1 year ago

Tuberville dings Trump for veterans’ health care problems, addresses ‘carpetbagger’ label, tax dodging allegations in Shoals appearances

FLORENCE — Make no mistake about it: Former Auburn head football coach Tommy Tuberville does not hold back when something is on his mind, and Saturday morning he backed up that reputation that has followed him from his coaching career and into politics.

During an appearance before a meeting of the Shoals Republican Club, Tuberville, a candidate in the 2020 U.S. Senate election in Alabama, delivered a wide-ranging stem-winder reiterating his alignment with President Donald Trump on many issues. However, Tuberville argued there were areas where even Trump needed to be better.

The Muscle Shoals appearance was the first of a series in the area that also included stops at the Cornerstone Church of Christ in Florence with former University of Alabama standout cornerback Antonio Langham to raise money for children in Haiti and another at the Shoals Chamber of Commerce in Florence, where he fielded questions during a town hall-style event.


Near the entrance of the venue for the morning Shoals Republican Club event, someone posted a printed-out photo of Tuberville that was adjoined by the dictionary definition of the word “carpetbagger,” a label given to Tuberville by some of his opponents.

TVA Community Credit Union ‘Carpetbagger’ sign, 8/3/2019

Although he did not acknowledge the posting, he did address the “carpetbagger” label and seemed to embrace it by calling himself a “carpetbagger of this country.”

“Yes, I’m not an everyday resident of Alabama,” Tuberville said. “That’s going to be brought up. I’ve been here most of the last 20 years. I’ve had property. So, you’ll see that on TV – ‘He’s a carpetbagger.’ Yeah, I’m a carpetbagger of this country. I love this country. I love this state. I’m a carpetbagger. I pay a lot of taxes. I brag about that because I’m fortunate I’ve made a little money in my lifetime. I can do this and not take any money.”

As far as his critique of the current commander-in-chief, Tuberville focused on military veterans’ health care, primarily the problems plaguing the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. However, Tuberville added a caveat to his remarks by noting he did not think Trump was getting much help.

“I’m pissed off at Donald Trump that our vets can’t get health care,” he said. “And if I ever get to see him, I’m going to tell him that. You said you were going to fix it and it ain’t fixed. And that’s who we ought to be taking care of — these young men and women. I’ve had them come up to me and cry. ‘Coach, we can’t get health care. Nobody will take care of us.’ 22 vets every day – every day are committing suicide. We can’t take care of them. We won’t take care of them. We’re paying for illegals to come over here – everything they’re getting: cell phones, health care, everything they want. That’s Donald Trump’s fault. That’s his fault. He’s got to get it done. That’s one of the most important things I think we need to do because we send young men and women over to fight for us, put their life on the line and we don’t take care of them? What are we doing? What are we doing?”

“I’m a Donald Trump guy, but there are things that he hasn’t done yet that we got to get done,” he continued. “And I think he’s had to fight every battle by himself. He can’t get to all of them because nobody is helping him. Nobody is standing up for him.”

Tuberville argued Republicans on Capitol Hill could do more and vowed to be more outspoken as a U.S. Senator. He also took aim at Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT), who is a vocal critic of Trump.

“Sooner or later, we’re going to start sending people up there that will call the kettle black, OK?” Tuberville said. “You’re looking at one. You hear me right now – this is how I feel. I’m even going to be worse than this when I go to Washington, D.C. I’m going to be worse than this, on the Republican side as well as the Democrat side. Somebody has got to tell those Republican, ‘Hey, get a backbone or go home.’”

“Mitt Romney? You’ve got to be kidding me,” he continued. “You’ve got to be kidding me. What country are you for? What are you for? Do you stand for anything? Do you stand for anything? You know, it’s really mind-boggling.”

Immediately after speaking to the Muscle Shoals group, Tuberville departed for the Cornerstone Church of Christ fundraiser. However, Yellowhammer News was able to catch up with Tuberville after his Shoals Chamber of Commerce town hall in Florence to ask follow-up questions about his earlier remarks.

On veterans’ issues:

YH: You are pretty passionate about veterans, and you made a comment about Trump maybe not being as satisfactory in dealing with veterans’ issues. What led you to say that, and what could he do better?

