the Harris County Juvenile Probation Department, which refers adolescent probationers with drug and alcohol problems to local treatment programs. More than a year ago, the department stopped sending its probationers to the Golden Eagle after complaints about the facility, and Quanell X in particular, began to mount.
"All of our kids have identified [Quanell] as being the instigator of racially based retaliations," says executive director Elmer Bailey. "And we established quite a while back that there were very well-founded complaints against specific staff members. It's a community-based agency, so we tell families about the facility. But we do not place the children in our custody there any longer."
As described by Quanell X, the MFOI --which stands for Mental Freedom Obtains Independence --is a "paramilitary" organization for young African-American males formed to combat police brutality and other manifestations of white oppression. As on-site director of the Golden Eagle Leadership Academy, Quanell is in daily contact with any number of black kids who, in the tradition of Malcolm X, could decide to quit drugs and alcohol, accept the teachings of Allah and dedicate their lives to saving the black man.
But parents of Anglo and Hispanic residents say the Golden Eagle offers little for their sons other than an opportunity to "dry out." The quality of treatment is poor, they say, and the all-black staff indifferent. Meanwhile, all the residents, who attend an HISD alternative school on-site, are enveloped in an Afrocentric environment saturated with the culture of the Nation of Islam, whose leaders, from Malcolm X to Louis Farrakhan, have denounced white people as devils.
"On the anniversary of the Million Man March," recalls one recently discharged resident, a 16-year-old Anglo boy, "the black kids were allowed to skip school. Mr. X told us we had to go to school because of what our ancestors did."
Richard Johnson initially agreed to be interviewed for this story ... But he failed to show for the appointment, and he did not respond to subsequent repeated calls to his pager number and to his campaign headquarters. Likewise, the Press was unsuccessful in trying to reach Quanell X at the Barbara Jordan Recovery Center and through the Golden Eagle Leadership Academy's corporate offices…
… the state has proven itself generous with Johnson's program… the Golden Eagle Leadership Academy -- after changing its name from the Institute of Healthy Families & Community -- received $565,752 in state funds through UT for fiscal year 1997-98.
Golden Eagle was not required by the state to submit a budget detailing how the money would be spent. Instead, it was given an extension of the Institute of Healthy Families & Community's 1996-97 contract --even though, according to TCADA, the Institute has been ruled ineligible to receive state money until it produces an audit of its 1995-96 operations
The Institute received roughly $460,000 that year. According to a one-page "budget worksheet" provided to the Press by UT, more than 80 percent of that funding -- almost $380,000 --was set aside for employee salaries and benefits. Just $9,133 was earmarked for direct costs of residents, including a mere $1,333 for food. By way of comparison, a total of $9,173 was budgeted for office supplies, meals and entertainment and travel expenses.
It should be noted that Richard Johnson was the treasurer of at least one of Michael Yarbrough's election campaigns. The councilman has made a habit of failing to file timely campaign-finance reports, as required by state law. Among the reports that Yarbrough has yet to submit is the one that was due in January 1996…
At the time, undercover FBI agents posing as investors were dangling bribes before council members who were preparing to award a $155-million contract to build a convention center hotel. Johnson, who has not been implicated, was the only Council aide called to testify before a federal grand jury investigating the bribery allegations. Earlier this year, Yarbrough was one of six people indicted on bribery and conspiracy charges resulting from the FBI sting. This week, both Yarbrough and Johnson were charged with misdemeanor campaign reporting violations.
- The Houston Chronicle reported on 4/18/98:
“…About 30 students packed the room. Among others, Ennett was flanked by former Nation of Islam youth minister Quanell X and Richard Johnson of 100 Black Men of Metropolitan Houston. …”
- Harris County Clerks Office filings for Assumed Names show File# 961713 entered on 12/6/1999 to be owned by Richard Andrew Johnson on 8738 Fannette (the same address as his current voter registration). What did he claim ownership of?
Houston TX 77026
- Wikipedia describes OAAU as:
“The Organization of Afro-American Unity (OAAU) was a Pan-Africanist organization founded by Malcolm X in 1964…The OAAU pushed for black control of every aspect of the black community. At the founding rally, Malcolm X stated that the organization's principal concern was the human rights of blacks, but that it would also focus on voter registration, school boycotts, rent strikes, housing rehabilitation, and social programs for addicts, unwed mothers, and troubled children. Malcolm X saw the OAAU as a way of "un-brainwashing" black people, ridding them of the lies they had been told about themselves and their culture."
