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South Carolina Restriction on Fusion Backfires on Democratic Party

Published on June 9, 2010, by in General.

South Carolina held its major party primaries on June 8. Two candidates appeared on the Democratic ballot for U.S. Senate. They were Vic Rawl, a four-term state legislator, and Alvin Greene, a 32-year-old soldier. Virtually every political observer in the state expected Rawls to win. He had a vigorous campaign and was raising money for the general election. Greene had no web page and no visible campaign.

But, Greene won. The Working Families Party, a ballot-qualified party in South Carolina, nominates by convention, as all of South Carolina’s minor parties do. The Working Families Party had held its state convention on May 15, and was so certain that Rawl would be the winner of the Democratic primary, that it had went ahead and nominated Rawl as well. The Working Families Party generally gets itself on the ballot only in states which allow fusion, which is the ability of two parties to jointly nominate the same candidate. The Working Families Party generally nominates people who are also Democratic Party nominees.

South Carolina, although it permits fusion, has a law that says if a party nominates a candidate, and that candidate then tries and fails to get the nomination of another party, the first nomination for that candidate is canceled. So, Rawl not only lost the Democratic nomination; he can’t appear on the November ballot as the Working Families nominee either.

The South Carolina Democratic Party is trying to persuade Greene to withdraw. See this story. However, Greene says he won’t withdraw.

The only other candidates likely to be on the November ballot are the Republican incumbent, Jim DeMint, and the Green Party nominee, Tom Clements.

9 Responses

  1. clay

    This is so beautiful. Oh please, please, PLEASE god let this be real. I just hope they don’t find some completely Bullsh** rule to invoke to get this man out of the race. Please let this not be fabricated. Please don’t let any other Democrat weasel their way onto the November ballot. I wonder, if he’s the party candidate, will the dems support him? or the Republican?, or a write-in?

    I know the Democrats, because they’re a major party, will not support DeMint. They may support a Republican against their own line. They may support a felon. But they won’t support a Green.

    This sucks. I’ sure there’s pleanty of BS comming down the pike.

  2. clay

    Please stay strong Mr. Green!

  3. clay

    “I know the Democrats, because they’re a major party, will not support Clements.”

  4. natural born citizen party

    I too, very much enjoyed reading this BAN blog article regarding failed fusion and the failure of the teachers union political creation the WFP. — as I plan to enjoy the breaking report of Obama being forced from office and removal from this once great country founded on the national security preservation principle of natural born citizenship, Obama being the undocumented alien that he truly is and having been created by the Logan Act violating DEM/GOP new world order elite and their literally bankrupt MSM corporate media hacks.

  5. Which is like saying one should look under the hood of a car before they buy it. But of course, Mr Greene believes such current misdemeanors shouldn’t disqualify him- after all if Senators and presidents can have affairs and concubines why shouldn’t Alvin be allowed to walk around town with a stack of wet sticky porn magazines?

    http://scallywagandvagabond.com/2010/06/mystery-winner-of-south-carolinas-senate-primary-refuses-to-quit-over-pending-pornography-felony-charges/

  6. Dominik

    The Green Party could Poll in Second in this race.

  7. Dave Gillespie

    Here is one South Carolinian who will be voting Green
    (for Clements), but not Greene.

    I feel a certain perverse pride that in so many ways
    the Palmetto State is the (political) entertainment
    capital of the nation. Our comedies are hilarious.

  8. Richard: New York lets more than two parties nominate the same candidate.

    You indicate above that SC puts a limit of two on the number of parties who can nominate the same candidate. Do other states with fusion limit the number to two parties?

  9. Jim Riley

    #8 There is no limit on the number of parties that may nominate a candidate in South Carolina. I think that Richard was just simplifying the definition from (“two or more” to “two”).

    In 2008, Eugene Platt filed for the Democratic Primary, and then got the nomination by convention for the Green Party and Working Family Party. He lost the Democratic Primary, and then the Democratic Party forced him off the ballot for the other two parties. The case is still being litigated in the federal courts.

    South Carolina election law wasn’t really written to accommodate fusion, but has been interpreted as allowing it. For example in Platt’s case he pledged not to campaign as an independent candidate if he lost the primary; but the same section said that the Democrats could go after him if he campaigned against any of the party’s candidates.

    So the law says that if you pledge not to do X, you can’t do Y. But Platt pledged not to do X, and did not do X.

    Had the Platt case not happened, the Democrats in South Carolina would probably be arguing for Rawls to remain on the Working Family ballot.

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