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The Plot Thickens

John Richardson has more. Yesterday a story was floated that Angus McQueen’s son in law was the outside retained counsel NRA was using in the suit. It turns out that isn’t true. From John:

Ackman McQueen contends this lawsuit is the work of the NRA’s outside counsel William Brewer III who is the in-law of their co-CEOs Revan and Angus McQueen. However, the lawsuit is brought by the Virginia law firm of  Briglia Hundley not by Mr. Brewer’s firmTodd Rathner, NRA Board Member, speculates that the attack on Mr. Brewer is the work of the pro-AckMc faction of the Board in an effort to undermine Wayne LaPierre.

So Wayne has turned against Ack-Mac? This is bigger news than I thought, if true. You can find the actual lawsuit here. I’d note this footnote from page 8:

Refusal to provide certain requested data “in writing” (such as unique visitors, viewership numbers, clickthrough rates, or related performance metrics) that enable the NRA to analyze the turn on its in NRATV.2

2 In addition, certain NRA stakeholders were also concerned that NRATV’s messaging — on topics far afield of the Second Amendment — deviated from the NRA’s core mission and values.

Ya think? Based on some numbers I had compiled from YouTube to support a post I never had time to finish, the reason they aren’t turning over these numbers is because they are almost certainly atrocious and would show what a waste of money most of NRATV is.

It also looks like much of this contention is over the contract Ack-Mac has with Ollie North, which they aren’t apparently disposed to share with NRA despite New York law requiring that NRA review the contract.

Is something untoward going on here that Ack-Mac doesn’t want coming out? You could bowl me over with a feather if it were true. I’d be shocked to find gambling going on in this establishment.

75 Responses to “The Plot Thickens”

  1. Bill C. says:

    Shouldn’t the performance metric be more direct, like how many states in the blue zone are improving in gun rights vs getting worse? Isn’t that what the PR machine is supposed to be doing, winning the culture and information war? If that isn’t priority number one they should be fired.

    • Sebastian says:

      It’s hard to work out cause and effect there because there’s many variables that feed downstream results. If it were me, I’d want more direct metrics directly related to the performance of the programming. But penetration into battleground states would definitely be one of them.

      • Bitter says:

        If the videos & shows were doing well penetrating into battleground states and reaching into demographics the NRA has been weak in, then AM would be shouting it from the rooftops to NRA and advertising to other clients about how their innovative work with a major longtime client completely changed the ability to reach audiences who previously weren’t hearing their message. The fact that they don’t want to share that information is telling. They are a PR firm, they know how to tell their own story. If they aren’t telling, it means it’s not good.

  2. Erl says:

    What ever it takes to get the NRA back on the gun rights and self defense rights issues and get the hell out of the conservative/liberal cultural war beyond that.

    • 53 says:

      Yes, Erl!!! you are 100% right!

    • Bill C says:

      We actually need to win that one too, but the key part of that is WIN FIRST. It isn’t that straying into the left/right thing is just bad, it’s that they suck at it. Sure, we need to win on just gun (and knife) right, but yes in fact we do need individual liberty, traditional American identity, rugged individualism restored, but losing on both at the same time by conflating them together is obviously a poor strategy, but mainly because it’s isn’t working.

    • Patrick Henry, the 2nd says:

      Bingo.

      I don’t want the NRA talking about socialists, unless its about specific socialist regimes that have banned guns or specific socialist politicians talking about banning guns. And even then, the socialist part is irrelevant.

      • Bill C says:

        I disagree. They could quite easily and correctly sell the point that a politician trying to disarm you is a bad thing AND that they also want to run your life and steal your money and that is also bad– and the three together are the worst of all. The only problem is that our side has failed at that. BADLY. Either they screwed up the message, didn’t speak to all the people who need to hear it, or both. Our problem has been and continues to be that our side had the right ideas but is terrible at marketing them, whereas the other side has terrible ideas and knows it thus has known for a long time that they don’t have a chance unless they’re good at selling them, and thus have become experts at it.

        • 53 says:

          I’m very conservative, but the NRA was doing a lot better when there were a some of pro-gun liberals on the national stage. Even Bernie used to be sort of pro-gun (voted against the Brady Act… now he is championing confiscation).

          We are headed for a gun rights disaster once the democrats regain power nationally… which will happen at some point.

          • Joe says:

            The Democrat Billionaires like Bloomberg, and Democrats that take his cash need to be attacked in that manner.

            Also, I agree with you about a gun rights disaster whenever the Democrats regain 1-Party Control of this Government. The only way our side could potentially stop it is by flipping one of the 4 Liberal Supreme Court Justice Seats to our column.

            Unfortunately that won’t happen unless Ginsburg and/or Breyer die on the bench, because neither one of those zombie leftwing hacks would allo Trump to put Amy Barret or Joanne Larsen in as replacements to them.

          • blackpilled says:

            The NRA didn’t alienate pro-gun liberals (insofar as they constituted any sort of statistically significant group at all.)

            The DNC did.

            Until recently, it was common for some dems, usually from rural states, to run on a pro-gun platform.

            And then immediately sell out their constituents on gun issues as soon as they took office and it became politically convenient to do so.*

            As for the very few** that didn’t sell out gun owners, they were inevitably undermined by the DNC and replaced in subsequent elections.

            The NRA had nothing to do with that. The DNC did, as they’ve shifted their mission from catering to working-class, blue-collar union types to other demographics.

            *Note my first point about pro-gun liberals being statistically insignificant.

            **Very, very few. I can’t think of a single pro-gun dem in the house or the senate that did anything to advance gun rights in the last 15 years.

            • Alpheus says:

              This is something we would do very well to remember. The NRA can work hard to attract Democrats, but if the DNC does everything in their power to undermine those Democrats, then the NRA doesn’t have much of a chance.

