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Mistaken Identity?

The curious case of Alvin Greene.

4:45 PM, Jun 14, 2010 • By VICTORINO MATUS
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To this date, South Carolina Democrats are still confounded by their candidate for Senate, Alvin Greene. The unemployed veteran, currently using a public defender to deal with an obscenities charge, not only mustered the filing fee of $10,400 but also won handily with 58 percent of the vote. Although Republican incumbent Jim DeMint is expected to cruise to reelection, Greene is garnering more publicity than he could have imagined. Unfortunately for him, the attention has been brought on by other Democrats suspicious of Greene's story. Democrat representative Jim Clyburn even wonders if he is some sort of a plant.

The Wall Street Journal reported on the controversy over the weekend:

South Carolina Democratic Party Chairwoman Carol Fowler said that during the filing period in March, Mr. Greene walked into the party's Columbia headquarters and handed her a personal check for $10,400. She asked him for a campaign check instead and he soon returned with a check from a new account with "Alvin M. Greene for Senate" hand-written in the upper-left-hand corner.

Maybe the new check forms were still in the mail?

Some have speculated that Greene won because his name was first on the ballot. But buried in the Journal story is this other possible reason voters might have chosen the unknown Greene:

[Democrat representative Todd] Rutherford, who is black, said several of his family members voted for Mr. Greene because they weren't familiar with either candidate and they thought Mr. Greene had the more African-American name.

But what if voters thought Alvin Greene was the formal name of legendary soul singer Al Green? Who wouldn't vote for the Right Reverend? (Alas, Green lives in Memphis, Tennessee, and preaches at the Full Gospel Tabernacle.)

Still, if Candidate Greene doesn't have a campaign slogan yet, how about, "Let's Stay Together ... with Al Green"? At this rate, it can't hurt.

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