Republicans try to derail tea party candidate in N.C. — who once claimed to be the Messiah

The infusion of new, tea-colored blood into GOP politics has forced a nationwide debate over who should be accepted as a Republican – and who shouldn’t be.

In Georgia, the GOP drew a line with Ray Boyd, the real estate millionaire who refused to sign a loyalty oath.

In North Carolina, the do-not-cross line is a little brighter. Among Tarheels, you can’t declare yourself to be Jesus, or his successor – and still be a bona fide candidate. At least in the eyes of Republican leadership.

This from Mike Baker with the Associated Press:

RALEIGH, N.C. – Republican officials are working to derail the campaign of a tea party-supported candidate in North Carolina – circulating documents from the man’s messy divorce that depict him as a pot smoker who has called himself the Messiah.

It’s a risky move for state and national party leaders trying to harness the power of the tea party movement without letting it spin out of their control.

Tim D’Annunzio, a congressional candidate in North Carolina’s most competitive district, has run an anti-establishment campaign with vows to dismantle entire branches of the federal government. His ideas have drawn support from tea party activists, and he has raised more money from individuals than his GOP rival while also contributing more than $1 million to his own campaign.

Republican leaders in both Raleigh and Washington, however, are worried about his electability in November if he wins a primary runoff next month. They’re publicizing court documents about D’Annunzio’s past legal, martial and business troubles and denouncing him as unfit for office.

“Mr. D’Annunzio has disqualified himself by his background, his record and his behavior,” said Tom Fetzer, North Carolina’s Republican Party chairman. He said the GOP embraces the tea party but doesn’t believe a person with such a checkered past should be the party’s nominee.

In Hoke County divorce records, his wife said in 1995 that D’Annunzio had claimed to be the Messiah, had traveled to New Jersey to raise his stepfather from the dead, believed God would drop a 1,000-mile high pyramid as the New Jerusalem on Greenland and found the Ark of the Covenant in Arizona.

A doctor’s evaluation the following month said D’Annunzio used marijuana almost daily, had been living with another woman for several months, had once been in drug treatment for heroin dependence and was jailed a couple times as a teenager.

The doctor concluded that his religious beliefs were not delusional. A judge wrote in a child support ruling a few years later that D’Annunzio was a self-described “religious zealot” who believed the government was the “Antichrist.” The judge said he was willfully failing to make child support payments.

D’Annunzio declined Monday to discuss the specifics of his past and refused to confirm or deny the details of the court documents. He acknowledged having “a troubled upbringing” but that he got himself out of it and changed his life 16 years ago, when he had a religious conversion.

“The bigger story is that the power brokers in Raleigh and in Washington are willing to go to any length and use any unscrupulous tactic to try to destroy somebody,” he said. “They think that they’re losing their control over the Republican party.”

D’Annunzio was the leader in a Republican primary earlier this month but didn’t get enough votes to avoid a runoff. He faces former television sportscaster Harold Johnson in a runoff vote June 22 for the 8th District, which extends from Charlotte to Fayetteville. The GOP is targeting Democratic Rep. Larry Kissell, who won the seat two years ago after many years of Republican control.

Republican tensions with the tea party have surfaced around the country, most recently in Kentucky, when the coalition pushed political novice Rand Paul to victory in the GOP primary for a U.S. Senate seat. Paul defeated Trey Grayson, who was supported by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

In Nevada, tea party backers have supported Sharron Angle over former state GOP chair Sue Lowden as the party’s pick to challenge Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid.

Ronnie Long, a Harrisburg businessman who is president of We the People NC and part of the tea party movement, said he was disappointed to see Republican officials resort to personal attacks against D’Annunzio.

Long said his group and others are backing D’Annunzio because he has the integrity and fortitude to make decisions for the people and not the party.

“He’s not the kind of person the parties can rule over and manipulate,” he said.

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38 comments Add your comment

Jodie

May 24th, 2010
7:14 pm

I’m all for other states electing people that make Georgia look less crazy.

Brad

May 24th, 2010
7:34 pm

Wait! I’M the Messiah.

Aquagirl

May 24th, 2010
7:35 pm

Reading this guy’s blog is scary.
http://christswar.blogspot.com/

Meka

May 24th, 2010
7:46 pm

The ‘FAR RIGHT/TEA PARTY’ will be the END OF US ALL!

Andre

May 24th, 2010
8:00 pm

I agree with Jodie and Meka and that blog is scary as heck!

the xd40 is a fine shooter

May 24th, 2010
8:01 pm

Rachel Maddow is a nice lookin boy.

bart

May 24th, 2010
8:09 pm

The tea partiers are proving to be not only racists but also crazy.

Boots

May 24th, 2010
8:38 pm

We walked into a Tea Party rally when my wife and I exited the Alamo a few months ago. I was not impressed with the speaker and the crowd that had gathered — thinking they were a bunch of misfits and malcontents.

I’m pleased that my initial impression was accurate. These folk are over-the-top in their selection of candidates and the direction they want to take the country.

And, they’re going to divide the Republican Pary — and, that’s not a bad thing to this ol’ Democrat.

Chris

May 24th, 2010
9:04 pm

How can the Messiah legally hold two offices at once?

JuneBaby

May 24th, 2010
9:30 pm

nothing like watching a group of fanatics with aims of hi-jacking the next statwide election, infight(play) with themselves. you have all these diverse, but sadly misinformed, lil’ peaheads running around jawjackin’ at one another, making threatening noises, and downright disliking seperate groups. no unity in the tea party(that always claimed to be independents), that has been bought and nuetered by the gop. i guess it is as it should be, seeing as the only teaparty members were republicans from the jump, and as everone knows, they’re braindead sheep. this will be very interesting by the time everything is said and done.

Fred

May 24th, 2010
9:40 pm

Wow. And I thought NO ONE could ever top lil Miss Cynthia McKinney when it came to being a nutcase…………….

Ya know what’s scarier? There has to be some one out there crazier than this guy, we just haven’t seen him/her yet………..

Can’t say I care too much for the Democrats, but the Republicans are just too stupid to vote for. I wish there was a viable third party out there. Looks like the libertarians were going to be it, but they petered out during the Bush years when Harry Brown died.

Too tired to be mad

May 24th, 2010
10:10 pm

Who “proved” the tea party to be racist??? Exatly how?

I would be more careful with those easy attacks if I wanted to maintain crediblity.

Ron

May 24th, 2010
10:28 pm

“Long said his group and others are backing D’Annunzio because he has the integrity and fortitude to make decisions for the people and not the party.”

Oh….my….goodness, the Tea Party in NC just took a nose dive off the crazy high dive with this one! I know some religious folks who are way out there on the right-wing limb, but sane people actually support this guy??!!!!

Fred: I think this guy may just actually make Cynthia look normal…and that scares the mess out of me. The fact that he even made it to a runoff is proof of just how scary the extreme right wing is becoming.

David S

May 24th, 2010
10:33 pm

The republicans and democrats in every state have conspired to pass laws that virtually outlaw any competitive party. There are signature and filing fee requirements that are so horrible that a 3rd party has been unable to field a candidate for US Congress in GA since 1934! And we call this a free country. In California you can obtain additional signatures to offset the filing fee for the office so you may spend the money on campaigning rather than paying the state for the priviledge of being on the ballot. They call it “Signatures in Lieu of filing fee.” In Georgia it is called a “Pauper’s Petition.” No bias there.

Until the republicans and the democrats level the playing field so that other parties or even independents can obtain ballot access as easily as they can (simply by virtue of being a republican or democrat), then they can expect all sorts of people to run under their party banner.

It is not as though one can look at either party and identify any set of principles that guides either their candidates, their elected officials, or even their dues paying members. In both cases, the only unifying characteristic is a deep love for big government – in one case a huge warfare/police state and in the other a huge welfare state.

I say give the independants and 3rd party folks a fair chance and see what pricipled candidates really stand for.

BEND OVER, HERE COMES THE CHANGE

May 24th, 2010
10:35 pm

How do you know he’s not the messiah? We have the DEVIL in the white house.

BEND OVER, HERE COMES THE CHANGE

May 24th, 2010
10:50 pm

David S. Did you forget Ross Perot? It can be done, there’s just not a viable party to run. The Libertarians are the closest, but their looney views on open borders and drugs just won’t fly.

BEND OVER, HERE COMES THE CHANGE

May 24th, 2010
10:53 pm

Boots why would you even go to a tea party event? As a true democrat you already must disagree with what they stand for.

RGB

May 24th, 2010
11:09 pm

Good observations, Bend Over.

I attended a Tea Party event earlier this year hosted by Herman Cain. This accomplished businessman, former senatorial candidate, and radio talk show host captured the attention and respect of the four thousand in attendance.

We honored current and former members of the U.S. military, paid tribute to the victims of 9/11, and collectively asserted that reducing government’s control and influence in our lives is crucial to retaining our liberty and self reliance.

I agree with your observation that most Democrats wouldn’t be comfortable in that environment, for they crave more government involvement in their lives, loathe the freedom to make decisions that affect their own lives, and believe that Americans are NOT Taxed Enough Already.

It makes one wonder whether he was telling the truth about attending such an event. Or not.