              This makes it very easy for the NRA to flirt (and they’ve done more than just flirt) with the idea of appealing only to Republicans on the issue.

              Nonetheless, the NRA should resist the temptation to expand beyond gun rights, and be clear that they will support Democrats who support gun rights, even if there are currently none to support. There should always be a carrot for Democrats to come back in the fold — and a reminder that we appeal to *both* Republican and Democrat *voters*, even if the Parties abandon them.

    • black pilled says:

      Sorry, dude, but the whole “the NRA needs to cater to leftists” meme is a holdover from ten years ago when there were still reasonable centrist-left people.

      Those days are over, and the only leftists who give a shit about guns now are the minions in Antifa who have no qualms about engaging in violence and harassment against anyone who doesn’t toe the hard left party line.

      • Charlie Foxtrot says:

        Here is a video from TheGunCollective showing how wrong you are: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M83MxiKqbz4. Your post clearly shows how the NRA’s and Ackerman McQueen’s propaganda, such as Dana Loesch’s Clenched Fist of Truth video, is hurting the cause. If we can’t attract people for the cause and just rely on those that are already with us, then we have already lost.

        One of the few good things that the NRA and Ackerman McQueen did was to attract black people with Colion Noir. The black population has been enslaved by the Democratic Party for decades. So, should we ignore black gun owners, because they tend to have leftist views on other issues that stem from decades of Democrat indoctrination?

        • black pilled says:

          I don’t actually watch NRA propaganda, but I do keep an eye on the actions of various leftist movers and shakers as well as organizations, so nice try at the dismissal attempt, but you’re flat out wrong.

          Even the evidence in your video is paltry. Let’s assume he’s right and only 56% of democrat voters support a ban on so-called “assault weapons.” Well, for one, that’s still a majority. And for two, well, ultimately the bulk of Dem voters don’t actually matter because the party has well and truly been taken over by extremists in favor of everything from socialism to free speech suppression to enabling child grooming and abuse.

          Even if you find a Dem who opposes the law, and who maybe thinks their party have gotten somewhat extreme, it doesn’t change the fact that come election day they’re still going to march to the polls and pull the lever that the DNC tells them to pull regardless of whether they personally think a ban on semi-auto guns is fair or not.

          A video of one fat neckbeard on youtube with a paltry 179,000 subscribers and less than 15,000 views for that video simply doesn’t do much to move my perceptions because, frankly, he’s incapable or unwilling to see the larger systems in play where gun rights is but one small section.

          • Charlie Foxtrot says:

            No argument can convince someone who subscribes to a fatalistic “us vs. them” mentality to change their mind. It doesn’t matter that Colion Noir convinced many black Democrat voters to become fist-time gun owners. It doesn’t matter that the polls say what they say. What only matters is “us vs. them”!

            According to you, when the Democrat party is taken over by socialist and communist extremists, we should NOT try to get some of their voters in the middle to switch sides. Instead, we SHOULD scare them into the corner of the extremists, where they apparently belong.

            Again, using that approach, we have already lost the battle before it even began. Labeling everyone who is not already on our side to be unable to be convinced to switch to our side is nonsensical. It is, however, the NRA’s way to extort donations from those that subscribe to this nonsense.

            By the way, that “fat neckbeard on youtube with a paltry 179,000 subscribers” is just one of many serious pro-2A activists under the umbrella of The Gun Collective. The fact that you don’t even seem to know what The Gun Collective (https://www.theguncollective.com) is speaks volume. I guess you would be more happy with Hickok45 and his 4.1M subscribers. LOL.

            By the way, The Gun Collective organizes every year a panel at the NRA Annual Meeting. Last year, they got thrown out of the convention center by the NRA, because they took a no-compromise stance that contradicts the NRA’s pro-compromise stance. The panel is happening this year again, featuring 22 Plinkster, John Lovell, Military Arms Channel, MrGunsandGear, Shawn Herrin, James Reeves, Tactical Toolbox, Kentucky Ballistics and Talon Sei. Once again, they were prohibited by the NRA to hold the panel at the convention center, because they disagree with the NRA’s stance on bump stocks and red flag laws. See https://www.guns.com/news/2019/04/15/tgc-content-creators-panel-heads-to-nraam-in-indy.

            • black pilled says:

              Hey, if there are centrists that you think are still worth courting, go right ahead. Good luck. But realize that those people do not and have not exercised any measurable amount of power in the DNC for well over ten years.

              Furthermore, you’re delusional if you think it’s the fault of the NRA for driving them off when the basic fact of the matter is that Dems who run on pro-gun platforms inevitably switch positions once they win, or are torpedoed by their own party within an election cycle or two.

              The basic fact of the matter is that Dems with some pro-gun sympathies simply DO NOT MATTER when it comes to driving policy for the DNC, nor are they simply going to switch parties based on one issue that, for most Dems doesn’t even make the top ten list of concerns.

              Furthermore, the memetic politics of intersectionality and cultural marxism,all tied in with, and reinforced through a vast public communications system* that is controlled and administered by the left make it vanishingly unlikely that you’ll see many Dems actually wake up and walk away from the party simply because doing so requires them to pivot to an entirely new mental operating system.

              *From Twitter and Facebook to the mainstream press and television, the culture is controlled by the left and various fellow travelers.

              • Charlie Foxtrot says:

                This is not about voting Democrats into office or any Democrat in office. Screw the DNC! This is about peeling away supporters from the Democratic party. If you think this can’t be done because of the media, then you are giving up the flight before it ever began. Communism would be still alive in Eastern Europe with that attitude!

                FYI: Many Republicans who run on pro-gun platforms switch positions once they win too. This isn’t always about the ballot box, but about public opinion and support for the 2A, hence my original reply.

