Greene’s story is actually pretty sad. Explain his background.
He grew up in a small, rural town in South Carolina. His mom died when he was a kid. His brother was very sick. Alvin was teased at school because he was so quiet. They called him “Turtle.” But he graduated high school and from the University of South Carolina with a degree in political science. He was kicked out of the Army for basically not being up to speed. He’s just painfully awkward in social settings.
Writing the scene was difficult because we just had to go on what the victim said. Alvin says it didn’t exactly happen like that, but he never wanted to talk about it in detail. A one-time campaign adviser kind of described it in an editorial board meeting with a newspaper once, but it was still sketchy. Alvin eventually got pre-trial intervention for the charge after his media blitz died down. The artist — that’s Blue Delliquanti, who lives in Atlanta — told me that drawing the scene made her nervous because of the adult nature of it, but also she said because it was based on an indirect account. Figuring out how to tastefully depict a porn site on a computer screen in one panel was way less nerve-wracking than figuring out how to show both individuals realistically and fairly, she said. She told me she could put herself in Camille McCoy’s shoes, having encountered “skeevy situations” as a college student herself, but she also said that Alvin is so enigmatic that it was hard to pin him down as malicious or just clueless.
Oh, no way. I don’t think it was rigged. I think Alvin Greene won because the majority of the voters didn’t know who he or Vic Rawl was when they voted on Election Day. More of them decided to vote for Alvin Greene than Vic Rawl. Simple as that. And boy, it was lot more votes for Greene than Rawl. A statistical anomaly. We did dedicate quite a few pages in the book to Vic Rawl’s official protest of the election, which played out like a slow Southern trial, and also explored the questions surrounding South Carolina’s system of electronic voting machines. But I wouldn’t say I’m sympathetic to that viewpoint. I’d love to be wrong.
I called him a while ago when his state senator announced he was retiring, to see if Alvin had any designs on the seat. Alvin answered from the home in Manning that he shared during the campaign with his ailing father. He said he wasn’t going to run for the seat. He told me “nope” six times.