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Report: Tuberville has failed to keep salary pledge to veterans

The Alabama senator promised during the 2020 campaign to donate “every dime” of salary to veterans. He hasn’t donated a dime in three years.

Sen. Tommy Tuberville speaking on the Senate floor.

Sen. Tommy Tuberville has apparently failed to honor a campaign pledge to donate his senate salary to veterans charities, according to the Washington Post. 

Tuberville made the pledge repeatedly during his campaign for office in 2020, promising at one point to go on radio periodically and give away a paycheck to “a veteran or a wife who has lost her husband.” 

I’m not taking one dime, and I’m giving it to the veterans,” Tuberville said during a Feb. 2020 radio interview on Birmingham’s 99.5. “I stand and put up when I talk. I don’t just talk about it. I’m going to do it.”

Going on three years later, there’s no evidence that he’s done so and quite a bit that he hasn’t. 

The Washington Post’s “Fact Checker” took up the issue. It found that Tuberville’s charity, which came under fire during the 2020 campaign for questionable practices, had not received donations even close to Tuberville’s $174,000 annual salary. Additionally, veterans charities that the foundation and Tuberville supported in the past have not received donations from the former football coach since he took office, the Post reported. 

Finally, a Tuberville staffer, communications director Steven Stafford, answered the Post’s email inquiry about the pledge and said that Tuberville’s charitable foundation had been under audit until recently and all activity had been paused. 

You may have learned by now that there were serious problems with the Foundation for a number of years, and that the Foundation came under audit,” Stafford told the Post. “My understanding is that during the audit, the Foundation paused most of its activities.”

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Stafford went on to say that the Foundation’s audit is complete and that it is cleaning up the issues uncovered. He said Tuberville has restructured the foundation’s board and would resume donations once that is complete. And that Tuberville would honor his pledge to Alabama veterans. 

Tuberville’s charity, The Tuberville Foundation, came under fire during the campaign after a review of tax filings showed the entity donated less than one-third of its money to veterans organizations and used the rest for various expenses and golf tournaments. 

Tuberville himself also has come under fire of late for his hold on military promotions as a protest to a Department of Defense policy that reimburses enlisted military for travel to states in order to receive reproductive care services, including abortions. Tuberville’s hold has brought heavy criticism from all corners, including from military leadership who say the hold is weakening the American military.

Josh Moon is an investigative reporter and featured columnist at the Alabama Political Reporter with years of political reporting experience in Alabama. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter.

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