NRA Accidentally Sends Wayne LaPierre's Credit Card Bills To Ad Company. BY ACCIDENT!
These gun nuts do not play nice! In the run-up to the NRA's April 29 board meeting, then-president Oliver North teamed up with the gunhumpers' longtime advertising company Ackerman McQueen (AMc) to attempt a putsch. They threatened to release damaging info about the NRA's finances if Wayne LaPierre didn't quitfire himself immediately as CEO. Except Wayne called Ollie's bluff, the board stuck by him even after AMc pulled the trigger and sent them the dirt, and Ollie was immediately replaced with Carolyn Meadows, Your Confederate Granny.
But all has not returned to normal in Ammoland. In fact nothing has been normal since the NRA sued Ackerman McQueen to force it to account for all the money it spent -- $42 million in 2017 alone. Last summer, the NRA bigwigs had a come to white Jesus moment and finally grokked that the State of New York was for serious going to eat their lunch if they didn't get their books in order. They had made one or twelve little ooopsies and failed to disclose millions of dollars in payments to board members and their families, or (since the NRA is a "nonprofit) that would be "related party transactions" in IRS-speak. So the organization resolved to turn over a new leaf and get square before New York Attorney General Letitia James dropped the hammer. But, for some reason, AMc flatly refused to give an accounting of its spending, most particularly how much it paid Oliver North -- remember, then the NRA president -- to appear on NRATV.
This weekend, the Wall Street Journal got its hands on some of the info AMc sent to NRA board members in last month's fucktussle. Seems that in 2014, Ackerman McQueen gave Ol' Wayne an AmEx card, and he used that card A LOT.
At your request, we issued you an American Express card and agreed to the travel fee from II&IS. Both with the intent to keep your business travel confidential and secure. Due to your demands in the lawsuit, we are notifying you that you have failed to provide written approvals, receipts, and other support for expenses related to your travel, etc. Thus it is imperative that you provide this information timely so that we may comply with your requests for information. Please be reminded that these actions were taken expressly upon your demand.
Translation: Asshole, you know you've been hiding hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of charter flights and designer suits on our books. If you make us cough up our shit, yours is coming out, too.
And, indeed, it is coming out. Will NRA donors be delighted to find out that LaPierre billed the "advertising" company $39,000 for clothes at Zegna in Beverly Hills on one day in 2015, and $21,080 for another spree in 2017? Will they be only too happy to foot the bill for $110,000 in charter flights in January of 2013 alone? The NRA has been crying poor and recently axed free coffee for employees, but who could argue with paying $4,500/month in rent for Wayne's summer intern?
"It is troubling and pathetic that some people would resort to leaking information to advance their agendas," Meemaw Meadows told the the WSJ. Some might counter that a public charity exchanges its right to financial secrecy for tax-exempt status, that it's kind of the deal you strike with the IRS. But the NRA's lawyer William Brewer -- the one whose father-in-law and brother-in-law work at AMc -- had a perfectly good explanation.
An NRA attorney, William A. Brewer III, previously has said the vast majority of Mr. LaPierre's travel expenses charged to the ad firm were for "donor outreach, fundraising and stakeholder engagement" and were being reviewed by the board. The NRA also has said Mr. LaPierre's clothing expenses were justified due to his many public appearances.
Those are all words. They have nothing to do with why the PR firm paid the bills for LaPierre's travel and clothing, but ... you tried. Let's take a wild shot in the dark that Wayne's AMc credit card has more to do with this here chart than whatever nonsense Brewer is arglebargling.
Via Charity Watch
The holy grail of charities is to make that red slice of the pie as little as possible so that you can brag to donors that over 80 percent of their contribution goes to programming -- in this case, turning the entire country into a shooting gallery -- and isn't being sucked up by the charity's employees. And your FDF may think it's a stupid metric which incentivizes poverty wages and high staff turnover at non-profits, but that's neither here nor there. Charities live or die by this chart, and it gives them every reason in the world to, say, bury inconvenient details about the CEO's bloated clothing and travel allowance in the blue piece and call it "donor outreach, fundraising and stakeholder engagement." You know, hypothetically speaking. (Incidentally, if anyone wants to take a crack at the 990 and see if you can find those transactions, have at it!)
Don't worry, boys. We're sure Ms. James will go easy on you. Just send Granny Gun out there to talk about how easy it is for black women to get elected these days. It will all be just fine.
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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.