Saturday, Jun. 19, 2010
Greene is Democratic Party’s nominee in name only
Democratic leaders distance themselves from nominee
By WAYNE WASHINGTON - [email protected]
Alvin Greene is the Democratic Party’s nominee for the U.S. Senate, but that doesn’t mean Democratic Party members actually support his candidacy.
One day after the party’s executive committee rejected a protest of his shocking primary victory, the party seemed to be keeping its distance from Greene, an unemployed military veteran facing a felony obscenity charge.
Carol Fowler, the party chairwoman who called for Greene to withdraw from the race when she learned about his felony charge, would not commit to dedicating any party resources to Greene as he moves toward a contest this fall against U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C.
A regional spokeswoman for the Democratic National Committee, which, under ordinary circumstances, might be singing the praises of the historic run of a black man for a U.S. Senate seat in South Carolina, would not comment on Greene. And the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee makes no mention on its Web site of Greene’s candidacy.
“When you have a candidate who is under the type of legal cloud he’s under, you are going to distance yourself,” Fowler said.
Silence from his fellow Democrats didn’t seem to bother the 32-year old Greene on Friday morning.
Reached at his home in Manning, he said he had not heard from anyone in the party after its executive committee members grudgingly rejected a protest of the primary filed by Greene’s opponent, Charleston County Councilman Vic Rawl, who argued that some type of voting machine malfunction had to be responsible for his primary pasting.
Greene would not say why he decided against attending the committee meeting. But he liked the result.
“They did the right thing,” he said, adding that he thinks the party will end up backing him.
“Yes, I believe they will support me, and I need their support,” Greene said. “I’m the nominee.”
Greene won the primary with 59 percent of the vote despite that pending felony charge and despite raising no money or even having a Web site.
Typically, an unknown, long-shot candidate like Greene would be out rustling votes and raising his name-recognition on the heels of a strategic victory like the protest rejection. Greene, however, was at home Friday.
Asked if he has any campaign events planned, anything voters or media members could attend, he paused.
“Right now, I don’t really have anything,” he said.
“Nothing,” he said.
Told that Rawl’s attorney and campaign manager said he did no campaigning on his way to that primary win, Greene disputed that. “I’ve already told you I campaigned,” he said.
Again, however, Greene offered no specifics of where he traveled to or with whom he met.
“That’s over now,” he said. “That was in the primary. Let’s stop my opponent and the Republican Party from reversing forward progress this fall.”
Irmo City Councilman Barry Walker said he wants Democrats to give Greene some political help.
He said he had a 90-minute telephone conversation with Greene in May and came away convinced he was a most unusual candidate: either unaware of or undaunted by the challenges inherent in taking on DeMint and a little odd personally.
“I think he’s like a Forrest Gump or a Rain Main,” Walker said, adding that maybe, just maybe, DeMint will overlook Greene as Rawl did – with similar results.
“Has he found a way to win an election without having to do anything?” Walker said. “… If DeMint treats him like Vic Rawl did, we could have another upset.”
“And then I would move out of the state,” he said with a laugh.