Last night, South Carolina Democrats chose Alvin Greene, an unemployed veteran who raised no money but was listed first on the ballot, as their Senate nominee. Well, okay. Huh? All we know is that he's facing a sexy felony charge.
Assuming this isn't just an elaborate Internet joke or a Republican plant (probably not, the seat was safe for GOP Sen. Jim DeMint's re-election regardless of the Democrat), 32-year-old Alvin Greene legally defeated his opponent, a former state legislator who had raised $186,000 of dollars in this race, by 16 points, with no money (except to pay for his initial filing fee) and no real campaign.
(So far this column offers the best explanation: Whether it's $10,400 for a filing fee or a $186,000 "war chest," neither is enough to build state-wide name recognition, so voters just base their choice on the way the names look or via pocket Ouija board, etc.)
So reporters have only just now started googling him and searching the public record for any information, and already, bam:
Court records show 32-year-old Alvin Greene was arrested in November and charged with showing obscene Internet photos to a University of South Carolina student. The felony charge carries up to five years in prison. [...]
Records indicate Greene showed photos to a woman and talked about going to her room at a university dorm.
This is sad. It would be mildly surprising if the state's Democratic party — great job by the way, guys! — allows this to go on much longer, either by pressuring him to quit or dropping him on a technicality (like crime) and picking a face-saving emergency replacement. The seven or eight Democrats in South Carolina probably won't put up a fuss. They've already checked their one arbitrary ballot box for the year, and that was enough.
Ah: sure enough, while we were writing this post, the chair of the South Carolina Democratic party released a statement hoping that Greene "will see the wisdom of leaving the race."