Dems uphold Alvin Greene’s bizarre victory in SC primary
Mystery candidate says he’s the best candidate for Time‘s ‘Man of the Year’
An unemployed man who can’t explain where he got the money to file as a political candidate and who is facing a felony obscenity charge will be the Democratic Party’s candidate for the US Senate in South Carolina this fall.
The executive board of the South Carolina Democratic Party voted Thursday night not to overturn the results of the June 8 primary that saw Alvin Greene, a political unknown, defeat the establishment-backed candidate, Jim Rawl, with 59 percent of the vote.
According to WLTC in Columbia, South Carolina, the executive board decided there wasn’t enough evidence of voting irregularities to overturn the election result. Greene did not attend the hearing.
The decision comes as a shock to many political observers, who note that there was an enormous disparity in the vote results between mail-in ballots and election-day voting, and that Greene didn’t run any sort of visible campaign.
Rawl, the defeated candidate, had earlier said that “there is something amiss with regard to either the software or the machines themselves.” He added that “regardless of the outcome of [the board’s review], a full and unblinking investigation of this election and the overall integrity of South Carolina’s election system must go forward.”
But Rawl sounded a different tune after Thursday’s hearing, telling reporters that he would not appeal the board’s decision.
And BradBlog quotes Rawl as saying, “We don’t have the power to go back and look at what happened. If this were a general election, we could do that. We had 10 days and 10 days only [to appeal the election result]. I would ask the party to go back and look back at the rules on that.”
The board’s decision will likely not satisfy the many political observers who see something amiss in the election results. South Carolina Democratic Rep. James Clyburn alleged last week that “someone” had planted candidates — including Greene — in the Democratic primary races, though he would not point the finger directly at the Republican Party.
And even senior White House adviser David Axelrod said he didn’t believe the election result was legitimate.
“The whole thing is odd,” Axlerod said. “I don’t really know how to explain it and I don’t think anybody else does either. … How [Greene] won the primary is a big mystery, and until you resolve that I don’t think he can claim to be a strong, credible candidate.”
The State in South Carolina reports that Rawls’ representatives argued fervently that the election results didn’t make sense.
[Rawl campaign manager Walter] Ludwig took aim at several of the theories for how Greene could have beaten Rawl.
He pointed out that Rawl won the absentee vote but still lost handily. He pointed to results in Barnwell County, where Rawl won the absentee vote by a 166-33 margin. On Primary Day, Greene won the county with 63 percent of the vote compared to 36 percent for Rawl.
Ludwig argued that Greene, who is black, did not benefit from racial preference, as some have suggested. … Greene didn’t win because of Republican crossover, Ludwig said, because the GOP had a hot gubernatorial race.
The State also notes that two computer voting experts, called to testify at the hearing, said the machines used in South Carolina are “susceptible to tampering and error.”
MAN OF THE YEAR?
Greene, who faces a felony obscenity charge over an incident at South Carolina University in November, 2009, told Time magazine’s Michael Scherer that he should be nominated to be Time’s “Man of the Year.”
“I am the best candidate for the United States Senate in South Carolina,” Greene said. “And I am also the best person to be Time magazine’s Man of the Year.”
Scherer suggests an alternative theory for Greene’s electoral victory:
Greene got lucky. His name appeared first on the ballot and may have had a more dulcet-sounding tone to it, and there is little evidence that anyone knew much about either candidate before the election. In one poll a few weeks before the election, only 4% of state Democrats had a favorable opinion of Rawl, in part because so few knew who he was.”I talked to a lot of people, and a lot of people voted for him,” Democratic state representative Todd Rutherford told MSNBC. “They can’t tell me why. They just said that hey, they saw the name and they pushed the button.”