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Alvin Greene

There's been a lot of talk about what sort of trickery and skullduggery and inanity could've produced Alvin Greene's win in South Carolina. But after reading all of it, I'm coming down on the side of Dave Weigel: Maybe the guy just, you know, won.

By Ezra Klein  |  June 15, 2010; 5:29 PM ET
 
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Comments

He may have just won, but where did that 10k filing fee come from if he is poor enough to get a public defender? Inquiring minds want to know....

Posted by: srw3 | June 15, 2010 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Though I definitely think you're right, Mr. Klein, I'm also with srw3. It certainly seems like he just won in a low-information election--it doesn't make sense for him to be a Republican plant; Sen. DeMint's quite safe, Republicans almost certainly would rather have spent their energy voting in the GOP gubernatorial primary rather than crossing over to put Greene over the line, and I don't think there was any surprising move in turn-out from the GOP to the Dems reflective of a lot of cross-overs.

But it is a little curious that Greene was able to afford that filing fee, and I'd like to know more about that.

I also don't get why no journalist has taken to the streets in South Carolina and just interviewed people until he got a few who'd voted in the Dem primary and were willing to talk about who they voted for and why. Maybe that's a lot harder to do than I realize, but what're your odds of getting someone who votes in a primary? 1 in 10? Plus isn't a primary voter likely to be more politically aware and therefore more likely to talk to a journalist anyway? I'd think two hours on the streets could at least shed some light on some primary voters' mentalities.

Posted by: aarhead | June 15, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Given the circumstances, I have to consider electronic voting fraud as a possible (if less likely) reason for this result...What I wonder is why Rawls didn't try to engage Greene in any debates or point out that he is not campaigning, has no website, has no political organization, held no rallies, etc...He is the M. Coakley of S. Carolina for not engaging his opponent...

Posted by: srw3 | June 15, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse

The first question that needs to be answered is about the filing fee. That will determine if there's cause to dig further or if it's just a fluke. And it does need to be answered. Call me paranoid and tell me it couldn't happen in this country – and I hope to god you're right – but there's a nagging part of me that wonders if this wasn't just fraud, but a trial balloon for future tampering. Rig an effectively inconsequential Senate primary using some clever mechanical tinkering and maybe you've got a tool to use in 2010 or 2012.

I don't like the way I'm thinking here, but I can't just shake it off. If it turns out to be nothing, then great, but some reporter somewhere needs to do real legwork here and find out what happened. It's just too fishy to let go.

Posted by: jwellington1 | June 15, 2010 7:32 PM | Report abuse

The first question that needs to be answered is about the filing fee. That will determine if there's cause to dig further or if it's just a fluke.

And it does need to be answered. Call me paranoid and tell me it couldn't happen in this country – and I hope to god you're right – but there's a nagging part of me that wonders if this wasn't just fraud, but a trial balloon for future tampering. Rig an effectively inconsequential Senate primary using some clever mechanical tinkering and maybe you've got a tool to use in 2010 or 2012.

I don't like the way I'm thinking here, but I can't just shake it off. If it turns out to be nothing, then great, but some reporter somewhere needs to do real legwork here and find out what happened. It's just too fishy to let go.

Posted by: jwellington1 | June 15, 2010 7:33 PM | Report abuse

This is an absolutely stupid conclusion. If anyone believes Mr. Greene "just won", they haven't done very much reading. I know many Black people who can drop $10,440 for a filing fee, but not one of those people would be left with only $114 in the bank; that's not plausible. No Black person I know - and I know plenty - identifies someone who spells "Green" with an "e" at the end as being "Black". Recent news reports show more people "voting" than were eligible to do so in many SC precincts. In addition, Mr. Rawls won the absentee ballot hands down; absentee usually parallels the in-person vote. Nor would the placement of the names on the ballot account for Mr. Greene's overwhelming win over Mr. Rawls, a former 4-term state legislator and judge who actually spent money and campaigned throughout the state for the position.

No, Mr. Klein, Mr. Greene did not "just win". A serious investigation of voter fraud should already be in progress. Can someone spell D.i.e.b.o.l.d (or whatever they call themselves these days)?

Posted by: gsross | June 15, 2010 7:39 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad to see that people are asking questions. I've followed this case closely, and have come to the conclusion that it's either a trick or a case in which a slightly unhinged guy bet all his savings and got lucky.

For the sake of clean and fair elections, it seems worth it to investigate those dam electronic voting machines.

Posted by: michele3d | June 15, 2010 8:39 PM | Report abuse

ES&S iVotronic voting machines, such as they used in SC are notorious. So is Ron Sheahy, the SC Republican operative who was convicted of planting candidate Ben Hunt Jr. in 1990.

Posted by: michele3d | June 15, 2010 8:41 PM | Report abuse

instead of questioning how mr greene won, i suggest someone question the congressman who lost. everybody took it for granted he would win. his war chest for the election just became a hope chest.

Posted by: wirelionjay | June 16, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Why is it taking so long for investigative journalists or plain investigators to get to the bottom of this story? It seems like light could be shed on it very rapidly by interviewing his neighbors, friends, in this small town, etc. It seems like an incredibly slow investigation.

Posted by: rdewart | June 16, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

This man won legitimately because the voters voted for him but the Democratic Machine doesn't like the result because this man is not a part of the Democratic Machine! Obama was a nobody and was elected president! Obama only credentials was a community activist and civil rights instructor at a college, then junior senator then Democratic Machine candidate for president. Obama still has not shown a legitimate Birth Certificate, nor any college transcripts nor any health records. But the Democratic Machine and their Democratic Party major news media glorify him! Where is the Democratic Party controlled Civil Liberties Union in defending this man's legitimate win?

Posted by: GETREAL | June 16, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

michele: "So is Ron Sheahy, the SC Republican operative who was convicted of planting candidate Ben Hunt Jr. in 1990."

You keep spreading this nonsense on several blog sites. It is NOT illegal to get someone to run in an election, even the election of a party to whom you do not belong. In SC there is no party registration. Since you have repeated your claim several times, please cite where Shealey was convicted of planting a candidate.

Posted by: groovercg | June 17, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

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