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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Alvin Greene, Phantom Candidate, Wins Democratic SC Primary


In May, Free Times did a piece on Alvin Greene, what they called SC's phantom Democratic candidate.

The candidate, a 32-year-old unemployed black Army veteran named Alvin Greene, walked into the state Democratic Party headquarters in March with a personal check for $10,400. He said he wanted to become South Carolina’s U.S. senator.

Needless to say, Democratic Party Chairwoman Carol Fowler was a bit surprised.

Fowler had never met Greene before, she says, and the party isn’t in the habit of taking personal checks from candidates filing for office. She told Greene that he’d have to start a campaign account if he wanted to run. She asked him if he thought it was the best way to invest more than $10,000 if he was unemployed.

Several hours later, Greene came back with a campaign check. The party accepted it, and Greene became an official candidate for the U.S. Senate. He was eager to have his picture put on the party’s website to show he had filed, says state Democratic Party executive director Jay Parmley.

Greene will face Charleston County Councilman Vic Rawl in the June 8 primary. If he wins, he will run against U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint in the fall.

But after filing to run, Alvin Greene’s campaign went dark.

Jump forward to June, when Mr. Greene went on to win the Democratic primary against Charleston City Councilman Vic Rawl who was the choice of the Democratic party.

He won by double digit percentages.

Greene did this despite having no campaign website, no fundraisers and no campaign contributions from outside sources.

The Democratic Party establishment is not amused, even less amused after the Associated press reported that Greene is having legal problems to which he has not be indicted for as of yet and no word reported as to whether he will or will not be.

But on Wednesday, The Associated Press reported that Mr. Greene had been arrested on charges of showing a college student lewd Internet photographs and talking about visiting her dorm room.

The Associated Press said court records showed that Mr. Greene faces a felony charge that carries a maximum of five years in prison for the offenses. Mr. Greene could not be reached for comment.

Fowler has called on Greene to resign, stating "I did not do this lightly, as I believe strongly that the Democratic voters of this state have the right to select our nominee. But this new information about Mr. Greene would certainly have affected the decisions of many of those voters."

That is a huge assumption on Fowler's part, considering most voters believe a man is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law and Greene has not been indicted.

Greene is refusing to withdraw and Democrats are looking into the legalities of trying to force him out of the race.

South Carolina Democratic Party Chairwoman Carol Fowler told POLITICO she remains hopeful Greene will reconsider, but in the meantime they are speaking with their attorneys to see if there are other ways to remove him from the ballot.

“I really don’t know yet if we do or not, or if we have to appeal to the better angles of his nature,” said Fowler. “I don’t think he is ready to do it right now, but we hope that he will withdraw because it’s not helpful to have him on the ticket.”

In the meantime, House Majority Whip James Clyburn is calling for an investigation, accusing Greene of being a "plant", a concern one would think he would have brought up when Greene first filed and was put on the ballot instead of waiting for Greene to trounce the Democratic Party candidate of choice.

The ramifications of this stunning upset should concern Democrats to no end coming into the November elections because if an unknown, a "phantom" candidate, can take 59 percent of the vote against the candidate that campaigned actively and was backed by the Democratic party, then anti-Democratic establishment sentiment is worse than originally projected.

It could get worse too if the Democratic Party intends to force out the candidate the people of the state chose to replace him with the candidate the party itself wants.

This is one to watch folks because SC politics just got a whole lot more interesting.