NRA Having Just A Terrible Time, Isn't That Sad?
Pity poor Wayne LaPierre! The guy just wants to flog murder machines and watch the cash roll in, and he keeps getting dragged into stupid bullshit. The then National Rifle Association president only got paid $1.5 million in 2017, and that is not nearly enough to compensate him for having to clean up every time that Loesch woman sticks a Klan hood on a cartoon train. The NRA is supposed to be a cash cow, that keeps up a steady hoofbeat of fear, while quietly making its leadership very, very fat. It's not supposed to be the attack dog for a modern day red scare that calls grieving mothers "tragedy-dry-humping whores." What happened to KILLING THEM SOFTLY, DAMMIT? That's what Wayne wants to know!
The New York Times reports that all is not well in Gun Land. Some of the old guard are nervous that appointing themselves the clenched fist of the culture war is making it harder to pull crumpled bills out of their cleavage.
In recent weeks, in a rare airing of internal debate at the N.R.A., two prominent board members expressed concerns about NRATV to The New York Times. Their statements were released through the N.R.A. itself, amid what was described as an internal review of NRATV and its future.
"Since the founding of NRATV, some, including myself and other board members, have questioned the value of it," Marion Hammer, the group's most formidable lobbyist and a key adviser to its chief executive, Wayne LaPierre, said in a statement. "Wayne has told me and others that NRATV is being constantly evaluated — to make sure it works in the best interest of the organization and provides an appropriate return on investment."
Former NRA President Marion Hammer is the biggest gun lobbyist in Florida. She's got to fend off the pesky Parkland kids, and having those NRATV nutjobs poking the bear every day is not helping, Mister! Particularly since the rest of the past presidents managed to get their pictures taken all over Moscow with an actual Russian spy.
Former NRA President David Keene with Maria ButinaMaria Butina social media
It's a delicate balance, between banging the money drum, and trying to quietly disburse that blood money among the vampires. Particularly when the guys doing the banging are literally in bed with Nosferatu. The line between the NRA and its longtime drummers at the advertising company Ackerman McQueen is sometimes ... blurry.
Mr. LaPierre's wife, Susan, has worked for an Ackerman subsidiary, and there has come to be a revolving door between the two companies, with many employees having worked by turns for both NRATV and Ackerman.
Oliver L. North, the [current] N.R.A. president, has a contract with Ackerman, though the N.R.A. would not disclose its size. As part of the relationship, Mr. North, a former Fox News pundit, hosts media programming and special events, like the show "American Heroes," which recently began airing on NRATV.
The N.R.A., a nonprofit, has also directed $18 million since 2010 to a private company jointly owned by executives of Ackerman and the N.R.A., according to records and interviews.
And the nice thing about paying $40 million to Ackerman McQueen in 2017 is that they don't have to disclose how much of it went to Mrs. LaPierre. Or Ollie North. Or any of the other NRA friends and relatives that cycled on and off its payroll. Very convenient.
Newly elected New York Attorney General Letitia James has vowed to take a look at the NRA's finances. Perhaps she'll be able to work out what the NRA charitable foundation bought when it paid $100 million in tax-deductible contributions to the NRA lobbying group, over and above the $5 million loan in 2017.
The NRA also has a history of "forgetting" to put information about conflicts of interest on its tax filings. For instance, they just forgot to mention that they were buying millions of dollars worth of ammo -- $3.1 million in 2017 alone -- from the family business of longtime director and former NRA President Pete Brownell. The Wall Street Journal reports:
In a November tax filing, the NRA Foundation, which is controlled by the NRA board and sends most of its money to the NRA, disclosed for the first time a longstanding arrangement under which it buys millions of dollars in products from Crow Shooting Supply. That company is controlled by Pete Brownell, CEO of an Iowa gun retailer who was a longtime NRA director and NRA president from 2017 to early 2018.
It's an easy mistake to make for eight years in a row.
Brownell is on the left.From Maria Butina's social media
Likewise, the NRA Foundation just plum "inadvertently omitted" to mention that it had paid board member H. Wayne Sheets $685,000 in 2016 through his fundraising firm HWS Consulting. This inadvertent omission carried over into 2017, when it failed to disclose a payment of $710,000. But now the Journal pointed that out, and they'll go forth and sin more until 2023, when the contract expires. Or maybe it will get renewed! Because the NRA Foundation is in dire need of cash since their membership dues dropped 21 percent in 2017. Another couple years like that, and this gravy train might have to hang up its hood, like a stinky old diesel relegated to the shed by a younger, browner, cleaner import.
BE VERY AFRAID.
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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.