Phantom Jobless Vet Greene, Wins Dem Primary With $10,400
June 9, 2010
(ChattahBox)—Some are wondering if he is a GOP plant. The real head-scratcher from Tuesday’s primaries is the stunning win of South Carolina man of mystery, Democratic senatorial candidate Alvin Greene. The phantom unemployed Army veteran who lives with his parents, somehow managed to beat out the establishment candidate, Vic Rawl, 64, who had a $186,000 war chest and staged a vigorous campaign. Rawl’s lengthy political resume, includes four terms as a state Rep. and a stint as a state prosecutor. Greene, 32, on the other hand, paid his $10,400 filing fee and hasn’t been seen or head from since. He raised no money, had no campaign website and made no campaign appearances, but he managed to win 59 percent of the vote.
Greene’s win may be attributed to simple alphabetical order and a lack of name recognition for Rawls, despite his lengthy political service. State Democratic Party Chairwoman Carol Fowler, said voters may have voted for Greene, because his name appeared first on the ballot. “As far as I know, he never showed up at anything. Vic Rawl has been campaigning everywhere from the time he filed,” she said.
Rawl was in shock after yesterday’s upset. “I never saw him. I’ve still never met him,” said Rawl of Greene.
Mother Jones took a stab at deciphering Greene’s campaign and his motivations for running, and came away from the interview with little to show for it. What is apparent, is that Greene is not much of a public speaker and he has little chance against Republican incumbent Sen. Jim DeMint:
“Greene insists that he paid the $10,400 filing fee and all other campaign expenses from his own personal funds. “It was 100 percent out of my pocket. I’m self-managed. It’s hard work, and just getting my message to supporters. I funded my campaign 100 percent out of my pocket and self-managed,” said Greene, who sounded anxious and unprepared to speak to the public. But despite his lack of election funds, Greene claims to have criss-crossed the state during his campaign—though he declined to specify any of the towns or places he visited or say how much money he spent while on the road.”
“It wasn’t much, I mean, just, it was—it wasn’t much. Not much, I mean, it wasn’t much,” he said, when asked how much of his own money he spent in the primary.
Greene, who has been unemployed since leaving the military in August, was anxious to get beyond questions about the election and focus on his message of job creation.
“I’m not concentrating on how I was elected—it’s history. I’m the Democratic nominee—we need to get talking about America back to work, what’s going on, in America,” said Greene.
But who knows, stranger things have happened, especially in the Gothic political swamp of South Carolina.
(Update: Oh man. The AP is reporting that Greene is facing a felony charge for an online incident involving pornography. “Court records show 32-year-old Alvin Greene was arrested in November and charged with showing obscene Internet photos to a University of South Carolina student.”
(Further Update: Greene’s candidacy is looking more and more like some sort of place-marker stunt:
“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.”
“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.”