TUBERVILLE: His agenda, he has pretty much tried to follow up on everything, and there’s a couple of things other than that. That’s one of them, and that’s one of the things I’m hearing across the state. They say, “Coach, we love the president, but we’ve got to have something done with the VA.” People are passionate about that. They’re not getting any help, and I don’t know where it’s going to come from.

But the thing with President Trump — he’s got his buckets full, and I can understand that. My point is he is not getting a lot of help from people that also understand the situation. They’re not standing up and speaking out. You know, he could get a lot more help from Congress. Obviously, he is not going to get a lot of help from the Democrats. But I think the Republicans can stand up and push that agenda for him and help him.

That was one of his huge stances when he was running, and I’m starting to hear from people saying, “We’re waiting for it. We’re waiting for help.” And he’s addressed a lot of the situation. He’s having to work his way through bureaucracy.

On the “carpetbagger” label:

YH: The “carpetbagger” question — you came out and said you were a carpetbagger. I don’t know if you were being literal or facetious, but talk about what you were trying to get at there.

TUBERVILLE: They don’t have a lot to come at me with because I don’t have a record of voting. All that I’m going to have a record of is where I’ve lived, where I’ve worked. Fortunately for me, when I left Auburn, I went to other places and worked. That’s what you got to do. You’ve got to get a job. But you know, I’ve had several houses, a farm in Auburn. I knew I was moving back. I chose to move back. I think that’s huge when you choose the place you want to live. And I chose Auburn. I chose Auburn to educate both my kids, most of it 1-12, then obviously college.

I’m just saying, that’s what they’re going to call me. Obviously, I am not. I am a guy that has taken jobs.

I don’t really know what the word means. I’ve just read what they’ve said, and the main thing is that I’ve lived here a majority for the last 20 years and I chose to come back — most of my friends are here. And I hope my two boys move back, so I don’t have to chase them all over the country.

YH: Do you have any idea or suspicions where that charge is coming from, or what the source of it is?

TUBERVILLE: They just know I was bouncing around for the last seven or eight years of coaching at different places. And there’s no doubt about that. I’m on record for living in Ohio and Texas and then moving back here.

Of course, I had to live in Florida when I worked for ESPN just to live next to an airport because I flew all the time. And when I gave that up, I moved back and started looking at retirement then started looking at this position when we had a Democrat elected.

YH: Some of your critics have said you lived in Florida to avoid income tax because Florida doesn’t have an income tax and Alabama does. Is there any truth to that?

TUBERVILLE: No, I don’t need the money. I don’t even know what the difference in tax is, to be honest with you. No, there’s no validity to that at all.

YH: The airport question — the Atlanta airport is what, an hour and a half from Auburn, not too far.

TUBERVILLE: This was about ten minutes, and you fly all the time. Saved a lot of time and effort. I mean, that’s a little bit different than going through that airport. I’ve done that many, many times.

On the effort to back Trump from Romney and other Republican lawmakers:

TUBERVILLE: [Trump] is trying to handle all these situations, and he’s getting zero help from the Democrats. And he’s getting a good percentage of help from the Republicans. But he could probably get more.

You know, that’s the reason I came out and said something about Mitt Romney. There are some good things he’s done. President Trump comes out and supports him. I voted for Mitt Romney when he ran for president.

To me, sometimes these guys could hold back on criticism and not say anything instead of coming out and saying something, especially about the racism deal. He’s our president. We got to back him, and if he’s not going to get backing from Republicans, he’s dang sure not going to get it from other people.

YH: Dealing with your potential future colleagues in the United States Senate, how do you view Mitch McConnell as a leader and perhaps working with Senator [Richard] Shelby, Alabama’s senior senator — do you foresee any problems given your pledge to be your own guy, and in the Senate and especially the Republican caucus, they kind of expect you to go along to get along? How do you feel about that culture there?

TUBERVILLE: You’ve got to work with all of them. The Republicans are going to have 53 or 54 senators. You’ve got to work with all of them, and I think that’s the strong point in selling myself, getting people to trust me.

I’m going to vote for the people of Alabama. I’m not going to vote for a party. I’m going to vote for what’s going to help the people here. I think we’ve gotten away from that some. I think we’ve got to vote the voice of the people, your constituents. If you do that, I think everything else will work together.

I’m not against any of those people up there. I’m a strong Trump guy. I think he needs somebody else. He’s got a lot of people, but somebody that he knows he can count on, to be a voice for him.

