It’s difficult to know exactly what’s going on inside the NRA these days. News reports and the small amount of information that manages to find its way into public view is contradictory.
On the one side, you have people like NRA president Carolyn Meadows and board members such as Todd Rathner, Joel Friedman and Scott Bach. They’ve issued statements assuring anyone who will listen that everything’s fine with the NRA’s finances and operations. The say all the media reports are nothing more than Bloomberg-financed attacks on America’s most effective voice for gun rights.
FACT: According to the NRA’s chief financial officer, we are on budget in 2019. The NRA is meeting all banking and supplier financial obligations and we continue to aggressively manage our cost structure to offset the orchestrated and calculated attacks against NRA’s finances in 2018. Put another way, our financial house is in order – we aren’t going away.
We have full confidence in the NRA’s accounting practices and commitment to good governance.
Ironically, some of those same transparency measures that may protect NRA from hostile public officials were spun by the anti-gun media to fuel a false narrative about NRA’s financial health and spending habits. The media painted a fake portrait of a sputtering organization in decline, led by selfish executives lavishly spending member monies. That the media should present such a false narrative is not surprising. The surprising part is that some gun owners actually believed them.
On the other side are board members like Allen West, Esther Schneider, Tim Knight, Sean Maloney and Col. Robert Brown who have asked for independent investigations into allegations of financial and managerial misconduct as well as the appropriateness of huge legal fees being paid to outside counsel William Brewer.
I am in my second term as a Board member, and I am deeply concerned about the actions and statements being made. The recent statements by Charles Cotton and Carolyn Meadows that are appearing in the Wall Street Journal, and now other news outlets, are outright lies. I have never been told, advised, informed or consulted about any of these details mentioned in the WSJ, and who knows how much more despicable spending of members’ money.
From a resignation letter signed by Schneider, Knight and Maloney:
We had expected – or at least hoped – that the executive leadership team would recognize the seriousness of these allegations and work with us in a constructive and transparent manner to address our concerns and minimize any further harm to the Association. Instead, we have been stonewalled, accused of disloyalty, stripped of committee assignments and denied effective counsel necessary to properly discharge our responsibilities as Board members.
In short, finding out what’s actually happening within the NRA’s Fairfax headquarters is difficult at best. But TTAG has spoken to sources both within the NRA board as well as individuals who are in a position to have relevant information about the Association’s operations. What we’ve been told, if accurate, indicates that the situation there is even more serious than has been portrayed.
According to sources who are in a position to know, we were told that as of August 2, neither NRA officers nor the Association’s 76 board members have director and officer insurance coverage. D&O coverage is standard in any large public corporation or non-profit. It’s designed to protect senior management and board members against claims of negligence or inadequate work.
According to this source, the insurance carrier declined to renew the Association’s policy based on extensive media reports of mismanagement and financial irregularities.
TTAG contacted the NRA to try to confirm this. According to Andrew Arulanandam, the NRA’s managing director of public affairs, “that is a false assertion. The NRA has D&O coverage in place,” he wrote. When asked which insurer issued the coverage, Arulanandam said that by policy, the NRA doesn’t disclose vendor/contractor information.
So…what’s the truth? On the one hand, we’ve spoken to a trusted source who is unquestionably in a position to know about the Association’s directors and officers coverage. On the other, the NRA’s primary spokesman assured us that the coverage is in place.
If the claim is, this comes at a critical time for the Association’s directors and officers. The NRA is the subject of two investigations, one by the state of New York and another by the District of Columbia.
If malfeasance is found on the part of senior management, or a lack of oversight by board members, D&O coverage may protect them against the expense of defending themselves against any charges that might be brought.
Without that coverage, any individuals charged in connection with those investigations would have to fund their defense themselves, expenses that could easily run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
In an attempt to get more information about where the truth lies here, TTAG spoke to David Dell’Aquila whose grassroots group is currently trying to engineer a change in NRA management. While he clearly has a dog in this fight, he also has an extensive network of sources within the Association and on the board who might be able to shed light on what the reality is regarding the insurance coverage.
