“The Democratic Party has chosen their nominee, and we have to stand behind their choice,” Greene told the AP at his home in Manning. “The people have spoken. We need to be pro-South Carolina, not anti-Greene.”
Democratic activists were facing the smacking electoral truth that a non-campaigning, unemployed, black, country-living, coo-coo-for-Cocoa-Puffs nobody who’d been kicked out of the Army and was currently facing federal sex charges had just beaten — in the Democratic primary, and by 17 percentage points — a well-known former legislator, judge and current Charleston County councilman who’d raised a quarter of a million bucks for the race and for months been campaigning his ass off.
Manning is like many small South Carolina towns where you know your neighbor and your neighbor’s neighbor. But not many in Manning knew Alvin Greene. Some who did say he was a strange kid growing up, a quiet kid, a loner. They talk about him the way a neighbor might describe a killer or the man who later becomes president. It’s always, of course, the quiet ones.
Alvin’s father, James Greene, retired from the Clemson Extension Program where he used to teach. In his time, he was a barber and a nightclub owner who wanted blacks to play a bigger role in politics and entertainment. An outspoken activist for Democratic politics, he was a prominent fixture in town who once brought a private carnival to Manning many years ago when the American Legion stopped doing it.
“His parents were go-getters,” Samuals says of Alvin. “His folks were aggressive people who wanted their kids to have a good education.”
…When he speaks, it’s as though Greene is participating in some kind of linguistic steeplechase in which he always seems to trip over the hurdle and has a hard time climbing out of the waterhole.
He often interrupts himself or just quits talking mid-sentence. He says “OK” before nearly everything. He’ll say one thing and then say the opposite. When he gets “on message” it’s as if he’s reading some invisible script for several sentences before blowing it and sounding like he’s reading something written upside-down…
Alvin Greene, a Political Unknown, Faces Popular GOP Incumbent Sen. Jim DeMint
ABC News – By DEVIN DWYER
Alvin Greene, the surprise South Carolina Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate, was kicked out of the Army last year and is facing a pending felony charge, according to court records obtained by ABC News.
Greene, who has yet to enter a plea or be indicted, was arrested in November and charged with “disseminating, procurring or promoting obsenity” in Richland County, S.C., near the University of South Carolina. He faces up to five years in prison if convicted.
Earlier today, the 32-year-old military veteran told ABC News that he has been unemployed and living in his rural hometown 60 miles south of Columbia since August, when he was involuntarily forced out of the Army after a 13 year career because “things just weren’t working… it was hard to say.”
He declined to discuss details of his discharge but said that he had served as an intelligence specialist in the Air Force and later as a unit supply specialist in the Army.
Greene shocked South Carolina Democrats Tuesday when he won a commanding victory over four-term state lawmaker Vic Rawl in the primary without the help of a war chest of campaign cash or an orchestrated effort to win voters across the state. In fact there is little evidence that he campaigned at all.
“I didn’t spend much…I kept it simple, nothing fancy,” he said in a sometimes rambling and incoherent interview with ABC News. “It was 100 percent out of my own pocket.”
Greene, whose campaign slogan was “Let’s get South Carolina back to work,” said he was “a little surprised” by his victory but added, “I worked hard, I earned it.” He did not provide details of how or where he campaigned.
Meanwhile, state Democratic Party leaders and Rawl, who raised close to $200,000 crisscrossing the state during the campaign, remain stunned that Greene captured 59 percent of the vote.
“Conventional wisdom was that Vic would win easily,” said state Democratic Party Chairwoman Carol Fowler. “It is quite an upset…There really is no explanation for why he won.”
Fowler said Greene’s victory was a setback for Democrats’ attempts to challenge incumbent Republican Sen. Jim DeMint. “Now that becomes harder with a candidate with no political experience,” said Fowler, who has never met or spoken with Greene.
As Greene enters the national spotlight in his bid to unseat a popular senator in a conservative state, he faces tough questions about his personal and professional record and pressure to provide clear answers.
Analyst: Greene an ‘Easy’ Challenger for DeMint
“I’m looking forward to a September debate” with incumbent Republican Sen. Jim DeMint, Greene said of the effort to educate voters. “I would like an hour debate live on one of the networks.”
“I will also need the party’s backing with funding on the state level and national level,” he said.
It’s unclear how much money, if any, the party will give to Greene, whom many political analysts don’t give a chance against DeMint.
“You had an absolute unknown [Greene] running against a virtual unknown [Rawl],” said Winthrop University political scientist Scott Huffmon. Greene’s victory “says something about the depth of the Democratic bench in South Carolina, but not much more than that.”
Huffmon says DeMint and Republicans have never been concerned with either potential challenger ahead of the general election and said conspiracy theories that Republicans may have facilitated Greene’s victory to give DeMint a weaker challenger are misguided.