Now, am I going to vote for him every time? I’m not going to say that, no.

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV and host of “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN in Huntsville.

2 hours ago

Anheuser-Busch donating hand sanitizer to Alabama polling places

Anheuser-Busch is helping to brew democracy this fall.

The famous American beermaker is producing and donating more than 8 million ounces of hand sanitizer to polling places across the country.

A partnership between Anheuser and the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) is helping to bring some of that free sanitizer to precincts in Alabama.

Secretary of State John Merril, Alabama’s chief elections official, says his office has distributed 1,579 gallons of hand sanitizer among 44 counties that requested the substance. Merill is heavily involved in NASS, including currently serving as the organization’s vice chair for the southern region.

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“It is critical that counties are supplied with adequate sanitation supplies, personal protective equipment, and other items necessary to protect voters, poll workers, and others involved in the electoral process,” he said in a release on Friday morning.

Facilities that create alcoholic beverages have the ability to switch to making alcohol-based hand sanitizer quickly. It is a substance easily made with the equipment and materials on hand at such beverage producers.

Breweries and distilleries in Alabama and across the nation switched to making sanitizer for a time when the coronavirus began spreading in the United States this past spring.

Cesar Vargas, Anheuser-Busch chief external affairs officer, remarked in a statement, “Anheuser-Busch is committed to uniting our communities, strength­ening our democracy and encouraging even greater participation in the political process.”

“One part of this commitment is shifting our production capabilities to donate hand sanitizer so that election officials and voters throughout the country can take part in a safe election this fall,” he added.

Anheuser has donated over 500,000 bottles of hand sanitizer since COVID-19 reached the United States.

Additional groups helping to distribute the sanitizer are the National Association of State Election Directors and the online payments company PayPal.

Grace Newcombe, press secretary for the secretary of state’s office, told Yellowhammer that “because such a high volume of hand sanitizer was requested, PayPal provided an additional 630 bottles of hand sanitizer on top of those provided by Anheuser-Busch.”

Merrill credited the multi-group partnership with helping to make it so that “voters can confidently head to the polls on Election Day to cast their ballot in a safe and sanitary environment.”

The general election will occur on November 3; Alabama’s precincts will be open for voters from 7:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m.

Henry Thornton is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can contact him by email: henry@yellowhammernews.com or on Twitter @HenryThornton95

3 hours ago

How to vote if you test positive for COVID-19 before Election Day

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall has issued guidance for voters who receive a positive coronavirus test between Friday, October 30, and the day before the election, Monday, November 2.

Marshall says that a positive COVID-19 test during that period qualifies a voter to apply for an emergency absentee ballot.

Such ballots, and the system to get one, already exist in Alabama law.

Citizens who test positive may designate an adult to assist with the emergency absentee ballot process, meaning an individual who tests positive will be able to remain in quarantine and still vote.

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The voter’s designee can deliver the emergency ballot application, pick up that ballot and bring it to the voter, and return the filled out ballot to the absentee election manager.

The space to assign the designee is at the bottom of the emergency absentee ballot application.

Voters can access an emergency absentee ballot application here, and citizens can find the address for their county’s absentee election manager here.

An application for an emergency absentee ballot requires the signature of a physician, or a physician can issue a signed report, and the voter can include that with their application.

Applications for an emergency absentee ballot must be turned in by the close of business on Monday, November 2.

Filled out emergency absentee ballots must be returned to the county absentee election manager by noon on Election Day.

In a typical year, emergency absentee ballots are used by individuals who find out suddenly that they must undergo a serious medical procedure on Election Day, or people who have their employer send them out of town for business at the last minute.

There appears to be no alternative to voting in person for someone who receives a positive coronavirus test result on Election Day.

The last day to apply for a standard absentee ballot was Thursday, October 29, creating the relatively narrow window of time for which Marshall has issued guidance.

People can also contact their absentee election managers by phone to get more details on hours of operation or answers to any questions they have about their emergency absentee ballot application.

Henry Thornton is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can contact him by email: henry@yellowhammernews.com or on Twitter @HenryThornton95

Setting the record straight on Baldwin County’s toll fallacies

Baldwin County voters will head to the polls in just a matter of days to cast their vote on a full ballot, including several local amendments which will influence various aspects of residents’ everyday living. Of the four local amendments on this year’s ballot is Local Amendment 2, which I co-authored, and which proposes the creation of the Baldwin Beach Express II (BBEII), extending the northern end of the current Baldwin Beach Express to link I-10 with I-65 (the project).

