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Rep. James Clyburn Wants Probe of Alvin Greene's Election in S.C. Primary

5 years ago
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David Wood
Chief Military Correspondent
House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) wants an investigation into the shocking upset election of Alvin Greene in the South Carolina primary Tuesday. The jobless veteran with no political experience took 59 percent of the vote to become the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate despite putting virtually no money into his campaign and making few, if any, appearances.

"There were some real shenanigans going on in the South Carolina primary," Clyburn said on the Bill Press radio show, according to The Hill. "I don't know if [Greene] was a Republican plant; he was someone's plant." Clyburn is particularly suspicious that Greene could come up with the $10,400 needed to register for the race despite being unemployed.
A spokesman for Sen. Jim DeMint, Greene's opponent in the general election, said the charge that the Democratic nominee is a Republican plant is "ridiculous."

Greene was urged Wednesday by his state's Democratic Party to withdraw from the race because of a pending felony charge. The candidate allegedly showed obscene Internet photos to a University of South Carolina student, the Associated Press reports. Court records show that Greene, 32, was arrested in November. He posted bond after his arrest and has yet to enter a plea or be indicted, the AP reported. The charge carries a maximum five-year prison sentence.

Greene said he had no comment when asked about the charge Wednesday and hung up on a reporter, the AP said.

In Tuesday's vote, Greene upset his primary opponent, Vic Rawls, 64, a former judge and four-term state legislator.

Greene has said he scraped together the $10,400 filing fee and funds for his campaign from money he had saved while serving in the Army in South Korea. Greene said he completed his military service, a total of 13 years in the Air Force and Army, last August. He has been unemployed since.

The Army said Wednesday that Greene, from Manning, S.C., was discharged in August 2009 after being promoted to specialist. He served three years as a supply technician, including a tour in South Korea from June 2007 to July 2008. He last served with the 1st Infantry Division at Fort Riley, Kan.

Greene's military records also show he served in the South Carolina Air National Guard from July 1995 to June 2002, and in the South Carolina Army National Guard from July 2006 to February 2007.

Greene put out no campaign posters, ran no ads, and although he said he had campaigned across the state, was vague on the precisely where he had appeared.

"As far as I know, he never showed up at anything,'' state Democratic Party Chairwoman Carol Fowler told reporters. She speculated that voters picked Green over Rawl because his name came first on the alphabetical list of candidates.

Rawl himself expressed shock and disappointment at the Election Day result. "I never saw him,'' he said of Greene. "I've still never met him."

Greene's out-of-nowhere victory sparked speculation that he could be a Republican "plant,'' a deliberately weak candidate to run against De Mint.

But Greene insists he is exactly as he seems -- a jobless veteran who is acting on his dream of helping get America back to work. He said he was inspired while he was posted in South Korea in 2008 by news reports about the crumbling economy and rising unemployment back home.

"I just saw the country was in bad shape,'' he told Mother Jones magazine. "The country was declining. I wanted to make sure we continue to go up on the right track."

DeMint, a deeply conservative GOP standard-bearer seeking his second Senate term, has reportedly amassed a campaign war chest of $3.5 million.

Greene remains undaunted. He said he is excited about the campaign. "I'm looking forward to the debate this September,'' he said.

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Is it possible that the Republicans have employed their own version of ACORN???

June 15 2010 at 7:34 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply

The democrats do not want to admit that Obama was elected in the same fashion.

June 15 2010 at 6:31 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to getgary01's comment

the republicans do not want to admit the failings that led to his overwhelming victory nor do they want to admit to the end results of the his failed leadership from Wall Street to Iraq, Afghanstan to the Gulf of Mexico. Obama has now been handed a pretty full plate, dontcha think?

June 15 2010 at 6:50 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
dc walker

He's a plant/ GUFFAW. He received 60% of the vote. Were those voters uninformed? Dumb? I don't doubt it look at the past presidential elections since they lowered the vote to 18.

June 15 2010 at 5:02 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

Let Alvin Green have his day if you think about it look at all of the scandals from experience politician's that flares up every year. So we need to hear from some that we don't know much about and let him revel more for his wishes and we might see that Alvin can do some good.

June 15 2010 at 4:58 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

There is good and bad in all of us. While I do not believe Alvin Greene would be the "best" choice for the US Senate, I take him at his word that he wanted to help get our country on the right track. Even the least among us can recognize a swiftly declining decency and prosperity in America. Frankly, with Congress at an all time low in the eyes of the voters, they need to look at themselves before condemning others.

June 15 2010 at 9:55 AM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply

I am dumb founded that the vast majority of people get on here and post and dont even understand what an open primary is. The dems dont have any control over a republican scam to go vote for Greene in an open primary. Greene was a plant and it doesnt take a rocket scientist to get it. He didnt have 10 grand, he got it from them, hes not even mentally stable. With that said, no surprise out of South Carolina...look who they want for their Gov, not to mention their abysmal track record of chosing the very worst candidates.

June 15 2010 at 9:38 AM Report abuse -8 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to crownsplitta's comment

Easy enough to follow the money and determine where it came from. If he was a "plant," why was there no other campaign funding coming his way? Why did the voters select "Greene" on the ballot? Did the Republicans pay the 59% (or whatever the number was) who voted for him? Got to get some facts, and stay away from suppositions. They will rear up and bite you on the backside.

June 15 2010 at 9:59 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply

We know what an open primary is, Alvin still got the votes.

June 16 2010 at 4:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

OH MAN this is classic...this is WHY there should be a test for voters...people vote their party WITHOUT EVEN THINKING...kind of scary. But I will have to give it to the old boy winning without talking to the media....and for 10,400...something about that I like...just put up a website of what you are all about and what you stand for and stop with all of the Money making inthe election process!!!!

June 15 2010 at 3:00 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

Sounds like the democrats don't have a lot of respect for the way their people vote. Obviously the democratic party wanted one guy and the people voted for another. The democrats in SC (and maybe a lot of other places) don't even support the candidate that their party wants elected! Perhaps they should have done what they did in PA?! Yeah, sure, it's all a republican problem (lol). The dems can't even take responsibility for something they are solely responsible for; what a sad group.

June 14 2010 at 1:23 PM Report abuse +11 rate up rate down Reply

A Republican plant? He should have had a Background check done on him. That fault lies with the Democrats. He won, now the buyer's remorse.

June 14 2010 at 10:26 AM Report abuse +8 rate up rate down Reply

Maybe I watch too much TV, but this "mystery" should have been solved by now. If the question is how he got the money for the filing fee; he wrote a check which means it should be fairly simple to investigate the account activity.

If the question is about tampering with electronic voting machines, any middle school aged computer hacker could tell you if they were tampered with.

June 14 2010 at 9:40 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply

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