nra heaquarters hq
Courtesy NRA

David Dell’Aquila is the National Rifle Association megadonor who became disillusioned with the Association the more he found out about how it operates. He then began a dissident movement to withhold planned donations from the NRA in order to force a clean-up in Fairfax. He eventually went so far as to file a multi-million dollar class-action lawsuit against the NRA and NRA Foundation on behalf of the membership over dues and donated funds that were allegedly diverted or misused.

For background on Dell’Aquila, see our posts here, here, here and here.

Last week, of course, New York Attorney General Letitia James announced that she’d filed suit against the NRA seeking repayment of tens of millions of dollars that had been paid to EVP and CEO Wayne LaPierre and others in power, as well as the dissolution of the organization. The NRA’s reaction to the attack has Dell’Aquila shaking his head.

The NRA — which incurred legal and other costs of over $100 million in 2018 and 2019 — counter-sued Attorney General James. LaPierre then announced to the Association’s board of directors that the NRA (which he called “well governed, financially solvent, and committed to good governance”) would fight James tooth and nail.

In other words, look for tens of millions more of the members’ dues and donors’ dollars to be spent on lawyers.

Here’s the email that was sent to the board last week from John Frazer, one of the named targets in James’ lawsuit:

Dell’Aquila thinks fighting another long, expensive legal battle is a colossal waste of the Association’s precious time and money. He acknowledges that James’s (and Washington D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine’s) lawsuit is a transparent, politically-timed attack. As he sees it, James probably had enough evidence last year to move against the NRA. In fact, he intends to FOIA her office for evidence of the politics behind the timing.

That said, he’s under no illusions about the basis for the lawsuit. As he said, there’s plenty of “fraud, financial abuse, mismanagement, and greed” that the AG has undoubtedly uncovered. Statements from LaPierre supporters like NRA President Carolyn Meadows calling the suit a “baseless, premeditated” attack are ridiculous on their face.

As Dell’Aquila sees it — and his own examination of the org’s operations has revealed — there’s simply too much smoke swirling around Waples Mill Road for there to be no fire.

Dell’Aquila’s biggest complaints remain thus:

  • A $17 Million post-employment contract for LaPierre.
  • Current board members have allowed LaPierre et al. to bring it to its current weakened state.
  • $165 million in planned giving have been held back and the NRA Board has done nothing.
  • The NRA intends to fight back, filing its own suit against NY Attorney General and state officials. Where is the oversight from the Board?
  • Only an incompetent board would allow LaPierre and his management team to unnecessarily waste millions more on legal fees.
  • LaPierre’s email to the board is financially irresponsible, continuing to spend money on the lawsuits, especially since the AG stated that they are currently $36 Million in the red.

In Dell’Aquila’s view, given the current financial state of the Association and still more expensive, drawn-out legal battles in the future, the board must do the following:

  • EVP and CEO LaPierre as well as John Frazer, the NRA’s Secretary and General Counsel, must be put on administrative leave while the case is pending. Both are named in the New York lawsuit and having them remain in their positions where they can make use of the NRA’s resources to defend themselves is a conflict of interest.
  • The NRA should negotiate with the New York AG over the $64 million in repayments she’s seeking, come an agreement, and write a check. Given the $100 million litigation has already cost the Association and LaPierre’s stated willingness to fight the James and Racine suits to the bitter end, it’s far better to bite the bullet and make the repayment than sink even more time and money into what’s likely to be a losing battle.
  • The NRA should announce it will voluntarily dissolve its New York charter, as James’s lawsuit seeks, and re-charter itself in a friendlier state. Dell’Aquila said that the Association had been advised to do that as long ago as the late 1990’s, but the move was nixed by LaPierre.
  • The newly reconstituted NRA should reduce the size of its board to 15 seats, small enough and powerful enough to provide real, effective oversight of the Association’s management. Each seat should represent a group of states so that every region of the country is represented.

Does Dell’Aquila expect the NRA to adopt any of his recommendations? Let’s just say he isn’t holding his breath.

Dell’Aquila has already said that LaPierre need to go, but he has purged the board of any dissenters and the current structure, with a whopping 76 board members, makes forcing his hand difficult at best. It’s not in LaPierre’s (or attorney William Brewer’s) interest to follow Dell’Aquila’s advice, no matter how much (fiscal or operational) sense it may make.

Wayne has, in so many words, pledged to fight to the Association’s last dollar and he may do just that.

 

 

59 COMMENTS

  1. I’m just a rank and file Benefactor Life Member, but until WLP more or less concedes to Dell’Aquila’s demands that last dollar will not be one I have donated recently.

    In other words not a dollar more to NRA until Wayne LaPierre and his posse are gone and a new NRA is rechartered in a guaranteed gun friendly state. It is truly a shame it has come to this, But NRA belongs to the members not Wayne LaPierre.

  2. I suspect LaPew nixed dissolving the NY charter and moving to a friendlier state because he would lose his position in the process with no 100% guarantee he would retain it in the “new” NRA.