                The NRA is appealing to some extend to those in the middle. Unfortunately, it is also doing a lot to drive them off. To many in the middle, supporting the 2A also implies to be pro-life, anti-immigrant (illegal and legal), pro-LE no matter what, against marijuana legalization, etc. The NRA has become a small group within the GOP, while gun rights are actually supported by a larger group within and outside the GOP.

                • Richard says:

                  Still waiting for evidence that the NRA as an organization has taken stands re abortion, immigration or marijuana. They are pro-LE but this is a traditional thing going back many decades and reflective of NRA’s position as part of the LE training establishment and has little to do with any changes in recent years.

                  • H says:

                    Having Grover Norquist as a board member tells us they’re all for increased immigration. Which means they’re going to be irrelevant at the national level by some time in the next decade as they already are in California.

                    Something David Codrea constantly beats them up for. I note it’s a meta-issue like McCain-Feingold’s ban on their speech before elections.

                    • Richard says:

                      I spent my career working for boards and one board member (especially with a gigantic board like the NRA) does not speak for the organization. Only the board as a whole does or the executive leadership. I learned to ignore single board members pursuing an individual agenda. Anyway the charge against the NRA is pursuing right wing social issues to the detriment of the 2A. Right wing social issues would be anti-immigration so it does not track even if one board member was the organization.

                    • H says:

                      I spent my career working for boards and one board member (especially with a gigantic board like the NRA) does not speak for the organization.

                      Sorry, I didn’t make my reasoning explicit. It’s not that Norquist speaks for anyone but himself and his own org(s), it’s that the Winning Team completely controls the membership of the board through the nominating process, membership magazines, physical violence at board meetings, etc.

                      Therefore, I claim putting someone as infamous as he is on the board tells us a great deal about the Winning Team who control the NRA. In this case, that they’re entirely comfortable with large scale immigration, which is entirely incompatible with the cause they ostensibly champion, as was the comparable meta-issue of McCain-Feingold which they did fight.

                    • Richard says:

                      OK, I agree about the NRA leadership mostly controlling board elections. But you cannot simultaneously assert that the NRA is for open borders and that the NRA is neglecting the 2A to pursue right-wing social issues. These are mutually incompatible.

                    • H says:

                      But you cannot simultaneously assert that the NRA is for open borders and that the NRA is neglecting the 2A to pursue right-wing social issues. These are mutually incompatible.

                      I guess it’s a good thing I’m not asserting both, I have no informed opinion on the latter, I don’t watch TV of any sort.

                      But I deny they’re mutually incompatible, it’s exactly the sort of thing cuckservitives do. And this discussion is in a context where the leadership of the NRA including AcKMac is primarily in it for the money, although we’re credibly told plenty of the latter’s creatives are Leftists.

                  • Charlie Foxtrot says:

                    I guess you haven’t watched NRATV. I was rather surprised by Colion Noir’s “Noir S7E12 Part 2 | San Francisco: Are They Enabling Drug Addiction and Homelessness?” Not a single word about the 2nd Amendment in this video.

                    Dana Loesch would be the NRA spokesperson that mixes all kinds of other conservative talking points, including pro-life, with the NRA’s supposed pro-2nd Amendment message.

                    When citizens lawfully carrying firearms are being gunned down by, so called, law enforcement officers, the NRA stays quiet and once the officer is cleared engages in blaming the person being shot. Dana Loesch’s famous comment regarding Philando Castile was “He should have had NRA Carry Guard training.” With that sentence, the NRA lost its credibility in the black community that Colion Noir had build. Even Colion’s open letter about the Castile shooting could not fix that.

                    • Richard says:

                      Thanks for that. I pointed out somewhere else in this thread that I don’t watch NRA TV or any TV for that matter so that perhaps that was where the right wing social issue stuff was to be found. So it seems. I learned from the discussion here that NRA-TV is an AckMac operation so perhaps NRA leadership agrees with you or perhaps their dispute with AckMac is based on something else, perhaps financial.

                    • Charlie Foxtrot says:

                      FYI: The Ack-Mac dispute is rather existential, as the NRA may be dissolved by NY State regulators for violating federal tax laws governing nonprofit organizations: https://youtu.be/wlLd-sF99us

                    • Richard says:

                      Hard to tell what is going on with AckMac and New York. Elsewhere, I wondered about why the NRA had long ago incorporated somewhere else than the most hostile possible environment.

                • blackpilled says:

                  What supporters are you planning to peel away?

                  I’m not a culture warrior, but the bottom line is that the DNC and the left now supports all sorts of shit ranging from post-birth abortion to child drag queens dancing in strip clubs to untreated widespread opioid addiction among the rural poor.

                  Anyone who’s reasonable has already walked away from the Dems, and you’re going to find precious few rational converts on that side of the aisle who are willing to listen to your spiel about gun rights, and frankly, of those who are left over there, they probably shouldn’t be touching firearms anyway.

                  The left of today is not the left of even five or ten years ago, and your attempt to apply the tactics that worked ten years ago to now is not going to work.

                  You really need to wake the fuck up to what’s happening.

                  • Charlie Foxtrot says:

                    This is exactly what I meant. Thank you for making my point that the 2A issue is being blurred with culture war issues. You are going in circles with your arguments. I will just repeat one sentence from one of my posts above: “Labeling everyone who is not already on our side to be unable to be convinced to switch to our side is nonsensical.”

        • Dana Loesch and Grant Stinchfield are horrible spokesmen. They never should have been hired in the first place.

  3. Charlie Foxtrot says:

    It is interesting to see the posts and comments on this and other blogs and forums. Apparently, now everyone was always against NRA’s dubious relationship with Ackerman McQueen. Yet only a few moths ago, people like, me who criticized the NRA and were labeled as the enemy within, were told that we are flat-out wrong to do so and that we are not welcome. LOL.