Greene’s victory could have negative implications for the Democratic Party, however, since Greene could appear to be a “sacrificial lamb.” “If the party doesn’t put time and energy into helping someone unknown get respectable turn out, then it could look very bad for the party,” he said.
Unemployed Army Vet Drops $10,400 on Filing Fee
Free Times – BY COREY HUTCHINS
At the end of a dirt driveway off a dusty highway in rural Clarendon County, just outside the town of Manning, a lawn overgrown with weeds sports no campaign sign for the man living in a house there who has filed to run as a Democrat for the U.S. Senate.
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.
Though he says he is running, and running to win, Greene has not taken the steps one might expect from an active candidate — some of them required by law.
He has not filed with the Secretary of the Senate, according to its Washington, D.C. office. Nor has he filed any disclosure reports with the Federal Election Commission, which the FEC requires by law.
No campaign signs appear around the area where he lives, and Greene admits he hasn’t taken in any donations.
When the South Carolina Democratic Party held its convention in April, Greene did not show up.
Reached by phone May 12, and asked how he thought his campaign was going, Greene said, “So far, so good.”
Asked when he planned to file with the FEC, he replied, “OK, yeah, so what do you need? What are you trying to get from me, now? I’m in a hurry.”
Greene says he decided to run for the United States Senate two years ago when he was serving in Korea.
As for the $10,400 he used to get on the ballot, Greene says it was money he’d made from being a soldier.
“That was my personal pay,” he says. “Money out of my pocket.”
Parmley says he finds the whole thing odd.
He says running for any other office in the state would cost much less money. “If you’re going to file for something and not do anything, why waste $10,000?”
Greene, however, remains optimistic.
Asked if he thought it was a good investment to spend so much of his own money in a two-way Democratic primary to run against a popular Republican with millions in campaign cash, Greene replied: “Rather than just save the $10,000 and just go and buy gasoline with it, just take [it] and just be unemployed for [an] even longer period of time, I mean, that wouldn’t make any sense, um, just, um, but, uh, yes, uh … lowering these gas prices … that will create jobs, too. Anything that will lower the gasoline prices. Offshore drilling, the energy package, all that.”
Greene’s curious candidacy raises the question that something else might be going on.
Republican place markers in Palmetto State Democratic primaries are campaign legend.
In the early ‘90s, a Republican strategist was prosecuted and forced to pay a fine when he was found to have coaxed an unemployed black fisherman into running in a primary race to increase white turnout at the polls in a Lowcountry congressional race. The political operative paid the man’s filing fee.
Greene says he’s never heard of such a thing. He says he just really wanted to run.
Regardless of how or why he got into the race, his candidacy has certainly created some political intrigue.
“It’s sad to see an unemployed veteran be so naïve as to believe that using his savings to file for office is the best use of his money,” Fowler says.
UPDATE – ELECTION RESULTS
|U.S. Senate – DEM (Vote For 1)|
|Alvin M Greene||Vic Rawl|
|County||Registered Voters||Election Day||Total Votes||Election Day||Total Votes||Total|
Source: SC Votes.org
FoxNews (Juan Williams): A Good Day for Democrats
Charleston City Paper: Updated: The mystery of Alvin Greene solved
(The Politics of Jamie Sanderson) Interview with Alvin Greene on YouTube
(The Palmetto Scoop) “Turd Blossom” in CAE Apr 24?
The Patriot’s Flag: Stimulus Dollars at Work (SC) HINT: CONNECT THE DOTS
BRADWARTHEN: Where was The State on Alvin Greene TODAY?
The Post and Courier: Greene certified as winner
THE CHANGE WE HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR
The last ten days have been extraordinary.
But for me and Laura, it is the months before that are far more important. I cannot express our gratitude for your support during the campaign and in the days since the primary election.
We hold our heads high, and know that the friendship of people like you is far more important in life that the outcome of any election.
I wanted you to hear from me that we will not be appealing last night’s decision by the Democratic Executive Committee to reject our protest of the election results. My campaign for the United States Senate has ended.
The issues we raised about the lack of election integrity in South Carolina are real, and they are not going away unless people act. I assure you that I will continue to speak out about our frail, vulnerable and unverifiable election system in the months to come.
I also feel strongly that the Democratic Party needs major reform of the rules and procedures regarding ballot qualification, protests and many other areas. This is critical to strengthen the Party and make it broadly competitive in our state.
Let me also take a moment to thank our volunteers. They gave selflessly of their time and talent toward making our state better. I also deeply thank my staff, a talented and dedicated group of professionals who were champions both before and after June 8th.
Thank you again for your support – this race was for you.