Tag Archives: LaPierre

NRA Board Election Endorsements for 2021 ~ Including Who NOT to Vote For

If you are a Voting Member of the National Rifle Association, you should have received your ballot for this year’s NRA Director elections. The ballots are primarily distributed as an insert in your NRA magazine (the June/July edition), or for those who don’t receive a physical magazine, your ballot should be mailed as a stand-alone piece.

Only Life Members and Annual Member who have maintained their membership for 5 consecutive years, are eligible to vote.

Due to the pandemic, the schedule got twisted in a way that made it impossible for any petition candidates to qualify for the 2021 ballot. That’s likely to happen again next year. The Nominating Committee could have made accommodations for the unusual circumstances, but moved on in business-as-usual fashion, disregarding the Bylaws and the concerns of the members. I’m particularly disappointed in Bob Barr, who chaired the Nominating Committee last year, as once again, the most important factor in whether someone received a nomination, appears to have been whether they are likely to support Wayne LaPierre and the current leadership.

On your ballot, you have 28 candidates to fill 25 seats. Note that although you can vote for up to 25 names, you are not obligated to vote for that number. Voting for less than 25 amounts to a vote against the other candidates.

Most of the candidates offered are current members of the Board, and almost all of those will be reelected, just because the majority of Voting Members who bother to vote, routinely vote for incumbents first.

I am endorsing only two candidates whose names appear on the ballot:

  • Owen Buz Mills of Paulden, Arizona, and James Tomes of Wadesville, Indiana. Buz Mills is the owner of Gun Site Academy, and has long been active in Arizona politics, including a run for governor.
  • Jim Tomes is the founder of a solid 2A group in Indiana, and served several years in the Indiana Senate. I’ve known him for many years and know him to be a man of humility and integrity.

Those are the only names on the ballot I can endorse. I encourage you to mark your ballot for only those two and no one else, then turn the ballot over and write in the following three names:

  • Frank C. Tait of Wayne, PA
  • R.B. Rocky Marshall of Boerne, TX
  • Duane Liptak, Jr. of Austin, TX

As usual, the ballot includes a share of people whose policy positions have earned my direct opposition. At the top of the Don’t Vote For list is current Board President Carolyn Meadows of Marietta, Georgia who is one of Wayne LaPierre’s biggest enablers. Mrs. Meadows has the support of the American Conservative Union [a hot-bed of RINO Republicans] and historically has easily won her seat, coming in 4th or 5th in the balloting each time she runs. I have no illusions that I can block her reelection, but I want my opposition on the record.

Another American Conservative Union-associated candidate on the ballot is Past President David Keene of Fort Washington, Maryland. Mr. Keene has also been an outspoken supporter of LaPierre and company, and much of the financial chicanery that has put the NRA in such a precarious position happened during his presidency. Since his terms as President, Mr. Keene has been receiving some $50k per year to attend Friends of NRA Banquets. What dedication! By sheer coincidence, an article penned by Mr. Keene happens to be included in the magazines, just after the ballots. Between his support from the ACU and his name and picture being prominently placed next to the ballot in the magazines, it’s again, highly unlikely that we can block his reelection, but tell your friends, he doesn’t deserve your vote.

The final candidate I’m actively opposing is Scott Bach of Newfoundland, New Jersey. I have endorsed Mr. Bach in the past, but his dogged defense of LaPierre has earned my opposition. Mr. Bach was one of the first members of the Board to publicly come out in support of LaPierre after the revelations that were published in the New Yorker in early 2019. In an article in Ammoland Shooting Sports News, he explained that it was LaPierre who discovered the “problems” in the NRA, and made the necessary “course corrections” to “right the ship.” What Mr. Bach failed to explain is why it took LaPierre over 20 years to notice the exact “problems” that he went to war with Neal Knox to preserve in 1997, but has supposedly corrected now, and that well after the “course corrections,” LaPierre and others, including scandal-ridden former Treasurer Woody Phillips, and shameless self-promoter Marion Hammer, received massive “golden parachute” contracts promising them millions in future “consulting” payments. He also failed to explain why the NRA has continued to pay Democrat attorney William Brewer over $2 million per month, after LaPierre repeatedly declared that Brewer was “the only one who can keep me out of jail.”

NRA Board Election Ballot 2021
NRA Board Election Ballot 2021

There are several others on the ballot who I really don’t think belong on the NRA Board of Directors, but the truth is, the seats are going to be filled. For the sake of ease of sharing, I’ll leave the Don’t Vote For list at just these three: Meadows, Keene, and Bach.

