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We're going to get to the latest installment of Battlestar Gunlandia in a minute. But first, get a load of this house that NRA Grand Pooh Bah Wayne LaPierre wanted to purchase on the company dime. No really, darling, you must. It's simply the finest fake French Country chateau plastered in toile and plunked next to a golf course and a manmade "lake" in Dallas that an arriviste with $5 million and zero taste can buy. Or maybe not since the deal fell through and it's been on the market for more than a year. Call now, and this masterpiece could be all yours!

It's not entirely clear why the LaPierres never closed on Stately Wayne Manor, although it wasn't because the master suite's closets were too small or the previous owner failed to leave the golf cart. Susan LaPierre had gotten over that part, and the Wall Street Journal reports that the NRA had wired $70,000 for the purchase into an account controlled by its longtime advertiser Ackerman McQueen. But then something went wrong and poor Wayne and Susan had to stay in their giant house in Virginia when they weren't traveling to the Bahamas or Italy at the NRA's expense. Oh, it breaks your heart to see it!


JUST KIDDING.

Ackerman and the NRA are currently tearing off great chunks of each other in court which is probably too good for people who spent the past 50 years turning the United States into the O.K. Corral. But we have learned quite a lot about all the expensive perks Wayne kept off the NRA's charitable books by routing them through Ackerman and rechristening them as media expenses. If we had to hazard a guess, that's what was going on with this house that the LaPierre's tried to get their hot little hands on in 2018 when the NRA's finances were already going to shit. But it's only a guess because there are three versions of this story. So let's have a choose your own adventure, and you can vote in the comments for which one is likeliest.

Version 1: Wayne Needed a Safe House to Protect Him From Skeery Shannon Watts and Her Band of Ninja Assassin Mommies

In the wake of the Parkland school shooting tragedy last year, LaPierre proposed arming teachers and described gun control advocates as "elites [who] don't care not one whit about America's school system and school children." After which, he surmised (perhaps correctly) that some people might want him dead. And while a nearsighted algebra teacher with a sidearm is enough protection for a middle schooler, Wayne and the Missus needed a little more insulation. Hence the 10,000 square foot mansion in Texas with two cars and a golf course membership, which the NRA should cover natch. The Washington Post reports that the couple rejected "an upscale high rise in Dallas with numerous security features" in favor of a giant house with dozens of windows and an outdoor swimming pool on 1.5 acres facing a golf course. You know, for safety!

The couple had visited the house twice, Susan had submitted her punch list on May 21, the NRA had wired the $70,000 earnest money and then .... ????

Version 2: Ackerman McQueen Was Looking For an Investment Property, But Those Upstanding Stalwarts at the NRA Put the Kibosh On It

Don't laugh! It could be true. (Spoiler Alert...) An NRA spokesperson told the Journal that Angus McQueen, who was then CEO of Ackerman, wanted to buy the property as an investment for senior firm executives and rent it out to the LaPierres. But when Saintly Wayne got wind of it, he said NOT ON MY HONOR, YOU FILTHY SWINE!

"The deal was vetoed by the NRA after its full terms—including Ackerman's intent to spend NRA money—became known to Wayne LaPierre," said William A. Brewer III, an outside NRA attorney. "Not a cent of NRA money was ultimately spent. Any suggestion to the contrary is untrue."

Angus McQueen could not be reached for comment, as he died last month. Which is mighty inconvenient for his family, but mighty convenient for anyone who'd like to pin this whole hinky house business on him. Unless you're Bill Brewer, the NRA's lawyer, in which case, it's both, because Brewer is married to Angus McQueen's daughter.

Version 3: Wayne Was Trying to Scam Himself a Mansion, But Those Paragons of Ethics at the Ackerman McQueen Theological Seminary Put a Stop to It In Jesus Name AMEN

Yet another set of sources told the Journal that sainted Angus McQueen, who'd been paying LaPierre's credit card bills, travel expenses, and rent for his intern through the ad agency for a decade, was shocked, SHOCKED to find gambling going on in this establishment.

It was Mr. McQueen who pulled the plug on the arrangement, this person said, after learning more about the deal, including that Mr. LaPierre wanted a membership at the exclusive Vaquero golf club adjacent to the mansion. That made him doubt that security was the real aim, this person said.

McQueen insisted that the $70,000 be returned immediately, and it was then that he suddenly realized Mr. LaPierre was not the upstanding gentlemen he'd taken him to be when he parked the NRA's then-president Oliver North at the agency for a seven-figure contract to compensate him for the money he could no longer take from Fox as the leader of a public charity.

"In fact, Mr. LaPierre's actions in this regard led to Ackerman McQueen's loss of faith in Mr. LaPierre's decision-making," a spokesman told the Journal.

They're Super Villains, But Also ... Total Fucking Idiots?

Yes, yes they are. We'll have to let New York's Attorney General Letitia James sort it out. The Post reports that her office is investigating the real estate transaction along with every other piece of paper this "charity" ever filed. Lotsa luck 'splaining why the NRA head "needed" a golf course McMansion for "safety reasons." These assholes ought to get on their knees like a common Mike Pence and thank White Jesus this insane grift never went through.

Okay, enough of these gross people. BLECH.

[WSJ / WaPo / WaPo, again]

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Liz Dye

Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.

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