Rawl Takes Wait-and-See Approach as Calls for S.C. Democratic Primary Investigation Mount

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Thursday, June 10, 2010 at 11:48 pm

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) stepped up his calls for federal and state investigations into how Alvin Greene managed to win his state’s Democratic Senate primary, while Greene’s opponent signaled he will take a wait-and-see approach to the entire situation.

Politico reports that during a conference call with reporters Thursday afternoon, Clyburn connected Greene’s surprise 59-41 percent win over former state representative and circuit court judge Vic Rawl with his own primary with opponent Gregory Brown.

While Brown reported spending less than $5,000, which meant he wasn’t required to file FEC reports, he nonetheless paid for television ads, signs and billboards in the district, Clyburn said.

Clyburn, who took 90 percent of the primary vote in his own reelection campaign, said he campaigned heavily in the district, and never took the race for granted. He said he knew something was suspect when Brown had such a large advertising presence without reporting any spending.

“Something was going on in South Carolina that was untoward, but I couldn’t exactly put my finger on it,” said Clyburn.

He also cited multiple reports of voters in rural areas being instructed outside polling places to vote for the top name candidates — Greene’s name appeared first in the Senate race.

Clyburn first discussed calling for an investigation earlier today on “The Bill Press Show” program. He said he was concerned about how Greene, an unemployed Army and Air Force veteran, managed to pay the $10,400 filing fee. Greene’s ability to pay the fee, and to get the nod to challenge Sen. Jim DeMint (R) without spending a dollar on a campaign, has Clyburn convinced an outside party planted Greene in the race.

“I think the state and federal authorities need to look into this and see exactly who is behind this, because something is amiss,” Clyburn said during the conference call. “I am all for this gentleman being off our party’s nomination, and I will do everything I possibly can to have that done.”

Meanwhile, Rawl released a statement in which he acknowledged Clyburn’s accusations but argued for a tempered response while a possible investigation plays out.

There are a number of serious allegations out there about the election. No one yet knows if they are true.

I do know that Jim Clyburn is an icon in state politics and what he had to say today should be taken very seriously.

If any of the allegations have merit, the people of South Carolina have a right to know that.

My campaign is looking closely at data from Election Day and otherwise for irregularities.

As for Mr. Greene, what happens next is entirely in his hands. I wish him well, and hope he makes his decisions in the best interests of his family and the people of South Carolina.

Follow Jimm Phillips on Twitter


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