Senate candidate Greene launches media pitch with well-worn attack

Alvin Greene: Democrat worked the phone and Internet on Friday for his first news release of the campaign. The election is Tuesday.

COLUMBIA --- In a year when tens of millions of dollars have been spent in campaigns across South Carolina, Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alvin Greene was worried his message was getting drowned out.


On Friday, using the new Internet connection hooked up at the home he shares with his ailing father in Manning, Greene sent out what he said was the first news release of his campaign against Republican U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint. The election is Tuesday.

The subject line -- "Demint started the Recession" -- is the same phrase the 33-year-old unemployed Army veteran repeated as he left the courthouse after his most recent court appearance this month on an obscenity charge.

It's also the same phrase he repeated to nearly every unrelated question that MSNBC host Lawrence O'Donnell asked him in his last national interview, on Oct. 12.

The 32-word release includes three numbered points. "1) Demint's support of the Bush Tax Plan. 2) His allowing record deep cuts to Education 3) And the mismanagement of the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are destroying our country."

Greene first called The Associated Press to verify e-mail addresses and tell a reporter he wanted to send the release. He said he was worried that the media were ignoring him and that his message wasn't getting out.

"DeMint started the recession," Greene said. "I've said these things before. What I've put out before, it doesn't get in the press."

Ninety minutes later, the e-mail arrived. Greene called again to confirm it got there. He said he was feeling OK about Tuesday's vote.

"We still have some work to do," Greene said.

The South Carolina Democratic Party has ignored Greene. The party hands out a flier with all its statewide candidates on it except its own U.S. Senate candidate. Some party stalwarts have suggested voting for Green Party candidate Tom Clements instead.

Greene himself received far less attention after the novelty of his candidacy wore off after he won the June primary. Outside of his court appearance and the national television interview, the only other splash he made in recent weeks was giving bunny ears to a local television journalist during a live TV shot from the South Carolina State Fair.

Greene's surprise win has also helped DeMint. The incumbent hasn't run a single TV ad, allowing DeMint to spend the $3.5 million he raised for his re-election bid on other conservative candidates as he tried to remake the Republican Party.

DeMint's campaign didn't respond to a phone message asking for a response to Greene's release.

Greene said he might head to Allendale County for a weekend fish fry. "And I'm going to keep working," Greene said.