Gumbo PAC’s “Lost” ad takes aim at gubernatorial candidate Ralph Abraham.
Gumbo PAC, based in Baton Rouge, is run by Democratic operatives and supports Gov. John Bel Edwards for reelection.
The ad runs a soundbite from Abraham during his 2014 congressional campaign.
“I will donate my salary to St. Jude’s and The Independence organization,” Abraham tells the camera.
The Republican was referring to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the Independence Fund, an organization based in North Carolina that helps wounded veterans.
The ad claims, "Abraham promised to donate his salary to sick children and wounded veterans. But for years Abraham secretly pocketed that salary."
This claim is misleading.
The ad shows an image from Abraham's campaign website from his first congressional bid in 2014. That web page is still live.
“It should be an honor and a privilege to serve your country and NOT a paid position,” the page says. “If law dictates a salary, then I will donate the salary ($174,000/year) to charities; St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and The Independence Fund… YOU should not pay a penny for representation.”
Members of Congress do make $174,000 dollars a year, which would amount to $348,000 donated for one two-year term in the House of Representatives.
St. Jude told 3 Investigates it doesn't disclose information on donors.
A spokesman for Abraham told us the congressman did donate about $300,000 thousand dollars to the hospital from his first term salary.
A representative for The Independence Fund said it also does not disclose donor information.
The Gumbo PAC ad cites a 2019 article from The Advocate. The article says Abraham, a physician, stopped donating his salary after his first congressional term because congressional rules limit the amount of money he could earn from his medical practice. The article also says the promise to donate was not part of Abraham's second congressional bid.
The spokesman for Abraham verified the information in the Advocate article to 3 Investigates.
Neither of those important pieces of information are included in the political ad.
Truth test grade: C, because this ad is misleading and Abraham did fulfill his original campaign promise.