Clyburn expands upon conspiracy theory

Alvin Greene isn’t the only candidate that Jim Clyburn thinks has nefarious secret backers, according to TPM Muckraker:

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn has called for a U.S. Attorney investigation into the mysterious candidacy of Democratic Senate nominee Alvin Greene because he thinks the mischief goes far beyond one wacky race. Clyburn (D-SC), Congress’ highest ranking African American, told TPM in an interview today he believes at least two other Democratic candidates on Tuesday’s primary ballot were planted by people with deep pockets and nefarious motives.

“The party’s choice in the 1st Congressional district lost. The party’s choice for U.S. Senate lost. Sounds like a pattern to me,” Clyburn told TPM. He said Greene was one of three Democratic candidates in three separate races whom the state party didn’t back or even recognize. All three candidates are African American.

One is Gregory Brown, who ran unsuccessfully against Clyburn in the 6th Congressional district. Another is Ben Frasier, who prevailed against state party-favored candidate Robert Burton in the 1st district. Greene, Brown and Frasier have something else in common — they haven’t filed any campaign finance reports with the Federal Elections Commission…

Wow. This is getting deep. Conspiracy this broad and far-reaching suggests the resources of a nation-state, or quasi-national players, such as the old Soviet Union, or the Hezbollah-Iran axis, or Howard Rich. Or something. As the Church Lady would have said, “Could it be… the Devil!?!?”


24 thoughts on “Clyburn expands upon conspiracy theory

  1. Matt

    Compare Jim Clyburn’s jumping aboard the “throw the black candidate under the bus” bus to Bakari Sellers and his very simpathetic and gracious interview on ETV’s website after his talk with Greene. Guess Clyburn is just pissed that Mr. Greene out of Manning didn’t kiss Clyburn’s ring before deciding to want to get in South Carolina politics as a black man.

  2. Kathryn Fenner

    As long as we have identity politics–people voting because of a candidate’s race, creed, national origin, gender— we will find our elections hijacked by those who would exploit that.

  3. bud

    Brad, I’m probably the least conspiracy theory minded person on the planet. I thoroughly believe the official story for:

    1. The Kennedy Assasinations
    2. The moon landing
    3. The death of Vince Foster
    4. The events of 9-11
    5. Obama’s birthplace

    Yet this one is truly puzzling. Who are these guys? They seem so unlikely to just up and run for high profile political office. Maybe the GOP had nothing to do with it. Even if they did it wouldn’t necessarily be illegal, just good ole gutter politics. I’m open to the possibility of some kind of shenanigans. It just all seems way too bizarre. If the conspiracy theory seems wackier than the official story then I’ll accept the official story.

  4. Bart

    This is too funny for words. Think about it folks. Republicans may be devious, underhanded, and use dirty tricks during campaigns but if you took every Republican in South Carolina and combined their intelligence, they couldn’t come up with the idea, much less get people to vote for these people.

    I think Clyburn needs to look in his own backyard this time. Republicans just ain’t that smart.

  5. kc

    You laugh, Mr. W, but it’s not like the GOP doesn’t have a history of this kind of thing in SC.

    That doesn’t excuse the voters for voting for Greene. Or the media for not giving that race any attention.

    Frazier, at least I’d heard of him because The Sun News DID do a little informational piece on him and his opponent just before the primary. I read it and decided to vote for the other guy.

  6. Libb

    “Wow. This is getting deep. Conspiracy this broad and far-reaching suggests the resources of a nation-state, or quasi-national players, such as the old Soviet Union, or the Hezbollah-Iran axis, or Howard Rich. Or something. As the Church Lady would have said, “Could it be… the Devil!?!?””

    Not really, Brad. In a 2006 Rolling Stone story on how easily hackers can rig the technology of electronic voting, the author,RFK Jr, wrote: “Even worse, many electronic machines don’t produce a paper record that can be recounted when equipment malfunctions – an omission that practically invites malicious tampering. “Every board of election has staff members with the technological ability to fix an election,” Ion Sancho, an election supervisor in Leon County, Florida, told me. “Even one corrupt staffer can throw an election. Without paper records, it could happen under my nose and there is no way I’d ever find out about it. With a few key people in the right places, it would be possible to throw a presidential election.”

