2020 NRA BoD Election, Jeff Knox Lists His Picks for Votes & NO Votes

Old NRA New NRA Maze
2020 NRA BoD Election, Jeff Knox Lists His Picks for Votes & NO Votes

USA – -(AmmoLand.com)- Each year I try to provide some guidance to NRA members wondering how to best utilize their votes in the election of members of the NRA Board of Directors. Usually, this entails calling for “bullet voting” for one or two good candidates in a sea of establishment “yes-people.” But this year is a bit different. Many of the problems that I’ve been reporting on and warning about for years, came to a head over the past year, proving that I was justified in my concerns, and demonstrating the serious dangers of having an overabundance of “yes-people” on the Board.

Thanks to a number of resignations from the Board over the past year, this year’s ballot involves 31 seats, rather than the 25 that are normally up for election. The Board is comprised of 75 3-year seats and one 1-year seat, for a total of 76, with 1/3 of the 3-year seats up for election by mail-in ballot each year, and the 76th seat elected by the members at the Annual Meeting.

The vast majority of the people listed on your ballot are current members of the Board running for reelection. That means that they are people who have either participated in, turned a blind eye toward, or been too distracted to notice the chicanery that’s been going on.

Of the “new” people on the ballot, only one is a true newcomer who wasn’t picked by the establishment to run. That is Frank Tait of Pennsylvania.

Frank who leaped into the spotlight at the Members’ Meeting in Indianapolis last year when he introduced a resolution calling for an accounting of the accusations of malfeasance and cronyism at members expense and called for a vote of “No Confidence” in Wayne LaPierre and members of the Executive, Audit, and Finance committees. The resolution was shut down in a parliamentary boondoggle, but Tait went on to launch a successful petition campaign to get his name on this year’s ballot.

Tait has since said some things that cause me some consternation, but I am standing by the endorsement I gave him during his petition drive.

The only other candidate to have been nominated by petition only is former Director John Cushman, who has served on the Board off and on for more than 20 years. I’m not sure what Cushman said or did to get himself rejected by the Nominating Committee after his long, loyal service, but I consider him to have been part of the problem, not part of the solution, so I am not endorsing him.

Of the other candidates nominated by the Nominating Committee, I see most of them as rubber-stamp candidates nominated to support LaPierre. One exception is Phillip Journey of Kansas. I’ve known Phil for many years and always found him to be a man of integrity and intellect, and I will be giving him a vote this year. I also like and respect Niger Innis of Nevada, with the hope that he will prove to be something of the man his father was. The final person I’m supporting in this category is James Wallace of Massachusetts. I worry that he might be too much of an insider, but I deeply respect the work he has done with the Gun Owners’ Action League deep behind enemy lines.

Along with the long-time Directors who I see as culpable in the NRA corruption, there are also several who are relatively new to the Board, having been elected in just the past couple of years. I’m giving several of them the benefit of the doubt and offering them my vote. This includes Anthony Colandro (Anthony is Endorsed by Ammoland News) of New Jersey, Mark Vaughn of Oklahoma, Mark Robinson of North Carolina, Robert Mansell of Arizona, Kevin Hogan of Illinois, and Paul Babaz of Georgia.

While there are a few Directors who have quietly expressed support for reform within the Association, “quietly” is the operative word, and I can’t in good conscience offer them my support.

There are also some candidates on the ballot who have been very active in defending LaPierre and helping to shut down dissent on the Board, with First Vice President Charles Cotton being one of their leaders.

NRA members can send a loud message to the Board and the powers that be, by rejecting Mr. Cotton’s bid for reelection, along with the bids of past presidents, Ron Schmeitz and Alan Cors. (Read Do NOT Vote for.)

The NRA is in deep trouble. I honestly expect indictments and financial sanctions to be coming down very soon from investigations being conducted by the New York and DC attorneys general and other agencies. All of these troubles tie directly back to Wayne LaPierre and the NRA Directors who allowed him to abuse his power so egregiously. If the Association can be saved, it’s going to require Directors willing to make hard decisions and stand firmly on principles. This ballot doesn’t offer a lot of hope for that, but we must do what we can with what we’ve got.

Candidates I Support:

  • Frank Tait of Pennsylvania
  • Phillip Journey of Kansas
  • Niger Innis of Nevada
  • James Wallace of Massachusetts
  • Anthony Colandro of New Jersey
  • Mark Vaughn of Oklahoma
  • Mark Robinson of North Carolina
  • Robert Mansell of Arizona
  • Kevin Hogan of Illinois
  • Paul Babaz of Georgia

Candidates I Oppose:

  • Charles Cotton of Texas
  • Ron Schmeitz of New Mexico
  • Alan Cors of Virginia

    In other NRA News, New York State Files Charges Against NRA related to Insurance Violations:

    The New York Department of Financial Services has filed a Statement of Charges against the NRA for “defined violations of insurance law,” and set a hearing date of April 6, 2020, just 10 days before the NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits.

    Note that this Statement of Charges only deals with insurance matters, not all of the other issues that have been being raised about the organization.

    I expect that this is only the first of several legal challenges that will be brought over the next several months.

    I’ll have more about this soon. In the meantime, you can read the Statement of Charges here.