    • Sebastian says:

      I’ve been critical of NRA’s PR firm and the relationship with NRA for some time. What I won’t do is condemn the organization as a whole. For good or ill, it’s what we’ve got.

      • Charlie Foxtrot says:

        Not that I did condemn the organization as a whole in my post above or any post on this blog. That’s what I’ve got. LOL.

        I am just waiting for the moment where suddenly everyone was always against the bump stock ban and against NRA’s support for it. Same goes for red flag laws. LOL.

        The fight has always been with the NRA leadership and not with the NRA organization as a whole. Some people just don’t get it or don’t want to admit it.

        • Charlie Foxtrot says:

          Well, it appears that hickok45 is now against the NRA’s version of red flag laws: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wj8c3xrtVRw. From the video description:

          “This is what makes anything like Red Flag laws a non-starter. Obviously, Due Process should be a part of it, but even then, I don’t see how you can take firearms away from a person unless he’s deemed an immediate threat to people, and if that’s the case, he should be in jail where he cannot hurt the rest of us. I just don’t really see any gray area there.”

          Here is Chris Cox’s support for red flag laws: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7sNiklO506A.

          As I said, when the ship is sinking, suddenly everyone aboard the ship was always against the captain. LOL.

  4. Christopher says:

    Not an insider at all, but I did read the complaint and I’m somewhat familiar with non-profit governance.

    It looks like the complaint has brought together a number of factions:
    – Anti status quo insurgents
    – Second Amendment purists (note the culture war reference)
    – Good governance advocates, who actually care about things like spending funds wisely and safeguarding key assets
    – Directors fearful of liability (both for the organization and for them personally) if they do not act to bring the organization into compliance once informed about the issues by the attorneys, especially given the heat from NY and other blue states.

    It also looks like there’s some issues with Ollie North. Most of the complaint revolves around him, and he has not been forthright with the Board, which seems problematic.

    The way I read it, some of the pro-change faction were able to get the lawyers to tell everyone that yeah, there are some significant governance problems going on, which creates a majority bandwagon to take action. I’m guessing North’s refusal to cooperate with the board also ticked some board members off.

    I am somewhat worried that an internal power struggle, lawsuits, and financial problems will weaken NRA at a time when the antis are spinning OODA loops faster than we are (at least at the state level). However, in the long run the mess needs to be cleaned up. We have some breathing room federally (for now) so this is probably as good as it will get for an internal struggle to occur.

    My take is that everyone needs to focus on their state level and issue-based orgs until things shake out with NRA. The cavalry ain’t coming from NOVA, so your state org is what you’ll fight the next ballot initiative with.

  5. Richard says:

    The latest from John Richardson would indicate that it may be financial and fiduciary issues driving this whole mess rather than political direction. Reference was made to the whole Carry Guard debacle which was an AckMac thing. I recall there was a lot of angst about Carry Guard here and elsewhere in the blogosphere but I never saw any real explanation of what happened and why. It just sort of disappeared.

    And why in the hell is NRA incorporated in New York. They have been our enemy forever. I suppose there is history dating back to founding but can’t such things be changed.

    • H says:

      The Winning Team would not have wanted any attention paid to the organization’s details that might have come from moving the corporation to another state. But that’s now likely to result in a formal dissolution of the NRA as it is today since the criminals running New York state will settle for nothing less.

      One really big problem is that besides all the damning surface stuff, AckMac almost certainly doesn’t have records of where money went that are required by legitimate New York state law, and would have to hire a forensic accounting firm to construct some semblance of them. They may also be considering the outcome of the NRA as it is today going down, and when rechartered elsewhere likely not hiring them, in which case it’s imperative to minimize or at least postpone their civil and criminal liability in this mess with New York State.

      In John Richardson’s latest posting, he among other things brings attention to the board’s role. I emphasize that a board of 76 members is explicitly designed to provide no effective oversight of an organization, it’s already about 10 times larger than the size where a board becomes unable to do that (this has been deeply studied because of the relevance to for profit companies). But that doesn’t mean they aren’t legally on the hook for poor oversight, Richardson closes his posting by saying:

      How bad are these troubles? A reliable source told me that Marion Hammer who hasn’t attended a Board of Directors meeting since hell froze over the last time will be in Indianapolis to attend the Board meeting. It’s that bad.

      I note that this is the biggest thing to happen with the NRA since they abandoned their trial balloons to go along with Clinton’s “assault weapons” ban and for the first time in their history totally opposed a federal gun control law.

      • Joe says:

        By “formal dissolution”, you mean going out of business and no longer existing entirely, right?

        From all of these details coming out, it just looks like Ackerman-McQueen has been fleecing the gun-rights movement so it can has out donations to the Establishment, Bush-Mafia, Country Club, Rockefeller-Wing of the Republican Party. Oliver North is a tangible example of that.

        • H says:

          By formal dissolution I mean the National Rifle Association of America, the official non-profit corporation chartered in New York state, gets dissolved. No doubt New York will claim a lot of its assets, and having its massive headquarters in Northern Virginia is not sustainable, but I assume a new NRA will rise from the ashes with some number of familiar faces and at least some of the liquid and tangible assets of the old one.

          And there will be the mother of all fundraising campaigns to get it going again, which might not work well after all the dirty laundry you allude to is aired. Although I doubt the object of AckMac’s fleecing is what you think, it’s traditionally been to benefit AckMac itself … why would they give a damn about the Gay Old Pedobears except for mutual favors? Why would they send them significant amounts of money above and beyond what can be legitimately justified by supporting the least gun controlling party? But that’s theory, we need to look at money flows, which we’ll likely be able to do sooner or later.

          And “Establishment, Bush-Mafia, Country Club, Rockefeller-Wing of the Republican Party” … those are mostly distinct entities. Establishment and Country Club have become the same by definition, and for some periods the Bush-Mafia had control of it, but not the Rockefeller Wing for a very long time, it’s been steadily marginalized since 1964 at the latest when Nelson failed to gain the party’s Presidential nomination. Who today is even a member of it?

