Erik Estrada and the NRA Election

Because I couldn’t find the voting statistics outside of the NRA Annual Meeting this year (had to run out early to cover the protest), I didn’t do much follow up on the new board members beyond who was actually at the board meeting the following Monday.

I assumed, very wrongly, that Erik Estrada was a top vote-getter who was simply blowing off the organization once he won. I’m not as opposed to celebrities on the board as others, but I do believe that part of what they “bring” to the board in that case is a willingness to at least be known as an actual sworn-in member of the board. (Unlike, say, Karl Malone who, as I understand it, has never even shown up to be sworn in as a board member, never mind even try to symbolically attend a meeting and pretend to give a damn since I’ve been going to these things.)

Anyway, I’m glad I never posted about it because it turns out that Estrada did the right thing. He would have come in sixth place by votes, however, according to the report from the Secretary, he contacted NRA to let them know that his schedule would no longer allow him to participate. So he actually withdrew from the election. Seriously, kudos and applause all around for him doing the responsible thing.

This year, that effort is especially noteworthy because we lost some very experienced board members who bring unique skills to the board. I cannot tell you how many people on the board, on staff, and who are just highly involved in the organization were lamenting the loss of seriously dedicated and talented board members, partially due to the sheer number of celebrities up in one year. With Estrada actually withdrawing from the election, it means that the next highest vote-getter was elevated to the top 25 winners. It helped ease some of the displacement issues.

I figure it’s worth mentioning when someone does the right thing. Tomorrow’s topic: how NRA members participate in the elections. There were actually measurable differences this year, but not for reasons you might think.

8 thoughts on “Erik Estrada and the NRA Election”

  1. I don’t have a problem with celebs on the board. Malone did some great ads and PR work back in the 90’s, as did J.C. Watts and Tom Seleck. There are some things that star power will bring your organization. These celebs are used to talking in front of reporters and cameras, they do it for a living. They also bring attention to ad campaigns and initiatives. The NRA board is full of unknown guys with salt and pepper combovers, 10 year old JC Penny suits, and no PR skills (just calling it as I see it). No one is going to pay too much attention to these guys. The NRA years under Heston were great. He was an awesome front man. Recognized by nearly everyone, calm when under fire, and he did a hell of a good interview. If anyone else stood on that stage and said “from my cold dead hands” would it have had the same result?

    I’m glad that R. Lee Ermey is on the board. Can you see him doing an interview with some MSNBC talking head? Who do you think will try to spin his words and not get an earful of truth they don’t want?

    I do wish Estrada did not pull out. On the daytime soaps, he is a legend among Spanish speakers. He’s recognizable, charitable, and committed to the shooting sports and firearms ownership.

    You know our opponents have no problem enlisting star power.

  2. For many folks, they aren’t opposed to any celebrities on the board, but they don’t want too many. The fact is that NRA only has 76 board seats, and someone actually has to show up long enough to get things done. Even the celebrities who want to lend a hand for the cause don’t usually have the time or regularly scheduled availability to get everything done.

    I share the concern about too many celebrities. For example, if it’s true that Malone has never even shown to a single meeting to be sworn in, he should just resign and allow room for either another celebrity who does have a little more time or a regular member who has significantly more time available to do the work.

  3. Sebastian, do you know anything about H.R. 1093, its potential and/or progress ,beyond what is posted on Thomas and on the NRA site? Can you find out and tell us? I am sure I am not the only one interested.

  4. M.B.

    Hasn’t been much movement as of late. Focus is almost entirely on Issa and Grassley efforts. Once they are done and have fully exposed ATF’s incompetence and DOJ’s political corruption, I’d imagine it moves fast in the house (senate is a different story).

    I’m supposed to talk to Steve King’s campaign manager today. Will inquire if anything else is up.

  5. I’m pleasantly surprised to hear that Karl Malone is a board member of the NRA, but also a bit disappointed to hear that he doesn’t do the work for it.

    While I wouldn’t consider him a “hero” by any stretch of the imagination, I know him from when he and John Stockton were playing for the Jazz, and I’ve heard a story or two about how generous he could be. I haven’t had much interest in sports, but my interest in the Jazz as a basketball team dropped to nonexistent when these these two players left the team.

    Thus, to hear that Malone has *anything* to do with the NRA boggles my mind!

  6. I’m not sure I’d classify him as having much to do with NRA. In a copy of an interview I saw, he only referenced being a member of NRA, not even acknowledging that he has been elected to the board. I know he took some “I’m the NRA” photos with them, but that’s the extent of any involvement I’ve seen.

    While I’m very happy to have people who will lend their name & celebrity to the cause, I think that in this case, he’s just wasting a seat on the board for someone else who will be more likely to do something.

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