Alvin Greene Is Indicted


Alvin Greene—the South Carolina Democratic Senate candidate whose stranger-than-fiction campaign has become 2010’s biggest sideshow—has just been indicated on felony obscenity charges for allegedly showing pornography to a college student. News of the charges first came out shortly after Greene’s improbable primary victory in May, so it was really just a matter of time before the other shoe dropped.

As Justin Elliott explains, the obscenity law being used against Greene is on the books in many states, but it’s very rarely enforced. But Greene’s accuser and her mother—both Republicans—publicly vowed revenge on Greene after his primary win, making it clear that they were going to be aggressive in pushing for his prosecution. Greene has already attracted more media coverage than any other 2010 candidate in the country, and this latest development is only more grist for the mill. The national GOP has largely refrained from jumping into the fray—partly because Sen. Jim DeMint, Greene’s opponent, is in no danger of losing his seat and because Greene was cleared of any wrongdoing in his actual campaign. But given the seriousness of a felony indictment—and the seemingly lurid obscenity allegations that are involved—Republicans may well end up trying to exploit the Greene tragicomedy to tarnish the Democrats.

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  • Suzy Khimm was a reporter in the Washington bureau of Mother Jones from March 2010 until June 2011. For more of her stories, click here. Follow her on Twitter here.