When he decided to run the United States Senate from the state of Alabama in 2000, former football coach Tommy Tuberville asserted that he owned a home in the city of Auburn, Alabama, meaning he met the residency requirements for the office he was seeking.
However, it now appears that Tuberville lied and is actually a resident of Florida, which would technically make him the Sunshine State’s third senator. That would be historic (and illegal) because the U.S. Constitution only allows for two senators for each the 50 states, according to a fascinating investigative piece from Glenn Kessler of the Washington Post.
The Alabama house in question is actually owned by Tuberville’s wife and son, neither of whom were on the 2020 ballot.
Tuberville’s office says his primary residence is an Auburn house that records show is owned by his wife and son. But campaign finance reports and his signature on property documents indicate that his home is actually a $3 million, 4,000-square-foot beach house he has lived in for nearly two decades in Santa Rosa Beach, Fla., located in the Florida Panhandle about 90 miles south of Dothan.
A Florida beach house? That’s right, and his address suggests Tuberville has been lying to voters in Alabama all along, because in his official paperwork for office, he claimed the Auburn home as where he lived.
In 2018, he voted in Florida in the midterm elections, according to the Birmingham News, but he registered to vote in Alabama on March 28, 2019, a week before announcing his Senate bid. For his voter registration address, he listed as his residence a property, appraised at about $300,000, located in Auburn.
The fact that Tuberville lives in Florida but is registered to vote in Alabama also suggests the senator may have committed voter fraud on at least one occasion since we can assume he voted for himself in the 2020 election.
Oh, and then there’s the tab Tuberville is running up as he travels to his Florida beach house when he leaves Washington to return “home,” whatever that particular word means to the senator.
Tuberville’s frequent visits as senator to his home in Santa Rosa Beach can be gleaned through expenditure reports filed with the Federal Election Commission by Tuberville’s various campaign organizations and PACs. They show that since Tuberville became a senator, there have been almost monthly expenditures for travel and food in either Santa Rosa Beach or another Florida town, Panama City Beach, which is 50 miles away.
Tuberville has attempted to dismiss any criticism of having been away from Alabama for many years by claiming to be a “carpetbagger of this country.” But while that may be a cute one-liner to feed the press and public, it doesn’t address the larger issue of the senator’s blatant disregard for both state and federal election law.
At a time when Republicans continue to try and make voting more difficult — especially for people of color — in the U.S., maybe Sen. Tuberville needs to sit down and explain his own blatant hypocrisy. That, or resign immediately and run against one of Florida’s actual senators, Marco Rubio and Rick Scott.