New York AG Letitia James Accepts NRA Offer To Pry It From Their Cold Dead Hands
Forget your dragon porn. The real action was in Indianapolis at the annual Gunhumpers and Notracistbutters Jamboree. Trouble's been brewing in Ammoland, with the NRA suing its longtime advertising company Ackerman McQueen to get an accounting of how exactly AMc is spending $40 million a year, most particularly how much it pays NRA President Oliver North.
But after dark, it turned into an episode of HeeHaw on moonshine. Friday night, news broke that North had tried to force out the organization's longtime CEO Wayne LaPierre. According to a letter from LaPierre published in the Wall Street Journal, North called up NRA headquarters and said Wayne needed to resign and pull the lawsuit, or else AMc was going to "smear" him with stories of financial impropriety and sexual harassment allegations against a member of his staff. It was DELICIOUS, and we came in on Saturday to write it for you. So read it, why dontcha!
Essentially, the NRA has finally grokked that the IRS and New York financial regulators are not fucking kidding around. When they say you have to disclose all your related party transactions -- that is, members of your board who are getting NRAbux through a vendor or other side deal -- they actually mean it. Which puts the NRA in a pickle, since there are A LOT of board members and their relatives selling their services to the NRA or getting paid by AMc. But when the NRA asked AMc to fess up to all the related parties on their books, all they got was two middle fingers. Which you cannot put on your tax return -- no, not even if you are Donald Trump's biggest fan. So then Ollie "Contra Scam" North tried to stage a palace putsch against Prince LaPierre. PEW PEW!
Please treat yo'self to the best Twitter thread EVER as NPR's Tim Mak narrated the meeting Saturday.
Oliver North will not stand for reelection as president "There is a clear crisis" at the NRA regarding financial a… https://t.co/rpjUtdnkLr— Tim Mak (@Tim Mak) 1556374474.0
Put that shit right in our veins, baby! North resigned, warning of a crisis of leadership that threatened the NRA's tax-exempt non-profit status. Which supplied Twitter with many larfs about the NRA being too corrupt and dirty for Oliver North LOL! -- except the nexus of the fuckery seems to be North's employer AMc, authors of that arguably extortionate Dear Wayne letter. So when Ollie is warning about scary related party transactions coming to devour your non-profit status, the call is coming from inside the house.
But back to the NRA Funtimes party! Here, have a video of NRA Vice President Richard Childress modeling the Just For Men Strom Thurmond Collection as he read North's letter to the assembled gun goons.
BREAKING: @NRA Board member reads a letter from Oliver North saying he has been forced out of the organization due… https://t.co/ibpRKkFa5U— Shannon Watts (@Shannon Watts) 1556375181.0
Then there was a motion to oust LaPierre, which OG Marion Hammer (you can thank her for all those stand your ground laws in Florida) managed to get deferred to a discussion at the NRA board meeting on Monday. Oh, hey, that's today!
But wait, there's more! Because on Sunday the New York Times broke the news that the New York Attorney General has launched an investigation of the NRA's finances and subpoenaed some of its vendors. Gosh, wonder who that could be?
"The Office of New York State Attorney General Letitia James has launched an investigation related to the National Rifle Association (NRA)," a spokesperson for the attorney general told NPR. "As part of this investigation, the Attorney General has issued subpoenas. We will not have further comment at this time."
The NRA has received a document preservation notice in connection with the investigation being undertaken by the New York attorney general, according to a source familiar with the matter.
The NRA responded to the announcement of the investigation by pledging its cooperation.
"The NRA will fully cooperate with any inquiry into its finances," said William A. Brewer III, an outside lawyer for the NRA. "The NRA is prepared for this, and has full confidence in its accounting practices and commitment to good governance."
Hahaha, wouldn't it be hilarious if William Brewer's brother-in-law and father-in-law worked at Ackerman McQueen? Wouldn't it be just the best metaphor for two corrupt organizations hopelessly entangled in their own web of grift and self-dealing? Oh, wait, they do.
But perhaps you are wondering if the NRA can just magic this problem away by relocating to Wingnutistan where the local AG won't bother with those annoying financial disclosures. Luckily Tim Mak is a one-stop-shop for all your NRA Schadenfreude needs.
Thirdly, in New York in particular: "You need approval of the AG before transferring the assets and dissolving fo… https://t.co/F3lFaYuoBH— Tim Mak (@Tim Mak) 1556408846.0
First of all, doing one dollar of business in New York -- or having one donor who is a resident of the state -- subjects the NRA to New York jurisdiction. Second of all, you can't escape New York because that's where we keep all the banks and insurance companies. Third of all, nice try, gunhumpers, Ms. James will see you in court.
What happens when the NRA meets today is anyone's guess. Any rational organization would give Ol' Wayne the boot, since he's the one who signed off on board members making all those side deals with the "charity" and then forgot to disclose 'em to the IRS and the state of New York. But this is not a rational organization. It's a coven of Deathstick Merchants who hoovered up cash from the rubes for decades and may not want to go cold turkey, even with Letitia James banging down the door. Should be a battle for the ages in that boardroom.
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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.