Dell’Aquila told us . . .
I’ve heard the same thing from multiple sources. This is a serious situation. This is the modern-day Titanic with its doomed captain and his officers, as well as board members with potential liability abandoning the sinking ship.
We understand that the New York Attorney General has issued subpoenas to both officers and board members as part of her investigation. Given the conflicting reports about the D&O insurance, those involved will no doubt want to confirm, with all possible speed, whether or not that coverage remains in place.
Give them an Eleanor Rigby funeral.
I recommend that all gun clubs, NRA certified trainers and others who depend on the NRA have a plan for what they will do in the post-NRA era which may be coming sooner than we want to believe.
The chances of reforming or “saving” the NRA are decreasing by the day.
Buy the rights to the name cheap?
More important for an organization to buy their gun museum than the name. Lots of history that will end up in some rich ducks private collection. The name is about as trusted as Pheonix Aarms at this point.
As has been already discussed on TTAG it is suggested that you have self defense insurance. Because the more money you have, the better the chance of staying out of jail and being found not guilty.
So how much money does anyone think a NRA board member will have to spend in order to stay out of jail if the federal government and all its resources are going against them?
If the individual board members or the Executive Vice President of the NRA have access to the hundreds of millions of dollars in the NRA coffers.? Then I would say those 75 board members have an unlimited amount of money to spend on lawyers.
But perhaps not enough money left to spend on protecting the civil rights of the membership.
A simple lawsuit will let people know quick.
I certainly hope not.
Waiting for the perp walks !
Any director who voted to retain Whiney LaPew deserves not to have neither insurance nor quarter.
Do not be fooled.
Wayne is the visible malignant tumor BUT the Board of Directors is the metastasized cancer that is killing the NRA.
It is the Board which re-elected Wayne “by acclimation” (not unanimously) so as to hide the divisions, it is the Board which has given Wayne a platinum employment/retirement contract, it is the Board which caused the By-laws to be amended do as make a member revolt within the organization impossible, and it is the Board that has failed to give effective oversight to the NRA.
I doubt the NRA can get D&O insurance at this point. The risk of a big payout is too high. Remember, from the POV of the insurance company “the purpose of insurance is NOT to pay.
The NRA is doomed.
I’m not fooled the entire lot of WLP sycophants and BoD need to be gone.
At one time I thought perhaps the NRA could would be worth being saved but now I’m starting to think that with the plague infesting the organization,it’s better to burn it to the ground and start over from the ashes.
“I lost touch with reality, now my personality/
is an unwanted commodity (believe it!)”
I’m not reupping. Bought an AR magazine, ammo and a quad rail today. I wasn’t “prepared” in 2013-I’m gtg now.
Always buy boxes of mags for your fighting tools. You can never have too many mags.
If true, (and I hope it is), this may accelerate the collapse.
Then we can get on with the business of re-building it, and making it into something the Leftists can actually fear… 🙂
My sentiments exactly. Expose the culprits, sweep them out and get to work on rebuilding. Give the left something to worry about.
I want to hear Oliver North and Chris Cox version of the story. Wayne and his cronies want to turn it around twist the truth and sweep it under the rug. I do not trust them at all.
Oliver North was an AckMac employee.
AckMac and the NRA are suing each other.
The NRA is represented by an attorney named Brewer, who is McQueen’s son in law, so the connection is not completely ended.
Under New York law, there is no such thing as a vanity position in a nonprofit, so all of these do nothing board members and presidents NEED to get out.
Given these facts, I believe that most of what we have seen so far with the attempted coups, board members resigning in protest and what not, is all theater sp that the rats can flee the ship and replace the leadership with patsies to take the fall.
Wonder what happened to David Dell’Aquila’s deadline?
Whether you choose to believe the NRA whistleblowers or not, NRA management is being – at best – disingenuous. On the one hand, are the official spokespersons saying, “Our finances are great we’re meeting our obligations, all is rosy!” And you have the daily e-mails that I get from Wayne telling me that “We’re out of money! This is the worst attack NRA has ever faced! Get out your checkbooks or kiss your 2A goodbye!”
