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