The candidates elected in this election will be seated at the Members’ Meeting in Houston on September 4 2021. They will then join the other 50 Directors at a Board of Directors meeting in Houston on Monday September 6, at which time the President, 1st VP, 2nd VP, and Executive Vice President will all be elected. Historically, the Nominating Committee simply puts forward a slate of the incumbents, and no one else is nominated, so the slate is “elected by acclamation.” That’s what happened in Indianapolis in 2019, and in Tucson in 2020, and that’s what they want to happen in Houston in 2021.

This year, we intend to offer a full slate of alternative candidates to challenge the incumbents, but we need your help to make those efforts successful.

We need you to be actively lobbying every current and potential future member of the Board, demanding that they stop the lies and corruption, and return the Association to the members. There are only about 15 Directors who are completely in the tank for LaPierre and company, and about an equal number who are very troubled by the current regime and the situation they’ve created. The rest just sort of follow the path of least resistance, so it’s critical that you pressure them to stop spending the NRA’s resources on protection of LaPierre, and start focusing on protection of the NRA.

Here are some questions to ask current NRA Board Members:

  1. Do you believe Wayne LaPierre’s continued employment by NRA helps or hurts the organization and its mission?
  2. Do you believe Wayne LaPierre’s continued employment by NRA helps or hurts the NRA’s case in NY?
  3. Who do you think would make a reasonable candidate for Interim EVP, to realign the NRA, if LaPierre were to resign tomorrow? Give two options please.
  4. Can you suggest two names of current Directors who you could/would support for President of the Board?
  5. Can you suggest two names of Directors who you could/would support for 1st VP of the Board?
  6. Can you suggest two names of Directors who you could/would support for 2nd VP of the Board?

Don’t let them skirt around these simple questions – get answers.

Remind these Directors that their first loyalty is supposed to be to the Association and its members, not any one man or leadership team. If Wayne LaPierre really cared about the Association, he’d have resigned, just to avoid being any sort of obstacle to NRA’s future success, whether he had done anything wrong or not. If Directors were thinking about the good of the Association first, they’d have demanded LaPierre’s resignation, and elected someone to replace him in Indianapolis in 2019, rather than circling the wagons around him and spending tens of millions defending him over the best interests of the Association for the past two years.

The final lobbying effort comes in Houston at the Members’ Meeting, where we need to turn out in droves to demand that the Board do what they should have done over two years ago, and elect someone with an untarnished record to lead the Association’s defense in the New York case, and on to restoration of the Association.

It’s up to you. I’m just a gnat buzzing around the Board’s ears. You’re who they’re supposed to be working for. If you don’t push them between now and September to do what’s right, then show up in Houston on September 4, to demand that they take action, then the battle is lost – possibly forever, as Letitia James has said she intends to resume the case against NRA and LaPierre early next year.

Houston in September could very well be our last opportunity to right the ship and save the NRA, so now is the time to lobby your Directors and stand up for your Association.

Please share this article with all of your NRA member friends. We need everyone working together on this.

What No One On The NRA Board Of Directors Is Saying

Amid the claims and counter-claims, suits and counter-suits, and all of the other nonsense swirling around the National Rifle Association these days, something significant has been missing.

While our new NRA brass like President Meadows, Vice President Cotton, Vice President Lee, and directors like Marion Hammer, Tom King, and Joel Friedman have repeatedly told us that everything that Wayne and his cohorts have done was “reviewed, vetted, and approved,” what none of them, nor any other member of the board has said, is “I knew all about that, examined it, and approved it before it was done.”

They all seem happy to insist that there’s nothing to see here, so move along, and anyone asking questions is a traitor to the cause. The NRA leadership insists collectively that “the board knew,” and “the board approved” things…. But so far no one has stepped up to claim personal, direct knowledge or responsibility for what has been going on, nor have they explained exactly what it was that was “reviewed, vetted, and approved.”

Is President Meadows saying that she knew about and approved payment of over $4,000 per month for a luxury apartment for an intern? Was Vice President Cotton personally aware of and did he approve Wayne LaPierre buying $30,000 worth of clothing – on our tab – from a swanky, Beverly Hills clothing store in one day? Did Vice President Lee directly approve LaPierre’s $274,000 shopping sprees from that same-store over a period of years?

If they knew about it and approved it, why wasn’t it reported on the Association’s tax forms as compensation to LaPierre? And since it apparently was not reported as required by law, are those directors who vetted and approved all of that, ready to pay the penalties out of their own pockets?

Are NRA officials saying that they personally “reviewed, vetted, and approved” payments from the NRA Foundation to charities that have nothing to do with firearms or firearms education, in violation of the Foundation’s charter? Are they saying that they personally “reviewed, vetted, and approved” having NRA executives and their spouses working for, and receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars from NRA vendors? Are they saying that they have personally “reviewed, vetted, and approved” the details of the services and payments being made to attorney William Brewer and his firm?

