The strangeness of Alvin Greene, nominee for the U.S. Senate

Alex Pappas Political Reporter
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The Alvin Greene for Senate campaign may go down as the strangest of the election cycle.

First, Greene — an unemployed veteran who did not actively campaign or spend any money going after votes before Tuesday’s election in South Carolina— defeated a former state legislator for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate in the Palmetto state. Greene, it was revealed following his victory, is facing a pending felony charge for showing pornography to a college student.

So the South Carolina Democratic Party, after the pornography story came to light, asked Greene to withdraw from the race. One congressman even suggested that Greene was a plant of the Republicans. Carol Fowler, the chairwoman of the South Carolina Democratic Party, did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

And the office of Sen. Jim DeMint, the Republican incumbent that Greene is challenging, denied any sort of scheme to plant him in the race. “No,” Wesley Denton, a spokesman for DeMint told Dave Weigel of the Washington Post. “It’s ridiculous even to suggest that.”

But the strangeness continued Thursday: A Twitter account was set up by a user claiming to be Alvin Greene, who used the social media site to advertise an open position as his campaign manager. By the end of the day, Daniel Vovak, a Republican who in 2006 ran against then-Lt. Gov. Michael Steele for the U.S. Senate in Maryland, claimed to The Daily Caller that he was Greene’s campaign manager.

“He’s an inspiration for candidates,” Vovak said during a short phone interview with The Daily Caller. But by Thursday night, the dubious Twitter account was deleted, and the extent of Vovak’s involvement in the campaign — if he’s really involved at all — was not immediately clear.

A basic campaign website, AlvinGreene2010.com, was also set up that simply listed the five planks of his platform: getting South Carolina back to work, lowering gas prices for working people, uniting Korea, fixing the problem of “too many prisons and not enough schools,” and abolishing the Taft-Hartley act.

But when Greene appeared on MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann, he said the Twitter account and website were not authorized by him. “There’s just some false sites out there that I’m not operating,” he said. “That’s something that I just got today. That there are false sites out there relating to me and my campaign. I just want to let everyone know that there are sites out there that don’t have my authority.”

When Greene hit the interview circuit Thursday, he told radio host Keith Larson in one interview that he has no desire to talk about his background, and that he just wants to get “South Carolina and our country back to work.”

“I’m just focusing on the issues and I’m just not paying attention to the negative stuff,” said Greene.

Greene said he’s a graduate of the University of South Carolina, and was an intelligence specialist in the Air Force who was “honorably discharged,” though it was “involuntary” as he “did not initiate” his dismissal. He wouldn’t elaborate on the details, except to say he ran “into some problems.”

“It’s a long story,” he said to an audience still wondering where he came from and what his plans are.

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