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Green light for Alvin Greene's senate run

In what might be the best decision made by politicians in South Carolina in, well, ever, the executive committee of the South Carolina Democratic Party voted 5 to 1 to reject a call for a new Senate primary. This should have incumbent Sen. Jim DeMint (R) smiling broadly, but it was the right thing to do.

I feel for Vic Rawl. The Democratic former South Carolina state representative and former Circuit Court judge is eminently qualified to represent the people of the Palmetto State. And, yet, 59 percent of Democratic primary voters chose Alvin Greene. He's the unemployed guy who somehow paid the $10,440 filing fee, who has been discharged from two branches of the military, and who faces felony obscenity charges. Greene's interviews, particularly those with The Post, Keith Olbermann and Time magazine fueled speculation that he is a Republican plant. But as we learned yesterday Greene is the beneficiary of electoral ennui and an alphabetically advantageous name.

Stripping Greene of the Democratic nomination because he's probably the worst candidate ever to grace a ballot would have been an abuse of power. It would have reversed the will of the people. And if the people want to make dumb mistakes, well, they're just going to have to live with the consequences -- and perhaps another six years of DeMint.

By Jonathan Capehart  | June 18, 2010; 7:01 AM ET
Categories:  Capehart  | Tags:  Jonathan Capehart  
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Neither Rawl nor Greene present a viable challenge to DeMint. If they did, the SCDP would not hestitate to exercise an "abuse of power" and reverse the "will of the people".

Posted by: kitchendragon50 | June 18, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Jonathan - tell us how you really feel. I say sit back and watch how this plays out. Things aren't always as they seem.

Posted by: cassy1004 | June 18, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Maybe South Carolinia's Dems have a long memory and know why they didn't vote for Judge Rawl. Perhaps they've been given ample reason not to trust judges. For starters, see the Charlotte Observer story "Blind justice: Less so for attorneys?" by Jonathan Dube Published Sunday, February 8, 1998

Posted by: waltonr1 | June 18, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

It would have reversed the will of the people. And if the people want to make dumb mistakes, well, they're just going to have to live with the consequences --

Hey they screwed up last time by electing Vic Rawl didn't they? Couldn't be any worst this time... LMAO

Posted by: frankn1 | June 18, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Alvin Greene is a college graduate in political science, honorably discharged veteran of 13 years, no convictions, as many Americans today, he is unemployed. If he truly ignorant, shame on the university. Otherwise, shame on us for assuming that he graduated unworthily.

Posted by: kenneg2 | June 18, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

I still don't understand how a candidate that nobody knows/knew can even be on the ballot. I don't want to take anything away from this man or pass judgement on his in-front-of-camera skills, but clearly he is not the sort of candidate I am accustomed to. It would be easier for me to understand if he had been running for state office, but US Senate? So I guess the question is: doesn't South Carolina oversee the election processes in any manner that would inform its electorate? Does any state for that matter?

Posted by: sellingpencils | June 18, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

It is utterly illogical to even "speculate that Greene is a Republican plant," except in the minds of partisan MSM knee-jerks who want to blame any Democratic travails on the GOP.
Under the rules in SC, voters may cross over to vote, but they may NOT split their tickets/ballots. You must vote in either the Democratic or Republican contest - not mix them.

In order to vote for Greene in some sort of mischief-making campaign, Republicans would have had to have given up their opportunity to cast their votes in the hotly contested GOP gubernatorial primary race. That was not going to happen and it didn't.

Democrats need to grow up. Sometimes stuff happens. They need to deal with it.

Posted by: parkbench | June 18, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Capehart, given all of the evidence of electronic voting problems in the South Carolina U.S. Senate primary race, why do you assume that 59 percent of Democratic primary voters chose Alvin Greene? South Carolina uses the (unreliable) ES&S iVotronic, which top election officials in Ohio and Colorado declared is unfit for elections. For details, see this 2008 AP article: . This article explains that the ban was based on a study that found that these ES&S e-voting machines "lack the fundamental technical controls necessary to guarantee a trustworthy election under operational conditions."

