- Sometimes people just win primaries
On June 8, Alvin Greene won the Democratic primary against Vic Rawl. He is now the state party’s candidate for the United States Senate. Greene did not campaign, spent less than $15,000 (about 1/16 that Rawl spent), has a shady past, and may be mentally challenged. Below is a run-down of this insane story as reported by Corey Hutchins in The Columbia Free Times.
His challenger was a Charleston County councilman, a former legislator and judge. Greene is an Army veteran not up to much these days. “More [South Carolinians] are unemployed now than any other time,” he told the Free Times, “and I’m one of the unemployed.”
It gets weirder.
Even his neighbors, in his small South Carolina town where all the neighbors know each other, hardly knew him, let alone voters in the rest of the state. His opponent “had raised around $250,000 and campaigned all over the place,” Hutchins reports. “He met everyone he needed to meet when it came to state Democratic politics. He had supporters behind him with influence. He was a well-known former legislator and judge and a current office holder in Charleston.” Greene hung a campaign poster in his neighborhood barber shop. (“He hadn’t even brought any tape,” Hutchins reports.) The state party never heard anything from Greene during the campaign. Greene described his campaigning methods as “simple, old-fashioned, simple old-fashioned,” though he refused to elaborate.
The unemployed Greene walked into state party headquarters with a personal check for $10,400, the filing fee to get on the ballot. The chairwoman told him he needed to set up a campaign account; she also encouraged him to maybe do something else with that kind of money if he didn’t have a job. He returned hours later with a check for $10,400 from his campaign account. “He asked that his name, address and picture be immediately put on the party website, showing he’d filed,” Hutchins reports. “Then his candidacy went dark. Greene never filed with the Secretary of the Senate, according to its Washington, D.C. office. He didn’t file with the Federal Elections Commission, which the FEC requires by law. When the state Democratic Party held its convention in April, Greene didn’t even show up.” The mother of his female victim said he didn’t have that kind of money when they went to court.
Oh, that’s right. Greene is out on bail on obscenity charges.
He’s under indictment
“Last fall,” Hutchins reports, “Greene had used an old student ID card to get access to the USC library where he sat down next to a freshman girl and asked her to look at his computer screen. On it was pornographic material. Greene laughed and asked the girl if the two could go back to her dorm room.”
He’s…not all there
Hutchins describes Greene as a “rambler, who often needs prompting and prodding to elicit coherent responses.” Continuing, “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.” A neighbor puts it more concisely: “He ain’t wrapped tight”.
He won by a landslide
It seems unlikely Greene would have won at all. And yet he didn’t just eke out a victory—he won by a landslide, 58 to 42 percent.
Greene’s opponent in November, for a seat in the United States Senate, is incumbent Jim DeMint, a Tea Party favorite. It’ll be totally fucking fascinating to see how this story develops before then.