Poll favors Riley over Moore in primary

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 21, 2006

MONTGOMERY &8212; A lot of people believe in political polls, a lot don&8217;t. (Those who don&8217;t invariably ask the same question:

&8220;I&8217;ve never been polled … have you?&8221;)

With that disclaimer, note must still be made of a poll conducted by the University of South Alabama and the Mobile Register on the GOP gubernatorial primary between Gov. Bob Riley and former Chief Justice Roy Moore.

The numbers were released last week and they had to be stunning to both candidates:

Riley 56 percent, Moore 28 percent. That&8217;s not a landslide. That&8217;s assault with intent to murder.

Be sure the Moore camp was quick to discount the significance of these numbers. A spokesman said something to the effect that the only poll that mattered was the one to be taken on June 7, the date of the primary.

What is even more noteworthy about these numbers is that a year ago USA and the Register conducted a similar poll on this race and Moore held a slim lead.

Probably many of you have never heard of Vince Kilborn III of Mobile, but rest assured you will be hearing a lot of him in the coming weeks.

Kilborn has been picked by former Gov. Don Siegelman to be his lead attorney in his public corruption trial, which begins May 1.

If there is such a thing as a &8220;fire and brimstone&8221; lawyer, his name is Kilborn. If you doubt it, look at his first public statement after being retained by Siegelman: &8220;When this case is tried, there is going to be blood in the water, and the blood in the water isn&8217;t going to be Don Siegelman&8217;s. It&8217;s going to be the U. S. Government&8217;s.&8221;

He also threw down another gauntlet. He said when Siegelman is cleared of the chargers (he didn&8217;t say &8220;if&8221; he is cleared) he intends to file a lawsuit against the government demanding damages and legal fees.

Kilborn was picked as chief counsel after Siegelman&8217;s former lead attorney had to give up the case because he has to represent a former Jefferson County official in another case.

Gov. Riley didn&8217;t take long in filling a key post in his Cabinet … he has announced that Montgomery attorney Richard Allen would take over as head of the troubled Department of Corrections.

Allen will succeed Commissioner Donal Campbell who abruptly resigned last week following three years on the job where he oftentimes disagreed with the governor on how to solve the prisons&8217; mushrooming problems.

When Campbell was named to the post three years ago the appointment was hailed as a major coup. He had previously received glowing reviews for his service as head of the prison system in Tennessee.

Allen is no stranger to state government. He has served as a deputy to

three attorneys general and also served as an aide to U.S. Sen. Howell Heflin.

Bob Ingram has been covering Alabama politics for more than 50 years