Alvin Greene primay win clears one hurdle

The South Carolina State Election Commission will not investigate Democrat Alvin Greene’s controversial victory in last week’s Senate primary.

“The state election commission sees no reason to initiate an investigation into our voting system,” Chris Whitmire, a spokesman for the commission, told The Ballot Box. “We have full confidence in the reliability and accuracy of the state’s voting system and we have nothing to indicate there was any voting-system failure on June 8. The system has performed accurately and consistently.”

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Greene won the June 8 primary with 58 percent of the vote, defeating Vic Rawl, a Charleston County Councilman, by more than 30,000 votes.

House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) has called Greene a “plant” and called for an investigation into his win.

Despite making several TV appearances to talk about Greene’s victory, Clyburn hasn’t contacted the commission, according to Whitmire.

“We’ve had no contact from the candidates in the U.S. Senate race and no contact from Congressman Clyburn,” he said.

The watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington has asked state Attorney General Henry McMaster to investigate whether Greene “accepted an inducement” to run. The group also complained to the Federal Election Commission, noting Greene hasn’t filed the proper paperwork.

On Tuesday, Rawl said he also planned to file a “protest” against Greene’s win.

Rawl will meet with the state Democratic Party’s executive committee Thursday, where he’s expected to call for a new election based on supposed irregularities in the voting machines.

If the state party calls for a new election, the State Election Commission would seek legal advice to help determine the manner in which any new primary would be conducted, Whitmire said. It’s unclear when the vote would take place.

Regardless of the outcome of the meeting, South Carolina has another round of voting coming up on June 22, when the Republican gubernatorial primary and several others will go to a runoff.

— S.J.M.


Tea Party backing Murkowski opponent

The Tea Party Express is backing attorney Joe Miller in his primary challenge to Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).

The group also said it’s committing significant financial resources to the race. 

“The total expenditures by the Tea Party Express in Alaska are expected to reach well into the hundreds of thousands of dollars,” the group said in a statement. 

The Tea Party Express called Miller’s campaign “its top priority between now and the Aug. 24 Alaska primary” and said it plans to “launch a wave of TV and radio ads supporting Miller and opposing Murkowski in the coming weeks.” 

The political undercurrent there is the bad blood between former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, a favorite of the Tea Party Express, and the Murkowskis. Palin defeated former Gov. Frank Murkowski in the 2006 Republican primary and has been highly critical of his daughter, Sen. Lisa Murkowski. Palin endorsed Miller in early June. 

The Tea Party Express has made its presence known in several primaries this cycle. It spent more than half a million dollars backing Republican Sharron Angle in Nevada in her successful bid for the GOP nomination. The group also backed Republican Rand Paul in his race for the Kentucky Senate primary over the party’s favored candidate. And the group was influential in defeating Sen. Bob Bennett (R-Utah) in the Utah nominating process.

— Shane D’Aprile


Chairmen delinquent in party obligations

Several committee chairmen haven’t fulfilled their dues obligations.

As we report on page 27, several retiring members are behind in their dues. But they aren’t the only culprits who are frustrating the party leadership.

The Hill reported earlier this year on the chairmen who hadn’t met their Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) obligations and a follow-up examination shows some outstanding dues remain.

One of the most glaring examples: House Administration Committee Chairman Robert Brady (Pa.), who hadn’t paid any of his $250,000 dues, according to a document obtained by The Hill in February. 

Brady’s is considered a safe seat this cycle, but he still hasn’t paid up.

According to the new documents obtained by The Hill, Brady still owes his entire $250,000 obligation.

A spokesman for Brady said the dues will be paid.

The congressman “told the speaker that he would meet his obligations once he had cleared his primary,” the spokesman said. “He did this a couple weeks ago. He fully intends to meet his commitment this cycle as he did last cycle.”

Other chairmen have chipped in.

Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Edolphus Towns (N.Y.) had given only $65,000 of his $250,000 in dues to the DCCC. But since February, Towns has forked over $100,000 to the committee, despite facing a primary challenge.

Then-Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel (N.Y.) had transferred only $150,000, but he lost his committee chairmanship, which makes his outstanding obligation less striking.

Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton (Mo.) hadn’t paid any of his $250,000 in dues, but he’s expected to have a tough challenge from a Republican opponent. Members in tough races are usually forgiven for being behind in their dues

— S.J.M. and Jared Allen