          Oliver North is just another figurehead like Heston, the NRA President has by design no power, AckMac’s contractual and financial control over him is almost certainly just how the Winning Team and AckMac decided to arrange things before New York state started asking inconvenient questions. Based on high level comments on this, I wouldn’t be surprised if North’s claimed lack of cooperation with the NRA is contractually required by AckMac.

          • Joe says:

            I brought up the “Establishment, Bush-Mafia, Country Club, Rockefeller-Wing of the Republican Party” as a hyperbolic metaphor, simply because about 1/3rd of the GOP is on board with advancing certain aspects of the Democrat Party Agenda, one of them being Amnesty for Illegal Aliens and more Open Borders BS. Examples of them are Lindsay Graham, Kevin McCarthy, Peter King, etc.

            I made those allusions, simply because if Ackerman-McQueen is donating money from my NRA dues to political causes that are advancing grand objectives of the Democrat Party and Bush-Wing of the GOP (Amnesty and Open Borders), then both Ack-Mack and the NRA deserve to go extinct entirely.

            I’m a member of and follow organizations like Ohio Gunowners, Ohio Carry, and Buckeye Firearms Association, as well as being a member of Gunowners of America and as of January of this year, the 2nd Amendment Foundation. Social media postings of people in those other aforementioned groups have the same allusions that I mentioned.

            Gunowners of America and 2nd Amendment Foundation should then swoop in and do grassroots coordination with the NRA State Affiliates in that case, and I fully suspect they would go all in with that.

          • Countertop says:

            Of course they could also simply move the NRa’s Charter and articles of incorporation to a new state. Complex and timely, sure. But neither impossible to do nor unprecedented.

            I tend to think the most important thing to do at this point though is dramatically reducing the size of the bird of directors, mandating attendance at Boar of Director meetings, removing Wayne LaPierre and bringing in people who are better equipped to manage the organization.

            • H says:

              My reply to Joe was eaten by this site’s spam filter, let’s see if this gets through:

              With New York state working very hard to end the NRA, one wonders why the Winning Team hasn’t already moved it to another state. Might be they are doing it on the QT, or as I noted in my first comment they might not want to bring attention to the ugly details that for example prevent another Cincinnati revolt from happening. Could be such bylaws are forbidden in the states they’d like to move to, it’s also the case that any state, no matter how Red, is going to have anti-gun bureaucrats that would cause trouble.

              As for reforming the NRA, who’s going to bell the cat? New York state doesn’t want to reform the NRA. Unless a quiet move to another state is in progress, it would appear the Winning Team has decided to fight it out in that state, “Victory or Death.”

              • Joe says:

                The Organization needs another Cincinnati Revolt. Too many entrenched, establishment hacks that have been there too long. It should’ve been done 3 years ago, at least.

                Once the NRA was slapped silly by Bloomberg and his fellow leftwing billionaires after the Parkland Shooting (Seeing how they were just defeated in the PR battle less than a week after it happened), that was the sign that the shakeup was needed.

                Wayne LaPierre isn’t a bad guy, but this isn’t the 90’s anymore, and the antigun factions out there are like psychotic Stalinists.

                • H says:

                  Given that the Winning Team ostensibly led by LaPierre used every tactic in the book including physical violence during board meetings to change the bylaws to make another Cincinnati Revolt impossible, I can’t say he “isn’t a bad guy.”

                  Bloomberg is the game changer as Sebastian has been noting, how to counter him is probably the most important thing at the national level, and in the states he’s targeted.

                  The Winning Team lost the PR battle after Parkland against Bloomberg et. al. and deserve at least some blame, but that is far outweighed by their embracing the threat to life, gun ownership, and RKBA advocacy of Red Flag laws. I don’t see any coming back from that, and it’s going to weigh more and more heavily on them as more innocents get killed by the authorities.

                  • Joe says:

                    I’m in 1million% agreement with you on Red Flag Laws, due to the fact that they can slapped at you with false accusations. To be honest as well, these Red Flag Laws could wipe out both open and concealed carry too. Any random person or cop can petition a Judge to serve up an ERPO through just making a “tip-off” phone-call to the County Courthouse, and heresay is all that’s needed.

                    Lindsay Graham is the biggest, traitorous mother-f****r in every sense of the word when it comes to Red Flag Laws because he saw firsthand what false accusations can do, specifically regarding then Judge and SCOTUS Justice, Brett Kavanaugh.

                    As an NRA member, I’ll keep monitoring what’s going on with this Ackerman-McQueen Fiasco, but if it comes out that they’ve been funneling money from their contracts with NRA (my dues $money as a member) to antigun and other Leftwing Political Causes, which I fully suspect is what’s been happening, then both they and the NRA can burn in Hell.

                    I’ll stick with SAF, GOA, and my Ohio Statewide 2nd Amendment Groups for that matter.

            • Bitter says:

              Just noticed this comment on the idea of moving the charter. Depending on the legal details of it, it may not be possible. You know I’m not a lawyer, and certainly not one who specializes in this, but I have learned from various lineage groups that sprouted up around the same time that some of those chartering options available then have royally screwed groups now because they can’t change anything. Organizations that started in the era NRA did (mid-19th century) began on the cusp of major legal and social changes that impacted how governments got involved (or didn’t) with these groups.

              It may be possible to move the charter. It may not. Either way, investigating it will not be easy. The more we hold back major infringements on our rights, the more they’ll target us in NY, which sucks.

              • Richard says:

                Dissolve, get the assets away from NY, recreate in a non-hostile place. Have some kind of deal with whoever ends up with the assets to recontribute to successor organization. It will take some fancy legal footwork but do it now before the New York thing ripens.

