Bishop gives nod to Riley
By By Bob Ingram, Alabama Scene
MONTGOMERY–Just what impact it will have…probably miniscule…but Agriculture Commissioner Charles Bishop, the distant runner-up in the Democratic Primary for governor, has announced he will support Republican nominee Bob Riley in the November General Election.
After his election night outburst in which he was highly critical of Siegelman and the Democratic Party leadership, Bishop's embracing of Riley came as no surprise.
Bishop's endorsement provoked a withering response from Rip Andrews. the spokesman for the Siegelman campaign.
"People probably care more who the Rodeo Clown is endorsing than Charles Bishop," Andrews said. Mark "Rodeo Clown" Townsend of Haleyville, a perennial candidate, ran third in the Democratic gubernatorial primary.
Ironically, on the same day Bishop made his announcement, Lt. Gov. Steve Windom, who suffered much the same fate in the GOP gubernatorial primary as Bishop did on the Democrat side, announced he would do anything he could to help GOP nominee Bob Riley in his race for governor in November.
The work was done by Siegelman while he was lieutenant governor. After being elected governor Siegelman was paid about $800,000 by his law firm for work he had performed on a numeber of cases and an undisclosed part of that was from the tobacco litigation.
A Siegelman spokesman said the Ethics Commission ruling proved that the complaint filed against the governor "was a baseless politically motivated Republican attack" on him.
The only negative to the story for the governor was the fact in 1997 when he withdrew from the litigation and announced his candidacy for governor he told reporters in an interview that he would not accept "one red cent" from the case. Comes to mind an old truth: If a fish would keep his mouth shut he wouldn't get caught.
State Rep. Ed Maull, D-Selma, a two-term legislator who was defeated in June in a bid for re-election, died unexpectedly in a Montgomery hospital.
Also claimed by death was former State Sen. Ray Wyatt, D-St. Clair.
Wyatt owned an automobile agency in Ashville.
He was 74.