  3. You folks in Texas can check me on this, but….

    The great majority of voters reside in the major cities of Texas. Every major city in Texas is as blue as it gets. Texas in magenta, at best. Moving NRA to Texas begs being a target, again.

      • I’d tend to agree. The entire state of OK voted 100% in both the 2106 & 2018 elections, and could use the boost in national standing. Right now, OK is somewhat of the red-headed middle stepchild of the U.S.A.

        But only if/when WLP is ousted and NRA gets new, no-compromise pro-2A leadership. Otherwise, anything else they do will be for nothing.

    • “Moving NRA to Texas begs being a target, again.”

      Texas is not safe. Maybe incorporate in Oklahoma, and build a snazzy new complex in Austin to piss off the Leftists there?

    • Texas does not have a single statewide elected Democrat and has not for over 20 years now. It has become more Republican, not less in the last election cycles. We have had districts in south Texas vote Republican for the first time in generations.
      Although the major cities do vote Democrat, they are consistently barely so. Here’s a good graphic of that. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:United_States_presidential_election_in_Texas,_2016.svg
      Since the cities vote barely Democrat, and most rural areas are solid Republican, the state stays very consistently Republican as a whole.

      • Thanks for the info and map.

        Two things that are scary about Texas voting patterns: “vote Democrat rarely”; only three of the twelve counties bordering Mexico are Red.

        Overall, the migration patterns are from rural to urban (illegal migration can upset this at some point). El Paso, Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, Houston, Austin are Blue. As with Californication, the major cities eventually drive the politics. Migration from Blue states into Texas does not signal an increase in Red voters. All of which seems to reinforce the caution that while presidential elections are important in one aspect, the down ballot races are crucial, yet so often ignored, as if a president is a substitute king.

        This cannot be encouraging:
        https://www.dallasnews.com/news/politics/2020/03/07/democrats-beat-republicans-in-statewide-north-texas-primary-turnout/

  4. It is perfectly clear that Wayne La Pierre is now a hapless, delusional tool of the anti-gun, Destroy the Second Amendment Industrial Complex. He created his own trap of corruption and the Hoplophobes are ecstatically happy to see him declaring to fight onward to the NRA’s last cent.

    For the Brady and Mom’s and Gifford and other anti-gun outfits, Wayne La Pierre may soon be named their Man of the Year. His statue will be raised upon a base of melted down AR’s and children’s pot-metal toy guns.

    • enuf…Instead of always talking out your slanderous libelous self serving lowlife behind tell the forum what you think about the POTUS and how your vote will go to Jim Crow Gun Control Joe Biden.

      • Wasn’t “enuf” capped outside The White House by the Secret Service? I guess another of his multiple personalities is still free and posting here.

      • While I may believe that I need to vote for Trump right now no matter how much he has proven he is not our friend, and doesn’t truly believe in anything or understand law, liberty or the free market, no one else is under an obligation to do so.

        You capital R republicans and damn near religious Trump supporters need to address the issues in your own party or constantly risk losing those of us who can’t stand your own rank hypocrisy.

        If the dems had been smart enough to keep their damn mouths shut for the last 4 years I might have sat this one out. If any other party put up a credible pro gun candidate I might vote them instead of R. Enuf may very well live in a place where the dems will win no matter what. If that is the case then voting his conscience is a valid way to send a message to you party line Rs that you need to get your own house in order. IIRC he has stated many times that he will write in another republican. That is not a vote for Biden.

        It is also an issue that we have a system controlled by a monopoly cartel of two parties, many of the members of which collaborate on screwing us all. The system is broken and does not work. We need to do something else, but the two corrupt monopoly parties will never let that happen.

        • IIRC he has stated many times that he will write in another republican. That is not a vote for Biden.

          Hey doofus….
          If you normally vote Republican for president and then you don’t vote for the nominated Republican than you are helping Biden by reducing the margin of Trump to Biden.

  5. The membership should file a Federal class action lawsuit against the NRA leadership and the NY AG to protect the rights of the membership.

    Any NRA leader that has been found to have violated the organization’s bylaws or the laws of the United States and/or New York State should be forced to pay for their own legal fees and any fines levied by the government in relation to their violation of those laws or bylaws.

  6. Ever consider sending them a check back but making it out to FPC or GOA or the gun org of your choosing? You know, just to let them feel the money they could have had if the corruption and hubris hadn’t demolished the organization’s reputation. Just a feeling, but there’s no coming back from this comedy of errors, some other group or groups are likely going to have to fill the breach.

  7. The NRA under the mismanagement of WLP and the current board will never do what is in the best interest the membership since that would cut into the money he gets . From all appearances he is as crooked as an NY Democrat. No money from me until Wayne and his whole parasite board are gone. There are places that will spend my donations far better.

  8. It is no secret as gun owners know the NRA has had some internal issues for some time. With that being said is should be noted that New York’s he attorney general Letitia James has some of her own issues as well. James, who goes by the name Tish, has risen through the ranks of New York politics by staying mainly under the radar. She was one of eight children and has lived her entire life in Brooklyn. Her biggest personal scandal came when the Wall Street Journal revealed she had been lying about her age for more than a decade and she was in fact four years older than she claimed.

