Hugh Culverhouse, a Florida landowner who in 2019 encouraged students at the University of Alabama (UA) to boycott the school and state over the passage of an anti-abortion law, donated $200,000 to a super PAC that supports U.S. Senate candidate Katie Britt.
According to a story in AL.com, Culverhouse’s $200,000 went to a super PAC known as the Alabama Conservatives Fund (ACF), headed by executive director Dalton Dismukes.
On its website, the ACF claims support for “defending the unborn, protecting our Second Amendment rights, supporting our military and veterans, fighting for our farmers, working to create rural Alabama jobs, securing our border, restoring integrity to our elections, fighting the socialists who want to change our country and always supporting our police.”
The ACF launched support for Britt in October 2021 and ran commercials in her favor.
Culverhouse, who also donated $250,000 in 2019 to Planned Parenthood Southeast, urged students to boycott UA and the state of Alabama after the Alabama Legislature passed the Human Life Protect Act, a restrictive ban on most abortions that was later delayed due to legal challenges.
In June 2019, the UA Board of Trustees voted to refund the $21.5 million they had already received from Culverhouse. According to AL.com, this was the most significant donation ever made to the university.
Although Culverhouse donates to a variety of Republican campaigns, his pro-choice views cause some to question whether Britt should accept donations stemming from a source like this, particularly considering the impact of donations on election results and the implications these donations offer on future policy decisions.
"Katie makes it crystal clear on the campaign trail that she will always strongly defend the sacred right to life and fight tirelessly for Alabama’s Christian conservative values,” said Sean Ross, a spokesperson for Britt's campaign. “Katie is proud that an incredible 85% of her campaign contributions have come from Alabamians. Given the massive amount of people lining up behind Katie’s conservative Alabama First message, there are bound to be people with a wide range of beliefs on a host of issues supporting her candidacy. That does not influence her beliefs."
This is not the first time Britt has faced criticism over support from sources generally considered not to align with Conservative causes. Earlier this month, the Britt campaign was questioned for accepting $5,800 from Daniel Loeb, a billionaire New York hedge fund manager who has taken a number of pro-LGBTQ positions over the years.
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who is expected to be restored as majority leader if Republicans obtain the majority following November’s elections, gave $2 million to Alabama’s Future.
One of Britt’s opponents in the Republican primaries, Rep. Mo Brooks, has been highly critical of McConnell and, in March, encouraged conservatives to sign a pledge to push for new Republican leadership. Brooks criticized McConnell for committing to “special interests” and presenting low polling numbers.
1819 News reached out to both of Britt’s opponents in next week’s Republican primary, Brooks and U.S. Army veteran Mike Durant, for comment.
Brooks did not respond.
"Katie Boyd Britt is a political insider who will say anything to get elected,” said a spokesman for the Durant campaign. “Britt's campaign is fueled by pro-abortion donors and the Washington Establishment who support her due to her go-along get-along track record that includes giving teenagers greater access to abortion pills. Alabama needs a pro-life conservative fighter in the Senate to ensure we overturn Roe v. Wade, not weak-kneed insider Katie Boyd Britt."
A poll conducted by Moore Information Group in early May showed Britt support at 27%. Both Durant and Brooks were tied at 20%. Another 31% supported another candidate or were undecided.
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