The Democrats’ South Carolina Senate primary imbroglio got more heated today, as leading party members from the state called for an investigation into how presumptive nominee Alvin Greene has financed his campaign.
During an interview on the liberal radio program “The Bill Press Show,” Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) called on the state U.S. Attorney’s office to look into how Greene got the money to file as a candidate.
“I don’t know if [Greene] was a Republican plant; he was somebody’s plant,” Clyburn said. “What is an unemployed guy doing paying $10,000 to run for the United States Senate? That just doesn’t add up.”
Clyburn told Press he plans to meet with the media tomorrow to make an official announcement regarding his investigation request.
State Democratic Party chair Carol Fowler told Politico she would like to see someone investigate how Greene got the money to file.
“I would accept any help in finding where he got the money or confirming that it was his own money,” she said.
Greene, an Air Force and Army veteran who left the service nine months ago, is currently unemployed. Fowler said Greene came to the party’s headquarters to file and tried to pay the $10,400 fee with a personal check. He later returned to pay the fee with a cashier’s check at the party’s insistence.
“Somebody gave him that $10,000,” Clyburn said. “And he who took it should be investigated, he who gave it should be investigated.”
Greene, for his part, told The Root that he self-financed his campaign.
“All of my campaign has been funded out of my personal money, money out of my pockets,” he said. “So it’s been a low-budget campaign. I haven’t spent too much money.”
When reporter Cord Jefferson pressed Greene for an exact dollar amount, he avoided giving a direct answer.
“Not much. I didn’t spend much,” he said. “But that’s not the issue. The issue is getting South Carolina back to work, getting our economy and state back to work, and our country.”
Greene’s primary opponent, former state representative and circuit court judge Vic Rawl, raised approximately $200,000 during the primary campaign.
The Rawl campaign has thus far not commented on either yesterday’s report that Greene had been arrested in November on an obscenity charge or Clyburn’s comments. Campaign spokesman Jim DuPlessis said the campaign plans to release a statement on the situation later today. He declined to directly comment on the calls for an investigation, but noted previous reports that Greene did not register a campaign committee with the Federal Election Commission or file financial disclosure forms with the Senate Ethics Committee.
“Obviously the law requires that you file campaign disclosure statements, and I don’t think this guy has done that,” DuPlessis said. “I think the public has a right to know.”
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