Granted, this has been an NRA marketing ploy since I can remember – for more than 20 years. But it seems even more screwed up than ever now.
They call me every week trying for $. Guess my life membership isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on.
The loss of the NRA would be tragic and catastrophic to the continued freedom and Constitutional rights we currently have to fight for every day. If WLP had any honor and really cared about the people and the movement that has made him a rich man he would step aside to quell the controversy and help the NRA and its members get on with the fight.
He never cared about the second. He was a hired gun lobbyist. Never hire hired gun gun lobbyists.
The NRA is the only organization in the USA that can defend all rights associated the American Way of Life. Second amendment , gun ownership, freedom of speech and so on…. It is all under attack. So be very careful how u proceed with bashing the NRA and make sure your are not a tool of the left and those that know that the NRA got Trump in the White House
We lose the NRA and we have lost our only representative to fight back against all that would have gutted our rights years ago…
I will send my money in every year and especially with the election coming…
Tony B. HLF and ROF
I am an actual expert in D&O insurance with the professional designations and 15 years in the business to prove it. Having said that, I have no personal knowledge about the NRA’s coverage situation or its placement this year.
Nevertheless, while it is likely that at their prior carrier(s) may have gotten off risk, someone will write the risk with a big premium increase and restrictive terms.
Having said that, the fact that the board hasn’t ousted La Pierre and his cronies makes finding the right terms difficult. A specific litigation events exclusion is unlikely to work where the bad actors ,are still in place.
There is no way they are operating without insurance
Has to be BS and more. Noise !
Tony B – almost all D&O policies are written on a claims made basis with all related claims only covered under the policies in force when the first claim is made.
If the NRA didn’t have sufficient coverage in place to meet the massive legal expenses they are incurring, it is very possible that their D&O coverage limits have been or will be exhausted by payment of losses. At that point, the D’s and O’s would look to the NRA for reimbursement.
Bottom line: I wouldn’t join the NRA board unless they bought me a dedicated A-Side limit of at least $10m.
Last the the D&O Premium went up over 300%. This year the company cancelled. That should tell anyone who is interested a lot about the NRA’s situation.
In general and not commenting on the NRA, D&O insurance will not pay for the defense of criminal acts nor penalties associated with those acts. It pays for business decisions that are alleged to be faulty or defective and have damaged stakeholders or other parties.
The organization itself may pay for that defense which in turn may be challenged by shareholders or stakeholders.
Again generally, an insurance company that does not renew a policy does not shed its obligation to cover historical acts by a board.
A director leaving an organization is well served to negotiate an indemnification agreement that is explicit on how they are covered going forward. This is often difficult if you are in a dispute with the organization you are leaving.
Well folks, In my humble opinion this whole this was orchestrated the Bloomberg and the anti-gun/NRA crowd to have the Democrats, the liberals, the anti-gunners, and the George Soros groups force an investigation and trials to cost the NRA so much money that is forced out of existence. That way the liberal left will have free rein to pass all the gun laws that will force honest American gun owners to eventually be put into a position to give up their right of self defense.
At this point, whether or not La Pierre has done anything illegal, he is a liability to the organization. He should bow out with what’s left of his credibility intact and enjoy his Golden Parachute.
So, just at the moment we collectively need a strong NRA, yet another divisive attack from supposed concerned members just pops up. How convenient. More insinuation, more help for the Socialist Democrat party.
I was linked through a New York Times article about the NY AG investigating NRA board members to this piece. The article said the NRA denies that the board has lost it’s insurance. You quote unnamed sources on one side against named people on the other, but you’ve come to no determinations. What is the TTAG’s opinion about the management of the NRA? Not the value of the NRA, just how Wayne and the board are conducting themselves? I think it would be of value to your readers to know the position of TTAG. Your opinion could assist in your followers education about all things that are guns.