Tommy Tuberville has failed to honor a 'key pledge' he made to 'donate every dime' to vets: analysis

Tommy Tuberville has failed to honor a 'key pledge' he made to 'donate every dime' to vets: analysis

Although Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Alabama) has exalted himself as a tireless supporter of veterans, he has been a major source of aggravation for the U.S. military in 2023.

The MAGA senator has held up the confirmation of more than 250 military officers because of the Biden Administration's policy of reimbursing women in the U.S. Armed Forces for travel expenses incurred when seeking abortions. And his critics, including Democratic Sen. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois (a U.S. Army veteran) and Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III, have slammed him for endangering the United States' national security in order to score brownie points with the Religious Right.

In a Fact Checker column published on July 19, the Washington Post's Glenn Kessler examines promises that Tuberville has made to veterans but not lived up to.

READ MORE: Abortion, the military and white nationalism have put Tommy Tuberville in the hot seat

"As senator," Kessler reports, "Tuberville has made veterans one of his key issues. The former football coach serves on both the Veterans' Affairs Committee and the Armed Services Committee…. Yet there is no evidence that Tuberville has kept a key pledge he made when he ran for Senate three years ago — that he would 'donate very dime' he made in Washington to Alabama veterans."

In a campaign video posted on Facebook on March 9, 2020, Tuberville declared, "I stand with our veterans, and I'm going to donate every dime I make when I'm in Washington, D.C. to the veterans of the state of Alabama. Folks, they deserve it. They deserve it a lot more than most of us."

Kessler, however, emphasizes that Tuberville hasn't been nearly as generous with veterans as he promised during his 2020 campaign.

"A U.S. senator earns $174,000 a year," Kessler explains. "We're assuming that Tuberville was proposing to donate only his salary, not the substantial earnings he makes from his investments. He has an estimated net worth of $20 million. With Tuberville now having served 2½ years as senator, that would amount to a total of $437,000 in potential donations."

READ MORE: GOP's Tommy Tuberville refuses to answer questions about his defense of white nationalists

Kessler continues, "In the past decade, Tuberville has made contributions to veterans via a charitable organization, the Tommy Tuberville Foundation, that he established in 2014 after he was hired as football coach at the University of Cincinnati…. But a review of IRS filings made by the Foundation show that very little has been spent on charitable causes — especially since he became a senator…. In 2021, the foundation reported it had $74,101 in revenue and spent just 12 percent of that, or $9000, while $32,000 went to administrative costs — including nearly $12,400 to pay off a truck the charity purchased in 2018 for $27,369."

The Washington Post journalist adds that in 2022, the Tuberville Foundation "apparently had gross receipts of less than $50,000 and was required to file only a 990-N, known as a postcard, providing even less detail."

According to Kessler, "The Fact Checker contacted nine veterans' organizations represented on the Alabama State Board of Veterans Affairs. Three state affiliates — Vietnam Veterans of America, Disabled American Veterans and Veterans of Foreign Wars — responded and said they have received no donations from either Tuberville or the Tommy Tuberville Foundation."

READ MORE: 'Destructive spectacle': Chuck Schumer admonishes Tommy Tuberville’s defense of white nationalists

Find Glenn Kessler's full Washington Post column at this link(subscription required).

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