Keith Olbermann | Who is Alvin Greene? South Carolina Democrats’ Senate Pick

Keith Olbermann interviews Alvin Greene, the person who was elected as the Democratic Nominee for Senate in South Caroline.

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Who is Alvin Greene? South Carolina Democrats’ Senate Pick
by Wayne Washington
The State

June 11, 2010

With befuddled, angry and embarrassed Democratic Party officials saying they are powerless to intervene, state election officials will meet today to certify Alvin Greene’s surprising win in Tuesday’s Democratic Party primary for the U.S. Senate.

Greene, a 32-year-old unemployed military veteran who did little if any campaigning but easily beat a far better-funded primary opponent, faces a felony obscenity charge. That charge alleges Greene showed a University of South Carolina student pornography in a computer lab and suggested they go to her room.

Greene’s victory and pending felony charge left Democrats wondering how an unknown with serious legal baggage could be their U.S. Senate nominee. Several expressed concern Greene’s primary win will become another moment of national embarrassment for a state that has been much-mocked because of a series of political scandals.

“We find ourselves in an interesting spot, a spot only South Carolina can find itself in,” said state Rep. Bakari Sellers, D-Bamberg.

On Wednesday, when news of Greene’s felony charge broke, state Democratic Party chairwoman Carol Fowler asked Greene to abandon his quest to challenge U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint, R-Greenville, this fall.

Fowler’s call was echoed Thursday by others in her party, who said they had never heard of Greene before he collected more than 100,000 votes and won 42 of the state’s 46 counties in beating Charleston attorney Vic Rawl on Tuesday. Fowler said the state party cannot bar candidates from running for any office if they meet the requirements.

U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., told reporters on a conference call Thursday that he thinks Greene had help in paying the Democratic Party’s $10,400 filing fee to run for the U.S. Senate.

“I’m still trying to figure out how anybody can just plop down $10,000 who is unemployed, spend no money and get nominated,” Clyburn said. Fowler said she has been told the Federal Election Commission is looking into a complaint about how Greene came up with the filing fee. Fowler said she does not know who filed the complaint, nor does she know whether state or other federal agencies have taken up Clyburn’s call for an investigation.

Beth Drake, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in South Carolina, said that office would not confirm or deny the existence or absence of an investigation.

Efforts by The State to reach Greene and Rawl on Thursday were unsuccessful. But in interviews with other media members, Greene has said he is in the race to stay.

That’s what he told Sellers and state Rep. Todd Rutherford, D-Richland, who met with Greene at ETV’s Columbia studio in an effort to get him to abandon his campaign.

“I told him that this is not the right time,” Sellers said. Rutherford, an attorney, said he is not sure Greene fully understands the questions and prominence his primary win and pending felony charge will bring. Greene’s primary win already has drawn interest from CNN, The Washington Post and other national media.

“It was clear to me that if this was a joke, he didn’t get it,” Rutherford said. “If he were a client of mine, I would request that he get a mental evaluation. And I don’t say that to be mean.”