These Trustees donated to electoral vote rejectors

Five UA System Board of Trustees members funnelled money to Mo Brooks’ and Tommy Tuberville’s campaigns.


CW / Tomia Teague

Photos courtesy of UA System

Editor’s Note: This story was updated on Jan. 14 with a statement from the UA System Board of Trustees.

Five members of the UA System Board of Trustees donated to the campaigns of Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville, and Reps. Mo Brooks and Jerry Carl – all of whom voted to reject the electoral college count of certain states on Jan. 6 in an effort to overturn the presidential election. 

Trustees Ronald Gray, W. Davis Malone III, Harris Morrissette, Scott Phelps and James Wilson III were financial contributors to the campaigns or to related super PACs that supported these candidates. 

According to the UA System Board Manual, the UA System supports political involvement of its employees and administrative officers but does not allow a school-wide endorsement of any candidate. 

The UA System forbids the use of university resources for political expediency and requires that employees and administrative officers ensure any political activity is in a personal capacity and not on behalf of the school. 

Campaign finance and election laws require all political donations to be public record, in accordance with the Federal Election Campaign Act. 

The Center for Responsive Politics is a non-profit research group that tracks money and lobbying in elections. Its findings are reported in an online database

The database reported that Gray, who is the CEO of Thompson Gray, Inc., a company that specializes in financial and management services for the military, donated $2,800 to Brooks in September and $1,000 to Tuberville in October. 

Additionally, the database shows that he donated $50,000 in November to the Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC that works to maintain and protect the Republican majority, according to its website. 

Malone, the CEO of MidSouth Bancorp, Inc. in Dothan, Alabama, gave $2,800 to Tuberville last August. He also donated to other congressmen and women who objected to the electoral college count, such as Rep. Yevette Herrell from New Mexico and Rep. Stephanie Bice from Oklahoma.

Morrissette, CEO of China Doll and Dixie Lily Foods, contributed to congressional campaigns outside of Alabama, while also donating $500 to Tuberville in late October. 

Phelps, an attorney and businessman who holds several executive titles, gave $500 to Carl in late September. 

Donation records for Wilson, a real estate developer out of Montgomery, Alabama, show a $5,600 contribution to Tuberville in mid-October. He later received a refund of $2,800. 

Following the violence from right-wing extremists at the Capitol on Jan. 6 that resulted in dozens of injuries and five deaths, major companies, including Blue Cross Blue Shield, Walmart, AT&T and Marriott, have announced they will sever ties and stop making financial donations to the political campaigns of congressional members who supported the objection to the electoral college results. 

Rep. Brooks has faced increased scrutiny. Brooks is also facing censure in the House for imploring “patriots” to start “taking names and kicking ass,” at the National Mall rally that preceded the insurrectionary riot on the Capitol. 

He has since condemned the violence and said in a press release that his words were taken out of context and “hijacked by people whose illegal breach of the Capitol did a great disservice to our cause and America.

Even after facing backlash, both Brooks and Carl voted against impeaching President Trump a second time on Jan. 13, despite having bipartisan support in the House. 

Kellee Reinhart, senior vice chancellor for communications and community relations for the UA System, gave a statement in response to The Crimson White’s findings on Tuesday, Jan. 14.

“The Board of Trustees is a diverse group with a healthy diversity of political views but, individually and collectively, we support the Constitution of the United States and the orderly transfer of power it prescribes,” the statement read.