At the same time that the above-mentioned officers and directors have been telling us that “the board knew all about these things” and that “the board reviewed, vetted, and approved” everything. At least a dozen different members of the board have told me personally that they didn’t know anything about a wide variety of the activities that were going on at headquarters. Or that they have not seen any detailed explanation as to what precisely the NRA is getting for the 2 million dollars a month, or so, that NRA is paying to the Brewer law firm. Those directors who have had the temerity to ask to see any of that information have been called “unprofessional,” been denied committee assignments, and been threatened that they won’t be renominated by the Nominating Committee.

Just a few months ago, President Meadows herself, signed onto a letter demanding a comprehensive review of Brewer’s invoices and services, but now she is punishing and marginalizing any director who dares to ask for that same information. Since her election, she has insisted that every director has always had full access to all of the information on everything going on at the NRA and within the various committees and that if they don’t know something, it’s their own fault for being lazy or incompetent. But then she and her cohorts in leadership, punish and publicly chastise any director who asks for more information.

The argument now appears to be that certain directors can’t be given access to certain, “highly sensitive” information, because those directors aren’t trustworthy and might be secretly working for an enemy of the Association. Meanwhile, the criteria to determine who is worthy of trust is whether they are asking questions or requesting more information.

How’s that for a Catch-22?

Many NRA members have been challenging directors with uncomfortable questions over the past couple of months, primarily whether the director supports replacing Wayne LaPierre as Executive Vice President. That’s a good question, but it leaves lots of weasel room. Better questions would be things like:

“Did you personally know about and approve paying Wayne LaPierre an extra $274,000 under the table, for Italian suits, on top of his $1.4 million compensation package and expense account?”

“Have you personally reviewed the work and working agreement for William Brewer and approved paying his firm $100,000 per day?”

“Do you support stripping committee assignments from board members who ask questions about how the Association’s resources are being spent?”

Actually, NRA directors should be asking themselves these questions, and they should be paying their own lawyers to ask them too and help them formulate some excellent answers because it’s looking like they are about to be asked by other lawyers – in court.

A group of NRA members, lead by well-healed NRA donor David Dell’Aquila, has launched a plan to return transparency and accountability to the NRA. They started by withholding funds and pledged donations in the millions of dollars. Now they’ve published a report card grading directors’ performance, along with a letter strongly suggesting that directors have only a narrow window in which to demonstrate that their loyalty lies with the NRA membership, not with any individual or group within the board or the staff.

It seems pretty clear to me that Dell’Aquila and his group are planning to file suits against individual directors for failing to fulfill their fiduciary obligations to the members. Even though the NRA maintains an exorbitant amount of liability insurance for directors, New York law allows individual directors to be held accountable if they are negligent or corrupt in the performance of their duties.

This should be causing some serious concern for those directors who have just been going along to get along, and even more for those that have been riding the gravy train.


A brief disclaimer:

Some 23 years ago, my father tried to correct a problem he saw growing within the NRA, and he failed. He was pushed out of the leadership of the organization and eventually dropped from the board. I have some hard feelings about that, but I try very hard not to let my personal feelings shade my judgment or my reporting. For me, as it was for my father, the critical issue is that the NRA be strong, effective, and true to the principles of the Bill of Rights.

Each time I write one of these articles reporting on issues inside the NRA, I am accused of squeezing sour grapes and grinding my dad’s old ax. I’ve also been accused of “attacking the NRA” for my own financial gain.

FirearmsCoalition.org
FirearmsCoalition.org

It’s reasonable to believe that my own experience and feelings might color my view of the happenings within the NRA, and it’s reasonable to take my reporting with that grain of salt. If you see some fact that is incomplete, or that might be interpreted in a different, less negative light, perhaps that’s my bias showing through, but please don’t discount the facts. Do your own research, and if you ever find that I’m unfair or inaccurate, please provide details in the comment section.

As to me benefiting financially off of my “NRA bashing,” I sure wish that were true because I could use the money. The reality is that I get paid very little for my articles, and typically see a bump in contributions to my organization of about $40 to $100 dollars whenever I publish one of these pieces. That’s nice, but it’s not going to pay for a new Italian suit. I’m pretty sure that GOA and SAF get significantly more financial support from the readers at Ammoland.com than The Firearms Coalition does, as is typically evident in the comment section, where there is invariably a slew of comments saying something like; “Jeff’s right. I’m sending my donations to GOA.” Or SAF. Or FPC….

I feed my family with the words I write, but I don’t write for the money. I write for the cause.