                • Bitter says:

                  I’m assuming you have your copy of the NRA bylaws in front of you if you’re advocating for this – could you post the provision for assets in the event of dissolution? That’s something typically addressed in detail in bylaws in most non-profit organizations, so they can’t do it randomly.

                  Since there isn’t time to post a bylaws votes before Indy, that means they can’t change it on a whim. (This lawsuit and resulting PR were shockingly(!) timed until after all the votes for the board were in so that no current board members who have served on relevant committees overseeing this mess could be held accountable by voting members.) So maybe you can answer the specifics of the situation for us instead of summing it up as not very descriptive “fancy legal footwork.”

                  • H says:

                    If New York state makes it literally impossible to operate a pro-gun organization chartered in it, it doesn’t matter what assets can or cannot be transferred to a NuNRA. And short of such a no Rule of Law posture from the state, I don’t see any way besides incompetence, which is to be expected, that the powers that be in the state will let the current utterly corrupt NRA continue operating.

                    Its something we should be thinking about; Jeff Knox just published at Ammoland a new commentary, pointing out the board has two options:

                    Option 1. A majority of the Board circles the wagons in defense of Wayne LaPierre and his pals and tries to weather the storm. (They’ll fail, and the whole ship will sink.)

                    or

                    Option 2. A majority of the Board fires LaPierre and other executives (or accepts their resignations) and nullifies their contracts, suspends all vendor contracts pending thorough review and renegotiation, and purges culpable members of their own body – demonstrating a commitment to safeguarding NRA assets on behalf of the membership. (Plugging the holes and possibly saving the ship.)

                    Nothing in my experience tells me there’s more than a tiny chance they’ll pick option 2, especially due to the reporting that members of the board have civil and criminal liability from their sins of omission and/or commission, and will be less able to fight that without keeping their positions. Although I could see some number resigning at some point to limit their exposure going forward, especially if they have personal wealth allowing them to mount a capable legal defense.

      • Richard says:

        I can make a case that the NRA should have moved out of New York in 1911 when the Sullivan law was passed. That was a pretty clear indication of a hostile environment. If not then, how about in the aftermath of the Cincinnati Revolt in 1977 which marked the transition of the NRA to an explicitly political organization. Kicking the can down the road always creates more problems than it solves.

  6. Chris D says:

    I am coming around to the idea that the NRA is just a large marketing scheme with a small 2nd amendment subsidiary. I receive so much junk mail and solicitation calls from them that it appears all that work is going to keep up the advertising and money raising end of the business that it drowns out the 2nd amendment work. It has grown into a large bureaucratic organization that exists only to serve itself and those lucky enough to get paid by it. I guess it is time to end my association with them and look for other more focused groups to support.

  7. Patrick Henry, the 2nd says:

    Just saw the NRA partnered with Gander Outdoors to sell NRA memberships.

    Maybe that’s unrelated to this, maybe it’s not. But that’s the kind of thing they need to do. Get in front of gun owners and get them to help out.

    The NRA isn’t perfect, but its the 800lb gorilla. And we’ll need all the help we can get, since the Dems are going crazy.

  8. Charlie Foxtrot says:

    Jeff Knox’s take on this was just published on AmmoLand: “NRA’s Dirty Laundry Exposed as Pro-Gun Group Cleans House” at https://www.ammoland.com/2019/04/nras-dirty-laundry-exposed-as-pro-gun-group-cleans-house/.

  9. H says:

    A thought on why the NRA didn’t change the state in which it was chartered:

    It wouldn’t do anything about the existing personal legal exposure of the executives, board, and vendors, while almost certainly causing regulators in New York state to ask “Why?” and investigate, which could turn up a lot of dirt with a few moments with Google. As many of us have been noting, including Jeff Knox as “Charlie Foxtrot” has brought to our attention just above, the Association’s pervasive financial corruption has been in plain sight for decades.

    Trying to move to a gun friendly state could result in regulatory action there if it turned out to be less corrupt and inefficient than New York, and that could easily be triggered in the process of setting up in that state.

    The Board members playing ostrich is a pervasive theme, so there’s no reason to believe they wouldn’t treat the threat from being chartered in New York in the same way they do the actionable corruption. And I would guess the members of the Audit, Finance and Executive Committees were handpicked for pliability and lethargy, or were already in the inner circle.

  10. Richard says:

    The NRA really needs to say something about this. If they have, I haven’t seen it and I monitor pretty closely. I know people don’t like to talk about lawsuits but there is a bigger issue here. I won’t necessarily accept what they say as gospel but silence is worse.

    • Joe says:

      They’re not going to. Wayne LaPierre has been exposed as a fraud and shyster. He was a Democrat Party Campaign Strategist in the past. After doing some of my own research, Grover Norquist (NRA Board Member) is tightly-nit with Ackerman-McQueen.

      Norquist is an Establishment, Bush-Mafia Republican. I said it on another comment thread on this blog and I’ll say it again;

      My suspicions are that Ackerman-McQueen has been funneling money from the NRA to other organizations, particularly those of the Radical, Leftwing, “Progressive”, flavor.

      Don’t be surprised, but rather enraged if it comes out that Ackerman-McQueen is funding Anti-Second Amendment, as well as Amnesty and Open Borders groups.

  11. Charlie Foxtrot says:

    Well, the s**t just hit the fan. Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety has filed an IRS complaint against the NRA, calling for an investigation into whether the NRA violated tax laws surrounding charitable organizations: https://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/439818-gun-control-group-files-complaint-over-nras-tax-exempt-status

    • H says:

      This is fascinating, didn’t Obama have the IRS camping out at the NRA HQ during his administration, which I’ve read is not unheard of for huge, complicated for-profit corporations?

      Another thought: if “Trump’s IRS” terminates the NRA with extreme prejudice before the election, which they’ll be very motivated to do and e.g. not put potatoes on the job like is implied by my first point, then….

