by Chris Haire
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The Democratic Party in South Carolina is an knock-knock joke told in pig Latin. A porn movie without the money shot. The funky smell inside of Sarah Palin's knee-high leather boots. Jake Knotts. It's an embarrassment of the first order.
That's the only way to explain the victories last night of Alvin Greene and Ben Fraiser.
Some may call them stealth candidates. This is not adequate.
In the world of politics, they are apparitions who exist on another plane of existence and venture into ours only to cause pain and suffering, mischief and mayhem. And that's precisely what they did last night when Greene won the Democratic nomination in the U.S. Senate race and Frasier the Dem nom in the U.S. First Congressional District Race.
And somehow they managed to do this by not even campaigning, at least not in the world that you and I are familiar with. In some supernatural realm, perhaps, but not here.
But enough with Greene and Frasier. I don't care that there is speculation out there that Greene may have been paid to run by some shadowy GOP cabal or that Frasier may call Maryland home. Those things are inconsequential. Neither caused their much more qualified opponents to lose. A simple mathematical equation did: $186,000=$10,400.
See, Rawl reportedly had $186,000 in his war chest, according noted liberal rag Mother Jones, while Greene may have paid only the $10,400 filing fee to run for the Senate and little else. But that was enough to win.
But $200 grand is a lot of money, you say.
Well, no, it's not.
It is no where near the $3.5 million DeMint has in his war chest or what Barrett, McMaster, Bauer, and even Nikki Haley spent on campaigning.
According to a May 27 post on Wolfe Reports, Barrett had spent $1,127,641.46 between April 1 and the last election filing, McMaster $1,029,613.03, Bauer $943,315.55, and Haley $245,426.51. Each figure, which does not include the cash each candidate still had on hand, was well above what Rawl had in his entire war chest.
Simply put: $186,000 wasn't enough to help Rawl get his name out there.
Believe you me, Rawl lost because voters had no idea who he was. When it comes to name recognition statewide, Rawl, despite being the better qualified candidate, was equal to Greene. And that meant Rawl was a nobody. (The same applies to Burton, who only managed to raise a few thousand bucks in his 1st Congressional District bid.)
So instead, the vote was decided by any number of factors, Greene's placement on the ballot ahead of Rawl, a toss of the coin, a fondness for Alvin and the Chipmunks. Who knows?
But know this: The Democratic Party should not be surprised that some phantom candidate beat out a known-entity within their party if that entity doesn't have enough cash to litter the roadways with campaign signs and blanket the TV with campaign ads.
Qualifications don't mean diddly these days, and most likely they never have. People really don't care about those things. They need a name they can recognize. And in order to get that, you need gobs of money — not a measly $186,000 — or the endorsement of a political celebrity.
So step it up, Dems. Either raise a helluva lot of cash next time or don't raise any at all. After all, $186,000=$10,400.
UPDATE: The AP is reporting that Green "is facing a pending felony charge."
The AP says:
Court records show 32-year-old Alvin Greene was arrested in November and charged with showing obscene Internet photos to a University of South Carolina student. The felony charge carries up to five years in prison.
The State is now reporting that the S.C. Democratic Party has asked Greene to withdraw from the race.
“Our candidates want to give this state a new beginning without the drama and irresponsibility of the past 8 years,” Fowler said in a statement, “and the charges against Mr. Greene indicate that he cannot contribute to that new beginning. I hope he will see the wisdom of leaving the race."