If approved by the voters of Baldwin County, a toll authority would be established on this new stretch of road to pay for the construction and continual maintenance of the roadway. The toll authority would only be granted jurisdiction over the BBEII, and no other road, leaving drivers the choice to take this new roadway or continue using their everyday roadways just as they have been doing for years, still free of charge. We anticipate the new road will be available for use in five to eight years.

Due to the four-letter word “toll,” opposition has taken to various platforms urging Baldwin County voters to reject Local Amendment 2. However, these opposing voices misrepresent crucial aspects and facts of Local Amendment 2 that make the BBEII a safe and sound move for Baldwin County. While similar initiatives have appeared on ballots in years past, this year elected officials are asking Baldwin County voters to vote yes on this new roadway. The proposed BBEII is a totally different, locally controlled toll authority.

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This amendment is appearing on this year’s ballot in a timely manner. If not voted on this year, it is likely the amendment would not be presented to the public for at least another two years. Moreover, construction of the approved roadway would not finish until five to eight years after the initial vote. This is time we simply do not have when dealing with matters of infrastructure, county growth, safety, and economic opportunity.

Since 2014, our county’s population has grown nearly 50%. The time to invest in our future infrastructure is now and doing so will assure that we are able to support and sustain Baldwin County’s potential growth for years to come.

Recently, it has been suggested that Baldwin County voters will be giving lawmakers a blank check to construct this new roadway. The blank spaces found in the legislation are put in place due to the introduction of contingent acts. In other words, this amendment cannot be considered an act until final passage, and until Baldwin County votes “yes” on Local Amendment 2.

False assertions have also been made regarding the makeup of the toll authority members and their powers. The proposed act clearly requires that the Toll Authority Directors be appointed by the Baldwin County Commission and will serve a maximum six-year term limit. Toll Authority Directors will be held accountable by the Baldwin County Commission and may be subject to impeachment by the County Grand Jury, District Attorney or the Alabama Attorney General. The legislation also includes a provision of law (page 23, line 17) that prohibits nepotism, ensuring the Toll Authority Directors are acting on behalf of the common good for Baldwin County.

A yes vote on Local Amendment 2 will only improve our way of life in Baldwin County. We may continue using the existing free routes as we have been doing, free of charge, and will never have to be concerned with any toll. Your tax dollars are not going toward this project. Rather, the roadway extension will be 100% paid for by the toll itself, if and only if you choose to drive on the BBEII. Drivers who opt to take their regular free routes will never have to pay the toll fee.

This local amendment offers strengthened infrastructure to keep up with our rapidly growing population, secures an additional north-bound evacuation route, and will bring new job and economic development opportunities to our region.

Please, join me in voting yes on Local Amendment 2.

Alabama State Representative Steve McMillan represents District 95 and serves as Chairman of the Baldwin County Legislative Delegation.

7 hours ago

7 Things: Only 13 coronavirus deaths in Alabama without pre-existing conditions, Jones’ voting record is closer to Schumer than Shelby, vaccine info by December and more …

7. Stephen King’s Twitter isn’t IT

  • It’s no secret that famed author Stephen King has been politically outspoken, especially in more recent years. Now, he’s calling out former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville for not being willing to debate U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL).
  • King on Wednesday tweeted, “Tommy Tuberville wouldn’t even debate Doug Jones. Hey, Alabama, do you know a chicken___ when you see one? Or – ha-ha—when you DON’T see one?” This came right after Tuberville was a no-show at the debate event co-hosted by the College Democrats and Republicans at Auburn University, which Jones attended.

6. Walmart is removing guns

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  • Due to continued civil unrest in Philadelphia, Walmart has decided to remove firearms and ammunition from the sales floor in stores throughout the United States. Store spokesperson Kory Lundberg said this is being done as a “precaution.”
  • The firearms and ammunition will still be available for purchase, but they’ll no longer be on display. Lundberg also noted that this has been “done on several occasions over the last few years” in times of civil unrest.