    New State’s Statement of Charges Against NRA February 2020

2 thoughts on “2020 NRA BoD Election, Jeff Knox Lists His Picks for Votes & NO Votes”

  1. Mr. Jeff Knox re NRA BoD candidates for 2020
    A number of things in the bio’s of the candidates for the NRA BoD, bother me.
    One is the meaningless descriptions of their qualifications. Exactly what does it mean to be a passionate activist for Second Amendment issues? What does it mean to testify before various government bodies? Where does an “outspoken advocate for Second Amendment rights”, advocate and speak out? What have they actually accomplished? *I* do all those things but don’t claim they give me a place on the Board.
    Just saying them proves nothing. These are not statements of accomplishment.
    “Leader of delegation lobbying Congress” is doing something and can be checked, as well as any effectiveness of it. However, “Appearances before Congressional subcommittees” requires further evidence of the value, if any. I “appeared” before a committee of the government of the State of Wisconsin considering CCW. My name appears on the roles. However, after being one of the first to sign in and then being made to wait 14 hours, I left without ever having “appeared”. I can point to my name but it means nothing.
    Is a firearms collector, hunter and being a past member of a committee, a good candidate for fighting government infringement of the Second Amendment or for keeping the organization’s executive in check?
    Directors are supposed to direct. It is their duty to call for action and explanation for the members. Going silent because one has been ordered to is not serving the members and shows one to be unwilling to challenge authority. I’ve watched huge corporations fail because of board members who were more interested in stuffing their résumés than directing.
    Still, several people running for the first time or for reelection list some things of interest.
    Mr. Paul D. Babaz says he was co-chair of President Trump’s Second Amendment Coalition. While I am not dazzled by what they say, online, they have accomplished, they have shown merit.
    The Honorable Clel Baudler served in the Iowa House of representatives. He received the Iowa Defender of Freedom Award from the NRA/Iowa Sportsmen’s Federation. He championed Senate File 2397 through the Iowa General Assembly, a bill to change Iowa from a “may-issue” to a “shall-issue” state. He appears to me to have actually done something.
    The Honorable J. Kenneth Blackwell lists accomplishments that appear to give him merit.
    Mr. David Butz made commercials and appearances for NRA, parlaying his professional sports accomplishments into action. I would want to know whether he attends Board meetings.
    Mr. Anthony P. Colandro hosts a widely attended podcast, extending the reach of his influence.
    Mr. John L. Cushman says he created a legal fund to fight handgun licensing abuses.
    Mr. Richard Figueroa lists a number of activities which, if true, make him an active and likely effective advocate for the Second Amendment, and he is close to a minority segment of the country.
    In the résumés of a few others I read what appear to be actual accomplishments, not hollow self-praise.
    I agree that anyone who has been a Board Member during the past few years is suspect for having not taken action; not directing. I feel it behooves us to question each one and demand meaningful answers. Further, I demand to know what they will do if re/elected. Remaining silent is not satisfactory. If Board Members are being forced to sign legally-binding agreements for silence, or being sidelined or even dismissed from the Board, we must expect them to take the honorable route and resign without signing so they can speak.
    While I agree that we must not give our enemies the means to destroy us, it seems they already have a lot more information than we, the members, have.
    I am interested in your thoughts.

    1. The bios published in the magazines are all but useless. That’s one of the reasons so few members cast a ballot — typically only around 7% — because they just don’t feel they have enough information to make an informed decision. Some of the bios that sound very impressive, fall apart under closer scrutiny, while some that just sound like generic noise, are actually very impressive. I have long advocated for Board candidates to be included in an NRA-hosted forum-style site, where they can interact with members, answer questions, post opinion pieces, and generally help members to get to know them better. I’ve advocated for a similar “members only” forum for the sitting Board of Directors, to allow members to question Directors and lobby them on particular issues. These suggestions have always been dismissed by the Board and Staff.
      As to secrecy, there are aspects of being a Director that absolutely require confidentiality, and it is reasonable for the Board or a committee to go into Executive Session to discuss such matters, and reasonable for them to enforce confidentiality of Executive Sessions. What is not reasonable, is for them to use Executive Sessions to hide everything they are doing from the members, with the only rationale for going into Executive Session being to avoid any public sense of disunity. At the Board meeting in Indianapolis, the Board went into Executive Session almost immediately after convening, and remained that way until adjournment. Conducting election of officers behind closed doors, is unconscionable. Directors can call for the meeting to be moved back out of Executive Session at any time, but they would be placing a bullseye on their own forehead by doing so against the will of the “establishment,” as would any Director who voted with them to make the meeting public. For too many of these Directors, being on the NRA BoD is their greatest accomplishment and highest honor. They are not willing to risk that for some minor matter of procedure or other defiance of the authority of the establishment Board leadership. Some would like to change the status quo, but believe that they would be pushed off of the Board and lose the ability to have any positive effect, so they bide their time, keep their mouths shut, and wait for that perfect moment when they will be able to make a real difference — and that perfect moment never comes.
      I honestly don’t think it’s going to matter much soon, as I think the AG of NY is going to tear the place down. We might be able to rebuild it over time, but I think Wayne and company have already killed it, and are just riding it into the ground because they don’t know what else to do.

Comments are closed.