  7. Karen McLeod

    If one doesn’t posit a “conspiracy theory” of sorts here, then where did these people come from. Mr. Greene is clearly not a viable political candidate. Now whether the GOP is behind it, or whether it’s some other entity is open for question.

  8. Brad

    Hmmm — a state election, mayBE, but a presidential? It would take more than a “few.” I think Bobby Jr. was reaching a bit there. Unfortunately, too many people seem to care only about presidential elections, and I think he was trying a little too hard to make folks care.

    Now, as to whether someone hacked THESE election results… yes, it’s always possible. But… what would be the motive? Oh, maybe a Donald Segretti “ratf___er” type would do it purely for the challenge, but what rationally-motivated political operative would go the risk of prison, perpetrating such a major fraud, in this case? What’s the reward? The Democrats end up with a weak candidate? What, you’re telling me that Jim DeMint was actually worried about Vic Rawl? Or that others were worried on his behalf?

    Now, all of that said, speaking of Segretti … rational people said the same about the Watergate break-in. Nixon was going to CRUSH McGovern, and everybody knew it. Why on earth go to such lengths as the break-in? That, in fact, was what senior editors at the Post said about Woodward’s and Bernstein’s stories.

    As a senior editor, I, too, am wondering what would be the rational motive.

    But there isn’t always a rational motive.

  9. Kathryn Fenner

    Columbia’s own, USC Computer Science Professor Duncan Buell has been trying to get us to see how vulnerable electronic voting is to fraud for a good decade or more. Add to that the Atwater descendants, and you don’t have to be the Church Lady to see the Devil in the details….or the voting arena.

  10. Kathryn Fenner

    Done. He wrote at least one op-ed piece for The State back in 2000 on the issue. Can you check the archives?

  11. Mark Stewart

    Maybe if the Democrats simply fielded a slate of qualified candidates across the board?

    That doesn’t mean that something like this situation with Alvin Greene wouldn’t continue to pop up; but it would provide a more vigilent counter-party since the media in general appears to be growing less able to get at the truth. Conspiracy theories always strike me as farthest from the truth – no matter how much fun they can be to toss around.

  12. Libb

    “Hmmm — a state election, mayBE, but a presidential? It would take more than a “few.” I think Bobby Jr. was reaching a bit there. Unfortunately, too many people seem to care only about presidential elections, and I think he was trying a little too hard to make folks care.”

    Brad, did you even read the article before making such a patronizing comment? As Kathryn mentioned, quite a bit of attention has been given to the vulnerability of e-machines. Locally, Brett Bursey & the SC Prog folks have also tried to get our attention about the fallibility of the Diebold(or whatever their new name is since they were sold) machines we now vote on.

    With regard to your skepticism of whether this could EVER happen in a presidential election, ever heard of Michael Connell? Do a little googling. He was(and I say was because he died Dec 2008 in a suspicious plane crash) an IT whiz kid hired by Karl Rove to do, among other things, just what you find so incredulous to believe. Ohio votes in the 2004 presidential election were basically routed from the state’s system server to another IT company’s server in Chattanooga TN, hacked/altered, and then sent back to the state server. Mr Connell was to have been a key witness in the Ohio vote fraud case. And the crash happened after his deposition and right before the trial. Here’s one article for you on Mr Connell:

    The 2006 general election was my 1st experience w/ a Diebold and it was not a good one. When I reached the ballot review page, lo and behold, 3 of my votes were changed. And interestingly, the changed votes all went to Repub candidates: Sanford, Ravenel, You Lie Wilson. I took great care in casting my votes, no mistakes were made by me. Sure, it could have just been a machine malfunction, but when I called Sen Clyburn’s office to report it I was told there were getting quite a few calls on the machines. Without a paper trail, how can we ever completely trust the process?

    And, sometimes you really need to come down off that high horse of yours…

  13. Brad

    I did not know I was on any high horse, Libb, and I’m sorry if you were offended.