The portrait painted in these articles
seems inconsistent with the
“lifelong Christian Conservative”
Mr. Johnson claims to be in
It is quite interesting that just 16 weeks ago, on 1/6/2012, he filed as the owner of The Harris County Republican Minority Leadership Council! (file # 1104435)
There are more published stories. You can read about about Mr. Johnson using Golden Eagle boys and resources to benefit his own political campaigns or Mr. Johnson getting an inspector fired for doing his job at the Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse when the inspector gave a negative licensing evaluation to Mr. Johnson’s Golden Eagle Training Academy.
But, people can change. Maybe all this was in his past and NOW he is truly an honest, Christian CONSERVATIVE.
Except, there are two current items to take into account:
- Just last year, Richard Johnson spoke at a Houston City Council meeting. The minutes of the meeting show that when he signed up to speak, he listed his home address as the house on Fannette where he is registered to vote, but the phone number he gave, 713-320-3785, was the same number given that day for the Greater Houston Coalition of Justice speaker, Randall Kallinen. When Mr. Kallinen spoke, he described GHCJ as ” an umbrella group for 16 civil rights organizations”.
An internet search shows Randall was involved in organizing a
Green Party protest.The protest announcement read:
Yes, this could be classified as guilt by association, or should I say “liberal by association” – either way, it doesn’t change the minutes of the meeting showing Mr. Johnson’s own speech to Houston City Council :“... Let us raise our voices together to demand an end to the deaths of our brothers and sisters in the community—and some real accountability by law enforcement personnel. This event is sponsored by Civilians Down, ACLU—Houston, and the Progressive Workers Organizing Committee. For more information, please contact Randall at (713) 320-3785 … In Solidarity,”
“Mr. Johnson read the 13th Amendment and stated that amendment was the one that was supposed to have freed slaves, but in 1979 the State of Texas had 17 state prisons and by 2000 they had 137 … That the educational system was under attack with the state threatening to cut funding…they should read the Texas Appleseed report, the from schools to prison pipeline, as it was a very telling and thorough study.”
Who is Texas Appleseed and what do they do?
Their website says they “Promote Social and Economic Justice…” An article in the Dallas Observer on March 30, 2011 entitled, “Kicking the Class C Ticket Out of Classrooms,” describes the team effort between Texas Appleseed and the ACLU of Texas to place more restricts on the types of disciple techniques that school districts in Texas can use on unruly students.
2. Mr. Johnson’s Campaign Finance Reports also show some concerns.
- On 12/7/11 his filer fee of $750.00 was listed as paid from personal funds by Richard Johnson - whose address is 8030 Hertfordshire in Spring - but that is NOT the address where he is registered to vote- it is the address where he is listed as the owner of the house and where his wife is registered to vote.
- Both of his Campaign Finance reports filed with the Harris County Clerk on 1/17/12 and 4/30/12 state that his campaign has had $0.00 campaign expenses. That is right – ZERO.
“Pol. Ad Paid for by the Richard Johnson Campaign,And his campaign card also reads:
Dante' Johnson, Treasurer. |
Website by HouMedia.com”
“Pol. Ad Pd. for by the Richard Johnson Campaign,
Atty. Dante’ Johnson, Treasurer.”
While I can’t determine the exact cost of his website designed by HouMedia.com or the coated, four-color campaign cards, I’m reasonably sure the costs weren’t ZERO.
SO, AFTER FINDING ALL THIS ABOUT JUST ONE CANDIATE ON THE HARRIS COUNTY REPUBLICAN PRIMARY BALLOT, I CAN’T HELP BUT ASK -
JUST HOW DYSFUNCTIONAL IS THE HARRIS COUNTY REPUBLICAN PARTY?
HOW MANY MORE DEMOCRATS HAVE PAID THEIR WAY INTO THE REPUBLICAN LEADERSHIP COUNCIL?
I don’t have the answers - but I do know one thing for sure – No true conservative or Tea Partier should give one penny to the Republican Party – especially to the Republican Party of Harris County. Only give your hard earned dollars directly to candidates that you have personally vetted – because you cannot trust the Republican Party to have done any background work.
And never – never ever – believe that “leadership” in the Harris County GOP means anything more than the person with the deepest pockets.