      • Charlie Foxtrot says:

        I am pretty sure the NRA was never audited by the IRS. Otherwise, they would have found the apparent corruption and tax fraud that is going on. The NRA doesn’t even have documentation for services rendered by Ackerman McQueen, which would be required for any tax audit. Do you have any legitimate source about your claim?

        The IRS doesn’t “terminate” nonprofits. The IRS may indict individuals for tax fraud and may revoke the NRA’s tax exempt status. The NRA is incorporated in New York State and state regulators have the power to sanction board members, remove board members, disband the board, or close down the organization entirely.

        • H says:

          I just read Everytown’s complaint to the IRS (search for “2019.04.19-Everytown-Letter-to-IRS.pdf”, don’t want to trigger the filters), and the only issue a normal audit, IRS or other, would automatically find is transfers and a loan of money from the 501(c)(3) NRA Foundation to the 501(c)(4) NRA. Which are not axiomatically illegal.

          The related party transactions, AKA self-dealing, are insidious because “company A pays company B” doesn’t look abnormal unless you know an employee of company A owns company B. Further complicated by former President Pete Brownell, May 2017 to 2018, owning wholesaler Crow Shooting Supply which the NRA has been doing business with since 2008, he owning it since 2011 … and the President having no real power in the organization. (And, yes, he shouldn’t have taken the position.)

          The board Audit Committee retroactively signing off on stuff similarly wouldn’t be easily discovered, but “vague invoices” could be. That would also depend on the level of auditing, a normal financial audit spot checks those and other stuff on the books like bank accounts, the IRS might not have thought it worth the expense to do a total audit of every item on the off chance they’d find something serious.

          LaPierre’s “salary for life” arrangement is also something that wouldn’t normally be found. Everytown only mentions AckMac in passing, about the lawsuit and the bottom line of total payments, and there’s no question the NRA has legitimate PR requirements. Stuff like “lavish dinners ‘where wine was pouring freely, and [former NRA fundraiser Aaron Davis] going to dinners with other NRA executives where the bill would be a thousand dollars.'” would also not automatically be found.

          • Joe says:

            Sounds like Bloomberg is trying to bankrupt the NRA through reckless lawfare, and the State Government of New York seems to be joining in for that matter.

            Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPP Suits) need to be banned under a Federal Constitutional amendment.

            • H says:

              Read the complaint, there’s serious meat, on the whole it’s not “reckless lawfare”. The most obvious is the self-dealing, with NRA disclosures in required filings being “inadvertently” “omitted” or “excluded”. And while the AckMac relationship is only mentioned in passing, lots of us for decades have known and and been saying it was utterly corrupt, to the extreme detriment of the association’s ostensible purposes.

              We know LaPierre’s compensation reached unconscionable levels (not mentioned in the complaint), but that he’s arranged a “salary for life”, starting at his final base salary?? Jeff Knox commented at Ammoland that LaPierre and Chris Cox are only pulling in 7 figure salaries because of their insider status, “and would be hard-pressed to find employment in the $200 to $300k range as senior lobbyists in a DC firm, and wouldn’t even be considered for any sort of senior management positions.”

              Audit Committee backdating signoffs?? If you aren’t automatically repelled by the idea of doing something so white line criminal you have no business being in a leadership role. As many in the tech industry displayed in the stock options backdating scandal.

              And what’s up with Oliver North having a contract with AckMac? Since NRA TV is an AckMac production they’re off base complaining about Dana Loesch and Colion Noir having contracts with it, but how could it make sense for the figurehead, talking head President to be paid through your PR firm with it no doubt taking a cut?

              The NRA Foundation -> NRA money is not automatically illegal, but it’s certainly legitimate to question it. That the NRA is arguably reaching a point of financial and mismanagement collapse is actionable.

              The Board and executive management have a duty to not let that happen, and could have easily avoided it by doing things properly, like only doing Carry Guard with serious legal work and in coordination with the NRA’s existing stable of instructors. Or obviously by not doing it at all, especially in vicious competition with for-profit companies.

              Circling back to my first paragraph, we shouldn’t be surprised that there’s a great deal of real dirt to be found in the dealings of a Winning Team that uses physical violence in board meetings.

            • H says:

              This may get caught in the spam filter, but here’s the URL to the complaint, beware of the Bloomberg site hosting it of course: https://everytown.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/2019.04.19-Everytown-Letter-to-IRS.pdf

              • Joe says:

                All your points are well articulated, and I’m understanding the dirt here better.

                To be honest, the 2018 Elections here in Ohio didn’t produce a lot of grassroots election help, because if the NRA did, Sherrod Brown would’ve lost his 2018 Ohio Senate Election. We were very stretched out here in the Buckeye State, as Bloomberg dumped plenty of money on us getting Brown reelected. The Political Left in Ohio outspent the Right by an almost 5 to 1 margin.

                The Ohio Statewide Gun Groups, SAF, GOA, and Firearms Policy Coalition were much more instrumental in helping out with Ohio’s 2018 statewide elections. My NRA membership expires in June, and going forward, I have no plans to renew a membership for an organization that’s going to be forced to close up shop.

    • Joe says:

      Very comical, hypocritical, and symbolic of America’s 2-Tier Justice System. What is going on with Ack-Mack and the NRA is no different than what Bloomberg and his fellow Democrat Billionaire Donors do with their “charity” Slush Fund Groups. The 2017 Virginia Governor Election is the perfect example.

      “Everytown” and “Mayors Against Illegal Guns” took Bloomberg’s money and funneled it to other leftwing splinter-faction groups like Planned Parenthood, Black Lives Matter, Teacher’s Unions, and Amnesty Advocate Groups. Their Executive Managers (Shannon Watts, for example) are all millionaires. By doing this, Gun Control was kept under the Radar, and wasn’t a big issue in Virginia in their 2017 Election Cycle.