    You want some humility? I’ll give you some: I am not capable of stopping to read everything that my readers link to. There is no way. No matter how interesting, no matter how valuable, no matter how much I want to. And I assure you, I want to. I want to stop and thoroughly absorb every interesting thing that my readers to bring to my attention. I LOVE digression. All my life, it’s been dangerous for me to look up a word in the dictionary because that word will lead to another word which leads to another fascinating word… back in the days of dictionaries, it would sometimes take me ten minutes to look up a single word, because digression is so seductive to me. (And I can ALWAYS justify the digression as something that isn’t a digression, but something I NEED TO KNOW, but in my heart I know I keep looking because learning things gives me pleasure.)

    And because of that, I have to exercise iron discipline to keep myself moving, and doing, and not follow every luscious fork in the road that offers itself to my weak-willed eyes.

    I have learned that I cannot maintain this blog, keep all the plates spinning, and stop to read every interesting, informative article that my readers share. I really, really wish I could. One of my problems is cognitive — I’m a slow, deliberate reader. I have great retention and understanding of what I read, but I do read slowly when I actually READ something. I have another level of reading (a skill I learned when I was responsible for knowing everything on the wire in a given news cycle and selecting the most important and interesting for the newspaper) that I use for approving comments that is better called “skimming” than “reading.” Basically, I skim to make sure there’s nothing that breaks the civility rules (and when I’m in a huge hurry, I sometimes miss offensive statements), and approve. And sometimes, when I’m doing that, a quick thought from what I just skimmed suggests a response, starts me off on a point I’d like to make. And I respond. Occasionally I do so so hastily that I fail to notice some important detail of what I responded to… much less the contents of a separate article that the reader referred me to.

    I would love to spend the time that I spent on print journalism, checking every word, reading every source with particular care before saying anything. Not only does it appeal to my desire to get things right, but the work itself is pleasurable to me. But if I did that, I’d be doing really well to post something two or three times a week. I wouldn’t be able to maintain a series of lively conversations with interesting people such as yourself.

    So occasionally, if your standards are high, you will be disappointed in my depth of research before I respond to you. And that eats at me, because decades of habit cause me to value just the kind of great care and precision that you value. But I humbly ask you to bear with me, because I’m taking in as much as I can, as fast as I can.

    Now, all of that said, I still find it hard to imagine fixing a presidential election with a “few” people. I see now that you have elaborated that you are referring to a Florida or Ohio scenario — where it all comes down to a single state, because it’s basically a tie going into that state.

    OK, fine. Point taken.

    But if I were seeking to fix a presidential election, I wouldn’t want to leave it to chance. I would look at the electoral college and decide that in order to ensure success, I would have to do considerably more than fix one big state. The variables are just too many to assume that I would have a tie going into that state. So even if I were to conclude that someone did indeed fix Ohio, it would still occur to me that it would be a complicated process involving more than a few conspirators to make sure that the rest of the nation broke so that my fix in Ohio would make the necessary difference.

    And I say that with all humility.

  14. Libb

    Brad, this article just appeared on and apparently some experts are examining the votes and have already noted some curious oddities such as in 25 precincts Greene got more votes than was cast.

    Also, I was not offended. So that tangent you prefaced w/ an apology was not necessary. The “high horse” comment was more in reference to (by your own admission) that “intellectual elitism” saddle you mount when something offered is “outside your box”. And meaning no disrespect,you tend to scoff, denigrate, deride, etc and get just a tad “thin skinned” when it’s pointed out to you. Hence the rambling, defensive “schooling” I got. By the way, I offered the Connell article as background info on the man’s credibility. It was a Wiki-type article, no cloak & dagger.

    I know it’s an task to maintain this blog for those of us who do so enjoy it. I usually check in a few times every day. And I’ll say again, I do appreciate your effort you.

    And I say that with all humility(smile).

  15. Libb

    oops, should read: “…more votes than what was cast.”

    and another typo: “…appreciate your effort.”

  16. Spencer

    Lee Atwater holding hands with Niccolò Machiavelli while channeling Nostradamus could not have carried this off.

  17. Pat

    Could it be as simple as incorrect programming – that Rawls should have gotten the votes shown for Greene and Greene’s votes were shown as Rawls’? Thenk what about the rest of the votes? Scary. But not the first time I’ve felt like our republic was on shakey ground…


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *