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by Joe Murphy

DROPPING THE BALL

Thank God for South Carolina. Our own punched Tea Party members and ornery congressmen are small change compared to the accusations of affairs, mysterious candidates and casual racism that permeate the Palmetto State’s political scene this election cycle.

Most puzzling of all was the election of Alvin Greene, an unemployed unknown from Manning, SC as the state’s Democratic nominee for US Senate. While in most instances the upset victory of an underdog, unfunded, minority candidate would be celebrated, South Carolina Democrats are up in arms over how a person seemingly so unfit to hold office could have gotten more than 100,000 votes, a 59 percent majority. Questions have been raised about whether Greene is a Republican plant, whether there was trouble with voting machines and if Greene simply took the nomination because his name appeared on the ballot before his opponent Vic Rawl. There’s also the trouble of an obscenity charge Greene received in 2009 for allegedly showing a University of South Carolina student pornography in a school library.

All the questions regarding Greene and the legitimacy of his campaign should have been posed before the primary and not in the aftermath. Greene was one of two candidates in pursuit of the state’s Democratic Senate nomination but no media outlet attempted to reach him or research his past until he won? A big part of news reporters’ jobs is tracking down candidates for local, state and national office and asking them the pertinent questions in regard to their candidacy. That’s what we do.

But the onus doesn’t fall to just alternative weeklies like YES! Weekly but to the daily newspapers, local television and radio stations, blogs and websites. How a complete unknown running for national office slipped through the cracks of the South Carolina media until he achieved victory is baffling. Maybe they were too busy updating their Twitter feeds?

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