What, precisely, was Carol Fowler supposed to do?

Last evening on “Pub Politics” when I was on either my first or second very tall Yuengling (and thanks much to the Kincannon Law Firm for sponsoring the show and springing for the brewskis), we got onto the subject, inevitably, of Alvin Greene.

This, of course, was Thad Viers’ cue to start saying, over and over, “Green-Sheheen… Green Sheheen…” Or was it “Sheheen-Green?” I forget. Seems to me the scansion or something works better the first way…

But the rest of us engaged in trying to answer the kinds of questions that the guy in Paris was asking me this morning: How did this happen? Who was to blame?

One of the guys — probably Wesley, he being the Republican in the host duo — blamed Carol Fowler, Democratic Party chair.

But I protested. What, exactly, was Carol supposed to do? She’s the chair of the Democratic Party (or, as Thad would say, the “Democrat Party”). So is she really supposed to tell a poor black man, No, you can’t run for office?

As it was, she got paternalistic enough to give one pause, if one is inclined to get touchy on behalf of the powerless and clueless. This from Corey Hutchins’ report from BEFORE the primary (the only such enterprise reporting on Greene, when it could have done some good, that I’ve seen):

The candidate, a 32-year-old unemployed black Army veteran named Alvin Greene, walked into the state Democratic Party headquarters in March with a personal check for $10,400. He said he wanted to become South Carolina’s U.S. senator.

Needless to say, Democratic Party Chairwoman Carol Fowler was a bit surprised.

Fowler had never met Greene before, she says, and the party isn’t in the habit of taking personal checks from candidates filing for office. She told Greene that he’d have to start a campaign account if he wanted to run. She asked him if he thought it was the best way to invest more than $10,000 if he was unemployed.

How much further was she supposed to push it?

And while the party regulars certainly had a preferred candidate, just how far were they supposed to go in saying, Hey, vote for this white guy we like instead of this black guy we don’t even know? To what extent does an Equal Opportunity party do that?

Maybe there’s something I’m missing. Help me out here.

15 thoughts on “What, precisely, was Carol Fowler supposed to do?

  1. Brad

    Hey, don’t get me started on that blasted alphabet — a pervasive conspiracy by people whose names start with A, B or C to cause me to spend years of my life waiting for my name to be called…

  2. Brad

    And Kathryn — Thad is a nice guy. Hey, at least he wasn’t calling anybody a “f___ing raghead.” Of course, that may be because he was drinking nonalcoholic beer while the rest of us were on the high-test.

  3. Carl

    I agree Fowler couldn’t have done much at the time. Now that he has won though, she was one of the first ones to throw him under the bus.
    I’ve seen the Free Times article quoted quite frequently on this blog and rightly so. It was the only media outlet that gave any coverage to this before it happened.
    I find it quite astonishing the quote from Kevin Gray. This is supposed to be a black political activist and he had no idea who either candidate was running for the biggest political seat in the state save for governor.
    He is quoted as saying he voted for Greene because his name sounded black.

  4. Kathryn Fenner

    He was chanting “Green-Sheheen”?!?! “Democrat Party”?!?–the absence of offensive epithet does not exonerate him from claims of juvenile behavior….

  5. Kathryn Fenner

    Jon Stewart nailed the alphabet thing. Maybe you should become AaaBradwarthen.com

  6. Brad

    Kathryn, you don’t hang with Republicans much, do you? They all say “Democrat Party.” I actually think some of the younger ones don’t even know it’s wrong. And Thad is one of the younger ones.

    But I keep on correcting them, trying to turn back the tide on this particular abuse of language…

  7. martin

    You would think in this day and age, any party might ask a potential candidate to get their fingerprints scanned by one of those companies that has sprung up to check potential foster parents, day care workers, etc.

    Look at that Ill. Rep. Ward(?) running for Obama’s Senate seat who has made up the vast majority of his military record and, today, NYT reports his claims of being a former teacher are highly inflated – the guy is like Rudy Guiliani; if his mouth is open, he’s lying.

    I read Fowler said someone in her office had done some kind of cursory background check and come up with nothing. While getting my teeth cleaned Tuesday, it occured to me they had checked the Clarendon County (Alvin’s home)website, gone to the court link and found nothing. If they had checked Richland County’s site, they would have found the arrest. But, why would they? They could check all county records across the state, I guess.

    But, really, what I would have done if I were state dem chair and something as strange as Alvin Greene walking in with his check had happened, I would have picked up the phone, the good ole fashioned land line phone, called Sen. John Land or Rep. Cathy Harvin and asked what they knew about the guy from their county running for senate. That really is all it would/should have taken. When you think about it, it really is pretty sorry not to have done that. Is this what happens when we become too internet dependent, We just lose common sense?

    Alvin continues to be interviewed and in some repects he seems to be improving. For one thing, he is starting to ask more than one reporter if they pay for interviews.

    I hope the Enquirer comes calling soon. They WILL pay the poor fella and I bet they will find out what I want to know: 1. if you graduate from USC, can you roam the dorms and classrooms in perpetuity? 2. was Alvin injured in any way prior to his involuntary honorable separation from the military? The really smart MSM, and Todd Rutherford and Bakari Sellars, ask him about his mental state (hurting his feelings), but common sense tells you if he graduated from USC and was in the military, something might have happened to Alvin in the recent past. Somebody needs to ask him if he fell on his head. Or, he could have Asperger’s. 3. the victim of Alvin’s alleged crime was interviewed last week by the P & C, she said she had been told he was in a program for first time offenders. I inferred that had to be PTI. Apparently, the public defender can’t/won’t say. Will somebody ask Alvin if he is in PTI?

    Thank you very much.

  8. Michael P.

    “I don’t spend much time with Republics, no.”

    Why are you one of those Democratican snobs?

  9. Brad

    Hey, the Republican candidates willingly submit to interrogation by the “South Carolina Palmetto Patriots.”

    I’ll bet you if he’d had to run THAT gauntlet, ol’ Alvin wouldn’t have won that primary.

    Sorry, I shouldn’t mock about such things. All of it is tragic. But the utter absurdity of South Carolina politics at all of its extremes induces me to employ a defense mechanism of SOME kind…

  10. Spencer

    >>So is she really supposed to tell a poor black man, No, you can’t run for office?<<

    That is what the absurdly high $10,000 filing fee is supposed to do.

    You don't think it an accident that SC makes ballot access so difficult?

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