COLUMBIA, S.C.—Here's a (slightly long) question to ponder: How did Alvin Greene, an unemployed veteran who was "involuntarily forced out of the Army after a 13-year career because 'things just weren't working ... it was hard to say,'" who lives with his parents, who doesn't own a cell phone and has no computer at his home, who paid his candidate's filing fee with a personal check for $10,440, who's never filed any paperwork with the Federal Election Commission (meaning he didn't receive more than $5,000 in campaign contributions) and who's facing a felony charge for showing "obscene Internet photos" to a college student, manage to nonetheless snag the Democratic nomination for senator in Tuesday's election?
As to that last issue, according to attorney Jonathan Turley, "Reports indicate that Camille McCoy, a 19-year-old rising sophomore [at the University of South Carolina], said that Greene sat down next to her in a computer lab and asked her to look at his screen which showed a porn site." The events were captured by a video surveillance camera.
After the incident, which occurred on November 4, 2009, Greene was arrested for "disseminating, procuring or promoting obscenity," a charge to which he has not yet entered a plea nor been indicted by a Richland, S.C., grand jury, but if convicted, he faces five years in prison.
ABC News reporters Devin Dwyer and Steve Osunsami wrote about Greene's amazing victory, noting that, "Greene shocked South Carolina Democrats Tuesday when he won a commanding victory over four-term state lawmaker Vic Rawl in the primary without the help of a war chest of campaign cash or an orchestrated effort to win voters across the state. In fact, there is little evidence that he campaigned at all. ... Meanwhile, state Democratic Party leaders and Rawl, who raised close to $200,000 crisscrossing the state during the campaign, remain stunned that Greene captured 59 percent of the vote."
"Conventional wisdom was that Vic would win easily," said state Democratic Party Chairwoman Carol Fowler. "It is quite an upset. ... There really is no explanation for why he won."
Actually, House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) suspects he knows why, and has called for his state to investigate the circumstances that led to Greene's win, to "look at the possibility that an outside party might have funded Greene's campaign beyond legally permissible limits, and without having disclosed the source of those payments," and suggested that Greene might be a "plant" orchestrated by Republicans supporting reactionarily religious incumbent Sen. Jim DeMint.
"I think there's some federal laws being violated in this race, but I think some shenanigans are going on in South Carolina," Clyburn explained. "Somebody gave him that $10,000 and he who took it should be investigated, and he who gave it should be investigated."
Of course, South Carolina is no stranger to official sexual misconduct. Its present governor, Mark Sanford, was caught last year AWOL from office and trysting with his Argentinian mistress, in the process contributing a new sexual innuendo to the American lexicon: "hiking the Appalachian trail." And now, one of the current Republican candidates seeking Sanford's seat, Nikki Haley, has been accused of having a sexual affair with not one but two men with whom she came in contact as a state representative: former campaign consultant-turned-blogger Will Folks and lobbyist Larry Marchant.
For his part, even though called on by South Carolina Democratic Party Chairwoman Carol Fowler to resign his candidacy, Greene says he's staying in the race.
But the question remains, who'll be funding his candidacy and running his campaign—if he even chooses to have one?!?