- Toronto’s Rob Ford takes rehabbed self to kids’ playground for political props
- Sen. Joe Manchin sued by his brother over old loan: report
- New Mexico decides to use HealthCare.gov for 2015
- Satanists to use Hobby Lobby rule to skirt state abortion laws
- White House: No choice but to act now on climate change
- HHS: ‘Donut hole’ reforms saved Medicare enrollees $11.5 billion since 2010
- Boston-area tornado rips 100 homes: ‘Are we in Kansas?’
- Rush Limbaugh: ‘There is no journalism anymore’
- Scott Brown struggles for political traction in New Hampshire Senate race
- California’s Jerry Brown cites God, ‘religious call’ to embrace illegals
S.C. Democrats aim to dump unlikely nominee
Party at loss to explain how jobless vet won primary race
Question of the Day
Not even Alvin M. Greene himself seems able to offer a credible explanation for why he forked over the $10,200 in a bid to be the Democratic challenger this fall against Republican powerhouse Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina.
But then almost nothing political that has happened in the state in the last two years is explainable - or believable - and it's getting curiouser and curiouser as the state's Democratic Party looks into calls to void Mr. Greene's primary victory.
Nobody can offer more than a theory - Mr. Greene's name appeared on the ballot above his rival's - as to why, without yard signs, a website or any other visible signs of leaving his father's house to campaign he was able to defeat Vic Rawl, an experienced politician who did campaign for the June 8 Democratic primary.
And nobody seems able to explain why state Democratic Chairwoman Carol Fowler accepted Mr. Greene's money and allowed the jobless 32-year-old political novice to get his name on the June ballot for U.S. Senate in the Democratic primary.
But Mr. Rawl, who lost by 18 percentage points, is eager to have the results overturned, and the Democratic Party's 92-member executive committee is beginning its investigation with a hearing Thursday.
On Monday, Mr. Rawl, a Charleston County Council member and former state lamaker, was careful not to echo what other Democrats were hinting at - that Republicans secretly recruited Mr. Greene and financed his run for the Democratic nomination in order to depress Democratic voter turnout in November.
"I would like to speak directly to Mr. Greene and say: 'Sir, this is not about you, and it's not about me. I wish you and your family nothing but the best in the weeks and months ahead,' " Mr. Rawl said in explaining why he called for the investigation.
But Rep. James E. Clyburn, South Carolina Democrat and the House's majority whip, wasn't shy about suggesting that Republicans crossed over to vote for Mr. Greene in the open primary, in which anyone of any party could participate.
"I know a Democratic pattern, I know a Republican pattern, and I saw in the Democratic primary elephant dung all over the place," Mr. Clyburn said.
Embarrassed state Democrats want Mr. Greene, an unemployed military veteran, to quit the race, and Republicans don't - and are all over TV making hay of the events.
"Alvin Greene paid his fees, won over 100,000 Democratic votes, and now the Democrats are embarrassed," former South Carolina GOP Chairman Katon Dawson told The Washington Times just before he was to appear on a Fox News Channel interview.
Republicans, of course, dismiss claims they financed the Greene candidacy. "We've been reveling in the fact that the Democratic Party was asleep at the wheel," South Carolina GOP spokesman Joel Sawyer said. "There are a lot of theories floating around about filing fees. The Democratic Party is grasping at straws."
At least one prominent South Carolina Democrat bemoans both parties' conduct in his state.
"I do recall when the Democratic nomination to the United State Senate was one of great pride in South Carolina," said Butler C. Derrick Jr., a former Democratic congressman from the state. "Apparently, that's not the case anymore."
About the winner of the Democratic Senate primary, Mr. Derrick had this to say: "This guy has about as much chance of being elected to the United States Senate as I have to fly around the moon without a spacecraft."
Republicans in the state used almost identical words about the Greene mystery, a uniformity that would be believable only if it came in the form of talking points from the Republican National Committee.
"I am absolutely convinced it is all about alphabetical listing," said former Spartanburg, S.C., County Chairman Rick Beltram. "Neither of the people running was known. People just went in and hit the first name - the alphabetical name. We've seen the same thing in Republican primaries where there were four or five unknown candidates."
Mr. Beltram, like virtually every other Republican addressing the situation on Monday, knew exactly where to place the blame.
"I blame the Democratic state chairman for not doing a background check on Greene before signing off on his application for candidacy," said Mr. Beltram. "Lazy chairmen will tell you it's not their job, but [Fowler] should have held up filing him until she did a background check and found out that as a felon he wasn't qualified.
And the beat goes on in a state where Republican gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley, a state representative, overcame allegations of adultery and is now expected to win the primary runoff to succeed disgraced Gov. Mark Sanford.
c This article is based in part on wire service reports.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Chief political writer Ralph Z. Hallow served on the Chicago Tribune, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Washington Times editorial boards, was Ford Foundation Fellow in Urban Journalism at Northwestern University, resident at Columbia University Editorial-Page Editors Seminar and has filed from Berlin, Bonn, London, Paris, Geneva, Vienna, Amman, Beirut, Cairo, Damascus, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Belgrade, Bucharest, Panama and Guatemala.
- GOP 2014: Oklahoma's Mary Fallin follows in her parents' footsteps
- GOP 2014: In New Mexico, Susana Martinez is the hope for Hispanics
- GOP 2014: Thriving economy, school choice fuel Bobby Jindal agenda in Louisiana
- GOP 2014: Scott Walker survives, Wisconsin thrives
- GOP 2014: From House to Statehouse for Indiana's Mike Pence
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
- GOP Senate candidate: Obama needs to visit Central America
- Border surge puts Obama legacy on immigration at stake
- D.C. seeks to stay judge's order allowing gun owners to carry in public
- Obama thanks Muslims for 'building the very fabric of our nation'
- Hillary Clinton: Forget Obama, George W. Bush made her 'proud to be an American'
- White House: No choice but to act now on climate change
- Smugglers, rainstorm combine to poke holes in border fence
- Rush Limbaugh: 'There is no journalism anymore'
- Illegal immigrants demand representation in White House meetings
- White House says Russia 'losing' war in Ukraine
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world