Yesterday no one knew where in the world Alvin Greene came from or how he managed to win the South Carolina Democratic Party nomination to run against Republican Sen. Jim DeMint in the general election. By all accounts, including the account of the state’s Democratic Party chair, Carol Fowler, Greene is the mystery man who paid the $10,400 filing fee and his name went on the ballot. There were no TV ads, endorsements or bumper stickers. Greene simply won and now has his own Wikipedia entry.
Today, however, we know a little more about Greene, an unemployed veteran who lives with his father in Manning, S.C. We know that Greene has a pending felony obscenity charge. And ABC News reported that Greene left the Army involuntarily after a 13-year military career that included time as an intelligence specialist.
Alvin Greene is being fully vetted for the office of United States Senator in the public eye and after winning his party’s nomination by 59% of the vote.
According to the Associated Press,
Court records show Greene was arrested in November and charged with showing obscene Internet photos to a University of South Carolina student, then talking about going to her room at a university dorm.
Charged with disseminating, procuring or promoting obscenity, Greene could face up to five years in prison.
Greene has yet to be indicted. The technicalities involved here do not prohibit Greene from running in the general election or even from serving. Felons can serve in federal office, but the U.S. House or Senate could vote to expel any member “deemed unfit to serve.”
After the AP unearthed court documents about Greene’s arrest, Chairwoman Fowler felt it necessary to ask the party’s nominee to withdraw from the Senate race.
“I did not do this lightly, as I believe strongly that the Democratic voters of this state have the right to select our nominee,” Fowler said. “But this new information about Mr. Greene … would certainly have affected the decisions of many of those voters.
We are proud to have nominated a Democratic ticket this year that, with the apparent exception of Mr. Greene, reflects South Carolina’s values. Our candidates want to give this state a new beginning without the drama and irresponsibility of the past 8 years, and the charges against Mr. Greene indicate that he cannot contribute to that new beginning. I hope he will see the wisdom of leaving the race.”
Mr. Greene declined her invitation. He told an AP reporter,
“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.”
For a man who characterized himself as an average Joe, Greene is starting to sound an awful lot like a politician. He is not about to allow some pesky little obscenities arrest hinder his chance to serve his state and country. That’s a page taken directly from the politician’s play book. And he doesn’t seem to be embarrassed by the arrest, which is the least oddest of all of the circumstances leading to his win.
Yes, there are odder and more questionable occurrences.
Let’s begin with Greene’s filing. He paid the $10,400 to be listed on the ballot, but
- He ran (and won) without filing disclosure reports with the Secretary of Senate, and without registering and filing with the Federal Elections Commission, which is mandated by law
- The S. C. Democratic Party never reached out to Greene, not even out of curiosity and after he pulled a no-show at the party’s state convention in April – to date, Fowler is the only official from the party to address Greene
- And no one from the GOP, especially not Greene’s “opponent” Sen. DeMint has commented
The curious case of Alvin Greene leads to one question: Why wasn’t he vetted before the election? And as the days progress, we will most likely learn that he was and by whom.