Republican operatives deny Clyburn allegation of running Greene campaign

A former campaign manager for Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) denied an assertion by a top Democrat that he and his firm ran an unknown Democrat's successful primary bid for Senate in the state.

The former campaign manager for Wilson, Preston Grisham, who now runs his own political consulting firm, called an assertion by House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) that he or Wilson's current staff had run Alvin Greene's Senate campaign a "laughable" one.

ADVERTISEMENT
"I had never even heard of Alvin Green until after the election last Tuesday," Grisham said in an e-mail message. "Clyburn's claims that myself or my firm had anything to do with that election are a figment of his imagination and quite laughable."

Grisham, a former Wilson congressional staffer who served as his campaign manager some time ago before leaving to start his own firm, Stonewall Strategies, acknowledged to the Washington Post that one of its clients was one of Clyburn's primary challengers, Gregory Brown. Those ties led Clyburn to assert ties between Wilson's campaign and Alvin Greene, the man who improbably won the South Carolina Democratic Party's nomination for Senate and whom Clyburn called a "plant" — potentially by Republicans. 


"The only federal campaigns on the ballot, all three of those were being run out of the same shop, and that shop was Joe Wilson's campaign manager and former staffer on his congressional staff," Clyburn said Monday afternoon on MSNBC. "So that's all the proof I need."

Wilson's current campaign manager also emphatically denied any ties to Greene or any of the other Democratic candidates who unsuccessfully challenged the third-ranking House Democrat.

"While I'm flattered by the vote of confidence, I can take no credit for Alvin Greene's landslide victory," current Wilson campaign manager Dustin Olson said in response to Clyburn's accusations.

The ultimate proof may come in Greene's yet-to-be filed reports with the Federal Election Commission, which would presumably detail the source of money for his campaign, as well as any disbursements it might have made in its primary campaign.