    She was slammed for supporting an agreement with Harvey Weinstein that would have set aside $15million for the disgraced movie producer’s legal fees. A judge threw out the proposed deal after one attorney for the victims called it a ‘cruel hoax.’ Weinstein’s victims would have received less than $20,000 each under the proposed deal.

    Furthermore she said In her 2018 Ebony interview :The NRA holds (itself) out as a charitable organization, but in fact, (it) really (is) a terrorist organization” and also called President Donald Trump ‘a threat to our democracy and values.’

    Does the NRA need to fix it self-yes but Letitia James is not an Attorney General she just another left wing politician.

    Source: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8605435/New-York-Attorney-General-Letitia-James-called-NRA-terrorist-organization.html

    • I agree… and 4 years from now could be the home state of the next president- Kristi Noem ( hey, look what she’s doing as governor ; I wish I still lived there instead of Mn. right now)

  9. Given that Wade Callender (ILA general counsel) stands to profit handsomely, I’m sure that he had advised Wayne to fight to the last dollar.

  10. Wayne LaPue needs to take his walking papers now! I stopped donating after North was forced out and some of this came to light. ALL members should write to the NRA to tell them to stop fighting let the lot of them go. It is time to take the NRA back!

  11. After spending 100 mil on legal fees defending themselvesmught they consider fighting for our rights at some point?
    Probably not so it’s time to get off that train and work locally to elect pro gun people and support several smaller orgs so they can get stronger nationally. We’ve seen how these smaller groups can get results while the NRA waited to claim credit.

  12. Of course WLP is going to fight with every last penny, if necessary. Doing otherwise would mean giving up the feed trough, having to give back lots of money and goodies, and probably spending the rest of his life at the Graybar Hotel. It’s the same reason they couldn’t have an independent audit — he’s guilty and it would be proven. He won’t resign or go on leave because the only thing he cares about the org is what he can loot from it.

    I don’t understand the $64M repayment comment. The NRA can’t pay it back because it was the victim. WLP and the other looters would need to writing the check. You can’t make the members whole by taking more money from them.

  13. So Dell’A is saying give up? I already did. They owe NY NOTHING…reminds me of Sears only having a “name”. I may be a boomer but I know when you’re best day’s are past. It’s passed!

    • There are cities in this country that only have one gun store.

      Houston’s west side has one on almost every corner.

      Quite a few ranges too. But nearly all are indoor.

      • Up here you miss going to the outdoor range because of the snow, but I’ll bet in Houston you miss going to the outdoor range in Summer at about 120% relative humidity. I was there on weekend in the summer to attend a wedding at Rice University’s Chapel and vowed never again in high summer.

  14. Talk about a ginormous missed opportunity: if the NRA dissolved in New York state, re-chartered in Oklahoma or Wyoming, booted Wayne La Puke and his co-conspirators, and restructured the board to a few members as others have stated, the New-and-Improved-NRA would roar back far bigger and stronger than before. I would be one of the first in line to hand-over money and be a Life Member (or whatever they call people that send 500+ dollars).

    • Apparently you have no idea of the true history of the NRA. They have compromised on every major gun bill since the 1930s. They are traitors in our midst. They cannot be reformed. They should be killed off, once and for all. $2.5M for the leader. How can you do that when blue collar types are sending in hard-earned money? Obviously, they feel entitled. Shut them down entirely! There’s no reforming that crap!

  15. They robocalled me recently. Told them until Wayne is gone, they’re dead to me. I asked for my Patron Lifer fee back. She kindly declined.

  16. Nothing of the NRA should be permitted to continue. There’s no saving that colossal back stabbing organization. I hope NY takes the NRA’s last dollar and sends its vast membership to an organization who won’t squander members time and money like the nra has. I dream to never hear from that hog Marion hammer or scumbag Wayne again.

    • Exactly. The NRA is a fraud. They have compromised on every major piece of gun legislation ever offered. They are useless. Please do the true Second Amendment associations a favor and kill off the traitor in the midst. No tears from me if you die off, NRA.

  17. I have become disturbed by the actions of the N.R.A at the top levels of management.I learned they laid off some sixty employees while LaPiere still earns his 2 1/2 million dollar a year contract with expense account and discretionary spending.I’m a life member and I’ll not send any more money to them until they clean house and get rid of him and others.I believe the majority of members feel the same.I will support other gun rights organizations until the house gets cleaned starting with Wayne.

  18. NRA paid Ted Nugent over $110,000 annually for years. $50,000 (probably plus expenses) to twang his guitar and “preach to the choir” (maybe 1000-1500 members attending) for one hour on Sunday afternoons at the annual NRA Convention. $60,000 to sign 1200 guitars ($50 each) for auction at the Friends of NRA auctions. All for Nugent making as much as possible through his guitar skills and name…….in the free market place……not at the expense of an organization such as the NRA. When yu are on the Board and profess to be such a big 2A protector, one should do any and everything possible to promote the organization mission at your own expense and effort…….not make money. Nugent should be forced to repay these funds.

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