Alabama Communist

May 25th, 2010
12:02 am

In North Carolina, the do-not-cross line is a little brighter. Among Tarheels, you can’t declare yourself to be Jesus, or his successor – and still be a bona fide candidate. At least in the eyes of Republican leadership.* Jimbo

You got that right, but in this case the Chairman of the Republican Party of North Carolina said he didn’t cross the line when he was accuse of being Gay during the recent election by the other leadership of the Republican Party….”Being single for 37 years does not make me Gay after the age of consent. However. to put to rest these nasty rumors, I am proud to announce that I am now engaged.” When press for more information on the Gender of the engagement and did he have any proof that he was sexual involved with women during his 37 years of Singlehood. ” That is none of your business! “

Charich1

May 25th, 2010
1:25 am

did you forget your meds again.Why don’t you take a nap.

Buster Brown

May 25th, 2010
2:08 am

Hey, y’all with the “Maddow looks like a boy” comments, you DO get that they make her giggle madly almost every time, right?

Hey, it’s too bad you can’t still be on the high school team back in high school, huh? Back when you could occasionally wrestle a drunk girl into giving it up.

MD

May 25th, 2010
4:05 am

Amen RGB,and the liberals can’t handle the truth.

Boots

May 25th, 2010
6:39 am

BEND OVER: Thought I might learn something or hear something interesting. I’m an educated person who can change his mind if the argument is compelling.

It wasn’t!

Karl Marx

May 25th, 2010
6:43 am

If he could dismantle entire branches of the federal government he would be the Messiah to me and the Devil to many others. (UN)progressives, Democrats and Marxist would just be sick about it and that is a great thing.

BitterEXdemocrackkk

May 25th, 2010
6:58 am

Tom Fetzer wont even ask NC Democrackkk candidates if they support BORDER SECURITY! Heck he wont even axe republicannots either…

Still NC suffers from over 130+ years of total EVIL democrackkk domination and oppression. They have RUINED our once great state! DAMN a bunch of NC democrackkks!

Who Cares

May 25th, 2010
7:19 am

So the media picks out one apparent little off center candidate from an otherwise good organization and dwells on that one. So what else is new? Dismantle entire branches of the federal gov’t………he isn’t as crazy as the media wants us to believe.

Tom E. Gunn

May 25th, 2010
7:24 am

IF you start quoting ex-wives and their allegations, WE ARE ALL IN TROUBLE!!!

Me

May 25th, 2010
7:28 am

I thought this article was about Obama!

Keep doing this GOP

May 25th, 2010
7:41 am

I wonder if this guy starts his campign rallies with ” Crazy Train” blaring over the loud speakers. The snake is starting to eat its own tail.Just wait……

Morrus

May 25th, 2010
8:34 am

Curiously, in a supposed anti-incumbent year, most of the departing are not retiring but seeking higher office. We may recycle more than we replace. The bad news is that a frustrating 114 seats still have but one contestant. Two of them aren’t even incumbents, meaning they will affect state policy without being vetted by voters. And I have to think that we’d be better off if many had run instead for the Legislature — and cut down on the number running unopposed. Georgia’s problems are numerous. They aren’t going away. There’s too much stale thinking at the Capitol, on both sides of the aisle. New voices would be welcome.

John K

May 25th, 2010
8:34 am

First the far right religious nuts, and now the tea party nuts. I’m more than willing to judge the GOP by the company they keep.

bulldog

May 25th, 2010
8:37 am

I wonder if this guy is related to Ray McBerry.

All Full Up on Crazy

May 25th, 2010
8:48 am

I bet Paul Broun, Georgia’s own special brand of crazy, loves this guy!

All I'm Saying Is...

May 25th, 2010
8:53 am

I don’t have any issues with Tim D’Annunzio. So what that he was a nut case 16 years ago—what does that have to do with the type of person he is today?
As I understand, a former president was, before he was president, a drunk and a druggie and then, according to him, found God and his savior Jesus Christ around the age of 40 and turned his life around.

This guy reads like a more honest person than that married Indiana Congressman who recently resigned after touting abstinence and family values for years and then having an affair and with another married person to boot.

dagnabit

May 25th, 2010
8:54 am

Hard to believe this is the state I was born and raised in.

Palin

May 25th, 2010
9:10 am

Go Tea Party. I agree with Jodie! I hope the Tea Party rises up and knocks of many GOP candidates!

lmno

May 25th, 2010
9:12 am

The Tea Party is only now beginning to be tested. As more of their supported candidates meet the press. Its easy to say, “I’m for smaller government” and find a large audience. However, they will now be asked to clarify that statement. “Do you believe in unemployment tax?” “Would you dismantle Social Security?” “Should we do away with Medicare and Medicaid?”

If they answer those questions the way the tea party wants, they alienate the vast majority of voters.

News Update – May 25, 2010

May 26th, 2010
10:09 am

[...] “Mr. D’Annunzio has disqualified himself by his background, his record and his behavior,” said… [...]