An investigation by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED), the state's top law enforcement agency, has concluded that no charges will be filed against Alvin Greene, the mysterious and unverifiable winner of the Democratic Party's nomination for the U.S. Senate, in relation to the $10,440 filing fee the unemployed military vet paid to get onto the party's June 8th primary ballot.
In that election, the unknown Greene was reported --- by the 100% unverifiable ES&S e-voting system --- to have defeated former four-term state legislator and U.S. Circuit Court Judge Vic Rawl 59% to 41% despite having failed to campaign for the nomination, nor even having a campaign website.
Questions have arisen as to how the jobless Greene, who was recently appointed a public defender in a felony obscenity case he faces, was able to afford the filing fee for the U.S. Senate race. As noted by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), which requested an investigation into the matter, Section 7-25-200 of the SC Code of Laws prohibits anyone from accepting or offering "either directly or indirectly, money, a loan of money, or any other thing of value...as inducement to file as a candidate for any state or federal election office." Greene, who lives with his father, maintains he used money saved from military pay to cover the fee.
Some, including both state Republicans and South Carolina's Democratic U.S. House Rep. James Clyburn (SC), have stated the possibility that Greene was a "plant" on the ballot, given a public poll taken in May, as cited by Rawl campaign manager Walter Ludwig here at The BRAD BLOG, just three weeks weeks before the election, which showed Rawl trailing SC's incumbent Republican Sen. Jim DeMint by just 7 points, 50 to 43%. However, even the "plant" theory can't explain Greene's nearly 20-point "victory" as reported in the June 8th election results.
It's the very last paragraph of CNN's report on SLED clearing Greene, however, which, for the moment, raises both our eyebrow and, possibly, a curious red flag in the results of the Republican-controlled state's investigation into Greene's filing fee...
Without having subpoenaed Green's bank records to determine if he really did save up those funds as he claims, how does the state know where the money came from?
According to AP's report, which also notes that the law enforcement agency did not subpoena Greene's bank records, SLED Chief Reggie Lloyd tells says that Greene cooperated with investigators, apparently allowing them to review his bank records in some fashion:
The records matched Greene's story that the 32-year-old candidate, who has been collecting unemployment benefits since he left the military in August, was able to afford the fee because he saved his money and lived frugally.
"He clearly does not have someone paying him. He just decided to take his money and run for U.S. Senate. There's no big conspiracy," Lloyd said.
Greene said Friday that SLED's findings vindicated him.
"It was just as I said: It came from the Army," Greene said Friday. "I'm happy."
The investigation, however, and the failure to subpoena bank records, has failed to satisfy everyone, including a Republican state lawmaker, as AP reports:
Rep. Chip Limehouse, the state lawmaker who asked state police to investigate, says he's not satisfied with their probe and will continue to ask questions about where Greene got the money for his filing fee.
"Did the $10,400 fall out of the sky?" the Republican from Charleston asked Friday. "This doesn't clear it up for me."
For his part, Rawl has largely not focused on the curious circumstances behind Greene's appearance on the ballot. Instead, he has focused on what he describes as "systemic software problems" on the oft-failed, easily-hacked ES&S voting system as the reason for Greene's otherwise inexplicable win, even as he was not allowed by the company or state officials to examine the machines or tabulators prior to their being scrubbed for state run-off elections just ten days after the June 8th election.
A number of statistical and election integrity experts have cited the "staggering" disparities in the 11-point difference between paper-based absentee results in the election and those from the unverifiable touch-screen voting machines used on Election Day, describing what they see as "clear signs of election fraud."
Following the race, and a five-hour hearing on his election protest before the Executive Board of the state's Democratic Party two weeks ago, Rawl has been outspoken about the problems with South Carolina's unverifiable voting system. "The issues we raised about the lack of election integrity in South Carolina are real," he said in a recent statement, "and they are not going away unless people act."
[Our recent exclusive live interview with Rawl on the Mike Malloy Show can be heard here. Greene did not respond to our repeated requests for an interview.]