      Bloomberg and his Democrat Billionaire Donor friends are above the law though, as is the Political Left, entirely.

      • H says:

        What’s with this evidence free topic of money being funneled into other Left wing groups vs. people’s own pockets and pet causes pursued through an official entity like NRA TV? At worst, these comments are diversions from the topic. For the 2017 Virginia governor’s race, demographics and Ed Gillespie being a total swamp creature were almost certainly bigger factors than gun control, Leftist government and non-profit employees, and Latin American immigrants are socialist and anti-gun.

        While I agree with your general thesis of a multi-tier justice system, there’s at least 3 other tiers. Not particularly related to this discussion is the anarcho-tyrrany tier where Black Lives Matter mostly exists, obvious crimes that further the aims of the ruling class are not punished unless they get too notorious, and even then it’s mostly wrist slaps.

        Two relevant are entities who’s crimes have not come to the attention of the authorities, and ones that have, but because of perp’s status only get prosecuted when unavoidable. See Bernie Madoff after Great Recession prompted claims on his Ponzi scheme exceeded his ability to pay them, and Harvey Weinstein, who I bring up because when he was finally run to ground he made this bizarre statement, “I am going to need a place to channel that anger so I’ve decided that I’m going to give the NRA my full attention. I hope Wayne LaPierre will enjoy his retirement party.”

        I assume the NRA was unscathed for decades because anti-gunners didn’t know of its crimes due to the bubble of low energy media they live in, where the typical sophistication of reporting is “Orange Man Bad”. Or as Ben Rhodes put it in reference to his shepherding the Obama Iran deal, “All these newspapers used to have foreign bureaus,” he said. “Now they don’t. They call us to explain to them what’s happening in Moscow and Cairo. Most of the outlets are reporting on world events from Washington. The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns. That’s a sea change. They literally know nothing.”

        Weinstein obviously knows nothing about the NRA except that it and gun owners are bad, the latter is a class thing, and that he can get points for hating it. Maybe Bloomberg reporting like the New Yorker article is also an example, only seriously investigating after New York state came after Carry Guard with a rusty knife. He’s been the big dog with deep pockets for enough years that someone in one of its groups should have been tasked with it, but I’ll bet they saw the NRA as more a totem than something run by real, fallen human beings.

      • Alpheus says:

        To the degree that what you say is true, I can’t help but think that a counter-suit against Everytown is in order.

        Of course, I’m inclined to think that even if what you say is true, that Everytown is such a small operation, that they may have been able to minimize their exposure to such lawfare. It’s a lot easier to avoid scandal when you have a billion dollars to work with, and you could bring in your entire organization into your room and say “Hey, don’t do that!” Having said that, it would still be prudent to dig and see what we can come up with — lawfare is a two-way street, after all.

        Due to its sheer size, though, the NRA has enough moving parts that it would be easy to hide enough questionable activities — even activities that could bring the NRA down — within those parts. When you have a board of 76 members, and active chapters providing organization for training and events, it’s a lot easier to sneak in corruption here and there…

        Having said that, the NRA should have recognized their vulnerable position, and made steps to make sure that they had much more plausible deniability!

        • Charlie Foxtrot says:

          First of all, counter-suit against Everytown about what exactly? Is there any evidence of what is being alleged here is this discussion thread? NO!

          Technically, the NRA admitted with their own lawsuit against Ackerman McQueen that they have no documentation for paid services rendered by Ackerman McQueen, including for paying the NRA President Oliver North under the table (Factual Background Part D in the lawsuit https://www.scribd.com/document/406464507/NRA-v-Ackerman-McQueen). The Board of Directors was completely unaware of that. That alone could be considered federal tax fraud! Even without Everytown’s IRS complaint, the NRA was about to get audited by the IRS. I personally believe that the NRA knew that they had to report this to the IRS, so they filed a lawsuit against Ackerman McQueen instead.

          • Alpheus says:

            Joe is claiming that Everytown is illegally funneling money into other left-wing organizations. If what they are doing truly is illegal, then someone (perhaps even the NRA) should sue them, in the same way that Everytown is suing the NRA.

            I have a funny feeling, though, that this isn’t going to be as viable: between being a much smaller organization, and (probably) having good accountants and lawyers, there’s a *very* strong chance that they aren’t doing anything illegal. At least, nothing *obviously* illegal.

            In some ways, it’s resentment that Everytown is doing this — but I’m deeply annoyed, and a little ashamed, that the NRA opened themselves up to this kind of attack.

  12. Alpheus says:

    I can’t help but be afraid that this will kill the NRA altogether.

    Having said that, I also can’t help but wonder if we can’t build everything up out of the ashes, and pull together a stronger organization, that will continue to provide training and other services, but will also be better at defending our rights and getting a more focused message out to all political affiliations. (Well, maybe not an-caps like me, but then, I don’t expect an-caps to be influencing elections any time soon.)

    I can’t help but think that while Bloomberg and New York State may think they are slaying a dragon, they don’t realize that they are dealing with a hydra, and that we’ll come out stronger in the end after they do this to us….

    At the very least, this is what I *hope* we can do! It’s not going to be easy, though, by a long shot, but I don’t think it’s impossibly difficult to pull off, either.

    • Joe says:

      Your hopes are honest and shared by many like my self. The positive side of me holds your beliefs to the “T”, but let’s be real……Our hopes for the Gun Owning Community are the flip of a coin.

      The negative side of me sees the folding of the NRA at the force of Bloomberg and NYS in the equal manner in which Australian Prime Minister, John Howard destroyed Gun Owners and Gun Culture in Australia with the 1996 National Firearms Agreement. Gun Owners down under have thrown in the towel ever since.

      Here’s hoping the positives play out.

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