5. Biden campaign refuses to address Hunter Biden issues

  • There has been further confirmation that the FBI has an open investigation into Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s son Hunter. In spite of that, the Biden campaign continues to not even address the issue and declare that they will not engage in questions about the matter.
  • During an interview with financial outlet Cheddar, the Biden campaign’s national press secretary Jamal Brown was asked to respond to the allegations made by Hunter Biden’s former business partner Tony Bobulinksi. He responded by declaring the question off-limits, saying, “We’re not going to waste any time on this smear campaign. It’s just another distraction from Trump’s failed leadership.” Instead of receiving further grilling, the anchor responded by saying, “Fair enough.”

4. Democrats could take the Senate

  • Sheffield, AL’s own Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has been very honest about where the Senate stands, and he’s said that there’s a “50-50” chance that Republicans could lose control of the Senate.
  • McConnell also said that looking “at the Democrat Party today, you out to be frightened. We’re fighting for our way of life.” He has remained confident that he’ll win reelection in Kentucky.

3. We’ll know more about vaccines by December

  • As one of the leading infectious disease experts and members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, Dr. Anthony Fauci told the University of Alabama at Birmingham during a virtual coronavirus research symposium that we’ll have more information on a vaccine for the virus in the coming months.
  • Fauci advised, “[B]y the end of November to the beginning of December, we will know – based on the size of the trial and rate of infections that are going on in this country – if we will have a safe and effective vaccine.” Facui added that he’s “cautiously optimistic” about the vaccine.

2. Jones is closer to Schumer

  • FiveThirtyEight.com has released a “Trump Score” for how closely members of the legislature have voted with President Donald Trump, and U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) only scored 34.8% since taking office in 2018.
  • For comparison, U.S. Senators Angus King (I-ME) and Mark Werner (D-VA) scored closely with Jones at 37.9% and 35.5%, respectively, but Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) scored 23.4%, U.S. Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI) had 22.6%, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) had 20.3% and U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) scored 23.0%.

1. Cases and hospitalizations are on the rise

  • There have been spikes with the coronavirus across the globe, the United States saw its biggest day ever yesterday. Alabama is now seeing an increase in both cases and hospitalizations, but both numbers are far below the peak of the pandemic Alabama saw in July.
  • The Alabama Department of Public Health is now reporting that there have only been 13 deaths from the coronavirus that didn’t have any underlying health conditions as a contributing factor, which is due to a change in criteria that dropped the number from 130 to 13. This isn’t to say this isn’t a big deal, but it does mean that it is even more important to protect the vulnerable as we continue to safely reopen.

8 hours ago

State Sen. Albritton: ‘Still questions’ on Ivey prison proposal locations, including Escambia County site

Two of the three locations named in Governor Kay Ivey’s recently announced prison proposal have received a degree of public pushback from local residents.

A location near Brierfield had been the subject of public scrutiny by Bibb County and nearby Shelby County residents. Elected officials in Elmore County have also expressed concern over a site near Tallassee.

The third site in Escambia County near Atmore had been seemingly free of controversy. However, according to State Sen. Greg Albritton (R-Atmore),whose district includes the proposed Escambia County location, that is not necessarily the case.

During an interview with Mobile radio’s FM Talk 106.5, Albritton said there were some issues he and others were attempting to iron out with the Alabama Department of Corrections on the southern proposed site.

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“I spoke with Commissioner Dunn yesterday about this very issue, and there are still questions out there about all three of the sites selected, and we’re still trying to get some answers on some things,” he said. “But Jeff, we have got to have new prisons. There’s just no doubt that some construction has got to be done. We tried several times on the legislative side to put through a plan, and both times that we got it through the Senate and down to the House, the House killed it. The latest one, it had been through the House, it had been through the Senate. It had even been through the conference committee in the Senate and the House wouldn’t take it out of the basket. It just died. The governor — we challenged her, and she challenged us and said if I could depend on the legislature pass something, fine. But you haven’t. We’ve got to have a plan. At least the Governor has a plan. Whether I like it or don’t like it, it is a better plan than what we have right now.”

The Escambia County lawmaker said there had been complaints but said they had chosen not to take a public approach to their response.

“Of course, we’ve gotten complaints,” Albritton said. “We’ve got all unique circumstances. We have been pushing back. We haven’t been pushing back publicly. We have had discussions, and that was part of the discussion yesterday. We are trying to work out some of the details and finalize some of the matters and get some answers. But I did not see any particular gain in going public in this fight. We just need to try to work it out the best we could.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Alabama, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly, and host of Mobile’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on FM Talk 106.5.