Greene indictment doesn’t bounce him from ticket

Aug 13th, 2010 | By politicsnews | Category: Politics

Democrats have been gloating over some of the unorthodox Republican candidates around the country this year – but one of their own broke back into the headlines Friday, Alvin Greene of South Carolina, indicted on a felony pornography charge.

And there doesn’t seem to be anything Democrats can do about it.

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South Carolina Democrats believe they’re stuck with Greene as their Senate standard-bearer against Republican Jim DeMint, despite Greene’s indictment Friday on a charge that he showed a female college student a pornographic website in a computer lab and suggested they go back to her dorm room.

“This is not grounds for him to be removed,” said former state Democratic Chairman Dick Harpootlian, now is in private law practice. “Being indicted in no way affects his eligibility to run. If he were to be elected, it would be up to the U.S. Senate.”

State party chairman Carol Fowler again called on Greene to step aside Friday — but Democrats and state officials say they’ve found nothing in the law that would force him off the ticket.

Even if Greene pleaded guilty or was convicted ahead of the November election, it’s not clear that would knock him from the ballot either, state officials said.

In fact, party officials said Friday they still plan to certify Greene as their Senate candidate by Monday at noon because he meets the only two legal requirements – he is of age for the Senate and he is a South Carolina resident.

“The certification is very pro forma in essence,” said South Carolina Democratic Party Executive Chairman Jay Parmley. “[Greene] won the primary — it’s not a question of what we have the ability to do or not have the ability to do. He won the vote back in June. Certification is simply a reflection of the party saying to the state, ‘These are the people that won the primary.’”

Greene’s presence is bad enough for Democrats in the Senate race, but there was little chance Greene could have beaten the incumbent DeMint anyway.

But Republicans in South Carolina have been trying to tie Greene to Democratic gubernatorial candidate Vincent Sheheen, who is trying to beat Republican Nikki Haley, since he was the surprise winner, even launching a website “” Sheheen is trailing in the polls but has a cash advantage over Haley, who had to survive a bruising primary.

“We’re just curious now if his running mate Vince Sheheen is going to take time away from worker’s compensation cases to represent Mr. Greene,” said South Carolina Republican Party spokesman Joel Sawyer. “This is one more way for them to work together.”

DeMint declined to comment. Sheheen’s campaign said he could not be reached for comment.

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