Here is a list of some ES&S voting system failures: (Scroll down to the heading, "A (Very) Brief History of Recent ES&S Failure.") It was compiled by independent investigative journalist and Commonweal Institute Fellow, Brad Friedman. I also recommend reading his analysis and summary of the South Carolina Democratic Party Executive Board hearing about Vic Rawl’s election protest at – this webpage gives a useful analysis of how voting system malfunction in the hardware or software could have easily caused Greene to win, even with a large margin. VotersUnite!, a national nonpartisan organization dedicated to fair and accurate elections, also has a partial list of documented failures caused by ES&S voting machines here: . These webpages provide just a small part of the evidence that strongly suggests that the ES&S electronic voting results in the South Carolina U.S. Senate primary race are unreliable.

Please do an independent investigation about these undependable ES&S iVotronic voting machines which lack voter-verified paper records. The Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law explains, “There is widespread agreement among security experts that some form of independent voter-verified record is critical for voting system security.” For more information, see , which indicates that South Carolina's voting system is inadequate in this area.

Posted by: AliceK36 | June 18, 2010 8:35 PM | Report abuse

AliceK36 says, "Mr. Capehart, given all of the evidence of electronic voting problems in the South Carolina U.S. Senate primary race, why do you assume that 59 percent of Democratic primary voters chose Alvin Greene?"

There is no evidence of problems with the voting machines in the SC Senate primary. Just because you want it to be so is not evidence. If you have this evidence, don't you feel obligated to let the justice department know? It is your civic duty. The democrat committee didn't find any problems.

Posted by: groovercg | June 18, 2010 9:33 PM | Report abuse

And Jay Leno is especially thankful that Greene will be the candidate.

Posted by: allamer1 | June 18, 2010 11:34 PM | Report abuse

I think you are wrong. I think Greene will win because I think it is fixed.

Posted by: thirdpartyvote | June 19, 2010 12:40 AM | Report abuse

Ann Coulter: 'Yes, how could a young African-American man with strange origins, suspicious funding, shady associations, no experience, no qualifications, and no demonstrable work history come out of nowhere and win an election?'

Posted by: happyacres | June 19, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

You're right! The people have made a mistake and it will be corrected, starting this November and continuing through November 2012.

Posted by: kj724 | June 19, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

"I think you are wrong. I think Greene will win because I think it is fixed."


The term that comes to my mind is "broken."

Posted by: GaryEMasters | June 19, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

My liberal neighbor thinks a mysterious well funded republican version of CHAOS rigged the election. He also believes there's a secret nazi U-Boat base in Antartica, alien spacecraft at Area 51, and that the Pentagon ordered a missile to be fired at the Pentagon on September 11, 2001.

Posted by: landfall23 | June 19, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Alvin Greene for President - 2012!

A Democrat you can believe in!

Yes you can!

I can't believe that it's real,
the way that you make me feel.
A burning deep down inside,
a love that I cannot hide.
Our love is you and me baby,
that makes the world go round.
And if you've been doin' lovin' with me,
layin' all my troubles down,
here I am, baby,
come and take me.
Here I am, baby,
come and take me,
take me by the hand.
Show me,
here I am, baby.

Posted by: HostileKnowledge | June 19, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Ole Alvin will fit right in on Capitol Hill with the people now there. Let's see ... pervert ... check. Don't know where he got 10K ... check. He's had two unsuccessful attempts at the military ... check. If fact, that's TWO more attempts at the military than most of the dikweeds in Congress. Think Alvin will apologize to BP while taking 100K in campaign contributions. Investigation HELL !!!! I say make Alvin Greene the Speaker of the House.

Posted by: mitlen | June 20, 2010 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Our electorate has been making dumb mistakes for years and years-witness the election of Obama and Carter. The consequences are getting more and more difficult to live with.

Posted by: gersonk | June 20, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Amazing how soon we forget. Do you folks think it is beyond the dems to pick an obscure black guy from nowhere to run against a repub that can't be beat with the guy they would like to run. If he were a plant, I wouldn't be looking at the repubs. But then, why would the dems play on voter disgust with incumbents?

Posted by: bbbluefrd | June 21, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

The RWNJs are at it again. They attack Obama, who is admittedly far too centrist for this country's good, but when it comes to their disastrous presidents and their incredibly destructive policies, they are completely silent or worse in complete denial. The election in S.C. was held on 100% unverifiable voting machines. Why didn't Capehart mention this? Because, he's terrified of the RWNJs and their criticism and, far more critically, his bosses make millions a year and love the tax cuts that are driving this country into bankruptcy. Sad that the extreme right-wing crazies who hate America are too stupid to understand this.

Posted by: halmin | June 21, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

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