A Subversive for NRA Board?

Caleb has been alerting the community about someone running for NRA Board who aims to make the organization more reasonable, as in to support gun control. This is not really much of a concern, because the Board is carefully engineered to avoid any uppity faction from being able to place members on the Board. There are often times when I think the Board’s size and structure is a bug, but in this case it’s a feature.

Brandon Webb has two paths to a board seat. He can be nominated by the nominating committee, which is about as likely as the snowstorm overhead right now heading down to Miami and covering Miguel rather than me. The other option is to be nominated by petition, which if I recall requires the signatures of 250 voting NRA members, which is lifers or people with 5 unbroken consecutive years of annual membership. That’s not an impossible mountain to climb, but that’s just to get on the ballot.

I can recall only one petition candidate successfully winning since I’ve been following this stuff, and that’s Maria Heil, and she managed to win only through very dogged campaigning on a personal level. In short, I don’t think Webb stands a chance of even getting on the ballot, let alone actually winning. But it’s worth it to point out that there’s a subversive with interest in running, so I would check out Caleb’s post.

One last thing is that this idea has been floated before, but never gone anywhere. Webb is just the first person to think of it who isn’t absolutely on the other side.

18 Responses to “A Subversive for NRA Board?”

  1. Joe says:

    Soviet style infiltration.

  2. Andy B. says:

    “. . .the Board is carefully engineered to avoid any uppity faction. . .”

    You mean like incumbent board members who get uppity and start asking questions? Since I speak mostly names-from-the-past, I’d suggest asking former NRA Board Member Mike Slavonic of PA about how that works.

    C. 1998 I participated in a minor way in an effort to get actual pro-gun people elected to the board, by distributing candidate questionnaires to candidates, of the kind some organizations send to political candidates — objective “Do you support. . .?” Y/N questions. Talk about pissing in the wind. The Winning Team blocked every move at ever turn. Primarily they hold the monopoly on the access most voting members have to candidate information.

    Of course that has probably changed a bit with technology, but I’m pretty sure it would still dominate all outcomes.

  3. Dave says:

    How come Sebastian isn’t circulating a petition? I’m pretty sure you’d get on the ballot.

    • Bitter says:

      Getting on the ballot is feasible. Getting elected, not really. Consider that one of the big stars from Duck Dynasty couldn’t even win a seat on the board last year. And that’s with a simple fact that celebrities nearly always win.

      What really sucks is that the guy was actually at the meeting. That would indicate he actually planned to be involved in the organization in a meaningful way. Yet, Karl Malone who has never even been sworn in is continually elected…

  4. NUGUN Blog says:

    I’d vote for Bitter….

  5. Sebastian says:

    I don’t think either of us have any desire to be on the NRA Board. It’s a significant time commitment.

    • Countertop says:

      But I think your selling yourselves short if you didn’t think you could win. I’m pretty sure one or both of you would manage to secure institutional support by the NRA. And well, that often times goes a long way.

      • Andy B. says:

        It would be an interesting experiment. I am not convinced that gun rights and Republican Party purity alone are sufficient to win NRA institutional support — but I’m not sure what is. I have observed that one local who made it to the board was an under-the-radar heavy hitter politically, with a big-bucks background that was probably reflected by an open wallet. But of course, I am ever the cynic, though a cynic praying to be proven wrong.

        • Sebastian says:

          His problem was that he didn’t really have enough of a grassroots constituency to win. As much as you’d imagine that Board positions are based on low-information votes, there’s been a lot of people nominated for the Board because of the right connections that either haven’t made it or haven’t been able to hang on, which makes me think you need to have at least some grassroots constituency. The Board member you mention did not have that constituency, and thus he couldn’t hold his seat.

          George Kollitides has tried multiple times, despite nominating committee support, to get on, but has likewise fallen short. I just don’t think he has the grassroots support to get there.

          • Andy B. says:

            “. . .he didn’t really have enough of a grassroots constituency to win.”

            To continue being a little cryptic, that is illustrated by, that I never laid eyes on the guy, and I doubt you did either, even though in theory we should have. And, I tried to communicate with him a time or two, both “officially” and unofficially, when his club was having problems, with no success. As a result I very much got an impression he and his believed themselves “above it all,” which made me suspicious about his NRA Board position. Probably others were too, if they even took notice at all of someone they had never heard of.

        • Sebastian says:

          I should also mention being from PA helps, because we’re one of the largest membership states. I’ve noticed lately we’ve been having problems keeping Californians on, probably because California has largely succeeded in destroying its gun culture. This is despite the fact that the one Californian who is struggling has institutional support because he brings a skill the Board needs to the table.

          I’ve wondered how much Kollitides problems are that he’s a New Yorker. The fact that he’s an investment banker probably also doesn’t help with the grassroots. We have two New Yorkers on the Board, but both are leaders in NYSRPA. With SAFE, it’s probably going to get even harder to keep New Yorkers on the Board.

      • Sebastian says:

        I haven’t been to enough Board meetings in recent years to have institutional support. There’s also the fact that I’d probably need to give up the blog, and it’s questionable whether I can have more impact as a blogger or as one of 76 Board members. I mean, I wouldn’t have to give up the blog, but it would be a good idea, and with that would vanish my grassroots support. I also don’t flatter myself enough to believe I’d really garner enough votes to push over the top. It’s not that easy to get elected.

        And then there’s the practical. There are three board meetings a year. Each one lasts a week. Board members are not paid. That’s three weeks of vacation a year that are gone. I tend to think Board seats are best occupied with people who have money and time, and right now I don’t have either.

        Maybe that’ll change in 10 or 15 years, but for now I really have no desire to be on NRA’s board. And even if it does change, I probably won’t be blogging anymore by then :)

        • Countertop says:

          And then there’s the practical. There are three board meetings a year. Each one lasts a week. Board members are not paid. That’s three weeks of vacation a year that are gone. I tend to think Board seats are best occupied with people who have money and time, and right now I don’t have either.

          Yep. Totally understand that. My organizations board meets quarterly. And our officers meet monthly – but in fact they give up three years of their lives to travel 2-3 weeks a year.

          People often complain about who sits on the NRA board (there’s not enough young people, there’s too many rich people, there’s too many industry people), or the board of other organizations. But the truth is, the universe of people who can dedicate the time and money to participate in a leadership position like that (and actualy show up) is incredibly small. You either have to be retireed, independently wealthy, or be able to expense the time/costs to your current job. And so, you get an NRA board composed of

          1) Old retired people
          2) Rich famous people
          3) Industry representatives who get paid to sit on it, or who are lawyers and have a business that in part derives income directly from the participation in the process.

  6. Yank lll says:

    Since the early 60’s the NRA has made it a practice to negotiate away rights which we already owned by virtue of existing. They were never elected into that position but rather were selected by the anti gun lobby in cohesion with your friendly communists in government to promote Civilian Disarmament under the cloak of “Safety, Need, and several other lies” designed to elicit specific emotional responses.. to bart6er away something of value for permission to retain a portion of that value is always a losing game.
    The NRA has been corrupted and subverted to the point that they no longer are the NRA that protects your rights.

    Yank lll

    • Sebastian says:

      I disagree. The organization is far from perfect, but I’ve never understood the idea that they were “selected by the anti-gun lobby.”

      There’s criticism of the organization, and then there’s la la land. This is la la land level stuff.


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