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NRA Elections – The Reality

I tried to leave a comment, but it seems WordPress.com is acting up and wouldn’t accept it. Therefore, NRAinDanger writer, I’m responding here and may be able to generate some additional feedback.

“…getting on the ballot by petition is impossible…”

I agree with much of the post, but I very much disagree with this. The reality of it is that if a candidate can’t find the needed signatures of people who can vote, then they can’t make it on the board.

I saw that Frank Tait fell short on signatures largely due to people who said they could vote, but really could not. This isn’t surprising if you know how many people think they are NRA members who really aren’t, and a huge percentage of NRA members probably believe they are entitled to a vote when they really aren’t. And that’s a really important measure for getting actual votes cast, too. It’s a hurdle everyone must overcome, so I don’t really consider it a true roadblock to reform.

This year’s class of board members up is interesting statistically. They have had both the biggest difference between “last winner” and “first loser” in a decade plus of records (3,024 vote difference in 2018) and the 2nd and 3rd smallest differences (just 356 in 2012; only 417 in 2015). Based on my records of tracking organization voter participation, this class is also among the lowest of valid votes cast in the cycles. There aren’t really any Baby Boomer celebrities on the ballot to drive turnout.

Realistically, to get on the board, a petition candidate needs to find new votes. Chatting online largely doesn’t reach the thousands you need to find to convince to bullet vote. If they are already on a forum talking about reforming NRA, chances are they were already voting that way. Because it’s not just about getting reformers on, but also about getting problem people off.

I know it won’t happen, but could you imagine if Carolyn Meadows wasn’t elected by the membership? She’s up this year. Or David Coy or Joel Friedman, named to this committee to move NRA away from its most important functions? Also up this year.

While there is a system to replace all of those people, can you imagine the headache of trying to conduct business where they have to find the replacements and then get them caught up to speed on what is likely a very, very secretive process largely withheld from the Board & members? Hell, I know that the elected members get updates during the election period and fret very much like junior high girls in a popularity contest about how they are placing compared to others. Just make them sweat by boosting – radically – the number of votes just for Owen Buz Mills as the only nominee who joined Journey’s case and you can make a statement even without a petition candidate.

Is it tough to get on the board if not blessed by Wayne? Yes. But someone who can’t get 500-600 signatures of valid voters definitely isn’t going to get the 70,935+ votes that the last winner received in the last election for this board class. Definitely not impossible, though.

UPDATE: I just had an additional thought based on the links auto generated to be most related to this post. Coy and Friedman have, in the last decade, been among those incumbent Nominating Committee board members to lose. Honestly, even getting them out and replacing them with no show board members who would turn down committee assignments and such work might be a help to cause headaches and slow this march to dissolution or irrelevancy that Wayne is setting up. Although, given that 2 of the 5 votes on this committee are board members who are a) up for election, and b) past losers in their election races, I think it’s safe to say that Cotton & Lee are the only votes that matter on that committee. Regardless, more people eventually appointed and it does slow them down.

6 Responses to “NRA Elections – The Reality”

  1. Andy B. says:

    This is a good, rigorous analysis of problems related to candidates getting on the NRA board, but is any of it relevant to the more fundamental board problems identified in the Human Factors in NRA Troubles thread?

  2. David says:

    I’m a life member. Any chance of a refund!?

    • Bitter says:

      No. And there’s no point in ending your membership. You can’t vote or be part of any effort for change if you’re not a member.

      However, one of the best ways to make your opinions known outside of elections and the member meeting is anytime they contact you about donations, respond that they won’t see another dime until Wayne LaPierre is fired.

      • Andy B. says:

        “respond that they won’t see another dime until Wayne LaPierre is fired.”

        I’ll first apologize for repeating myself, but I see a tactic taking root, to persuade as many people as possible that WLP was a boogeyman acting alone, everything wrong with the NRA can be laid at his feet, and that as soon as he’s gone everything will be hunky-dory, or at least 95 percent fixed.

        I think that tactic is directed equally to pro-gun and anti-gun factions, and that it is hoped anti-gunners will stand down with some sense of “victory” as soon as LaPierre is gone, while pro-gunners will immediately dust off those pent-up checkbooks.

        I will confine myself to saying, I don’t believe WLP is the lone problem, and I believe the real problems are much more widespread and complex than that.

  3. Dannytheman says:

    I don’t speak for Frank Tait, however he lost opportunities this year with Covid knocking out SHOTshow and other huge events to get signatures. Oaks gun show, many NRA shooting events were canceled.
    I am writing in one name.
    Bullet vote like your organization depends on it.
    Send Frank to the board. He is only one man, but it would be a start.

    Frank C Tait
    Wayne PA

    Let’s start it here.

    • Bitter says:

      I will likely do that, though I will admit that I’ve had some conversations with others about opportunities he did have that were missed due to lack of outreach rather than COVID. That’s not a knock completely against him or his campaign, but I think that numerous failed campaigns by multiple people who have tried that route have shown it’s not really working to win.

      If there’s a serious move for the next round of petition gathering, let’s have a chat and discuss another campaign strategy that might bring some new votes in.

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