Hopeless governor hopefuls

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 11, 2006

MONTOGMERY &8212; It started in 1950 and it hasn&8217;t stopped.

What I speak of are the countless men and women who have run for governor of Alabama even though they know they have absolute no chance of winning.

Prior to 1950 gubernatorial campaigns were nearly always limited to three or four men, most of them well known in the arena and with at least some chance of making a dent in the race.

Then came 1950 and everything changed. There were 15 candidates in that primary.

I have long referred to these unknown men and women…perhaps harshly but not unrealistically…as &8220;run for the fun of it&8221; candidates.

It doesn&8217;t cost a greal deal of money to run for governor of Alabama…the qualifying fee is only $2,029…and the candidate is assured of getting his or her name in print and on television countless times.

It is the cheapest advertising you can buy.

With that lead in, let me introduce you to the latest &8220;run for the fun of it&8221; candidate.

His name is Joe Copeland of Cullman. He is 65 years old.

He is running for governor in the Democrat primary.

And…are you ready for this…the No. 1 plank in his platform is to give free contraceptives

to all Alabamians to control the population growth.

Thought you would want to know.

I went out to a local eatery a few days ago to see Fob and Bobbie James for the first time in a long time.

The former two-time governor and his wife were to speak at a press conference kicking off a fund-raising campaign for cystic fibrosis.

This terrible disease

claimed the life of their son Greg in 1967 and they have been hugely involved in fighting that disease ever since.

Gov. James did not show for the event…he was feeling poorly, but Bobbie was there and in an interview she left no doubt where she and her husband were in the 2006 gubernatorial campaign:

They are strong supporters of Roy Moore.

&8220;I am convinced Roy Moore was raised up by God for a special mission,&8221; Mrs. James said.

&8220;Even if he does not win,&8221; Mrs. James added, &8220;it is important that he run.&8221;

When asked about her views of Gov. and Mrs. Bob Riley, she said she had never met either one of them but &8220;they seem like nice people.&8221;

With only two days left in the 2006 regular session of the Legislature, funeral services are being held for hundreds of bills which no longer have a chance of passage.

Among the victims was a bill to authorize cameras at traffic intersections to catch motorists running red lights; enacting term limits on legislators; requiring legislators to post their travel expenses on the internet for all to see; a ban on most abortions in Alabama; and a bill to impose a three-year moratorium on capital punishment in the state.

Bob Ingram has covered Alabama politics for over 50 years