nra members meeting indy 2019
Dan Z for TTAG
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The problematic pass-through arrangement [former Treasurer and CFO, Wilson “Woody”] Phillips is said to have devised involved a public relations company called Ackerman McQueen and one of its subsidiaries, the Mercury Group.

From the time LaPierre took over the group’s leadership in the early 1990s until 2018, when Phillips resigned, Ackerman was the NRA’s largest vendor, billing the organization $50 million for work done in 2017 and 2018 alone. During that two-year period, Ackerman billed the NRA an additional $18 million for expense reimbursements.

A portion of those expenses were incurred by NRA officers, who would seek reimbursement from Ackerman, which would then submit to the NRA for reimbursement.

“The NRA used this arrangement to conceal expenditures by NRA executives … many of which were personal or lacked documentation required by IRS publication 463 to permit the NRA to avoid reporting such expenses as taxable income,” the complaint said.

“The effect of the pass-through expense arrangement was that these expenses would be paid for by the NRA without written approvals, receipts, or supporting business purpose documentation in accordance with NRA policies and procedures, and without disclosure to or internal review by the NRA FSD [Financial Services Division],” the complaint said. “Payment of these expenses also violated IRS rules governing reporting of income for each of the recipients on their W-2 forms, exposing the NRA to penalties for false filings and for under-withholding of taxes due.”

– Robert Freedman in Financial irregularities at heart of lawsuit to dissolve NRA

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  1. So go after the officers responsible for this theft, not the organization as a whole. The 5 million plus members are not at fault for the illegal activities of the few at the top. Prosecute them, allow us to replace them and reorganize to make the NRA more responsive to its members.

      • When I read ” Laundering expenses” in the opening line of the story, I thought they were talking about cleaning Lapierre’s $20,000 prison garb…. hey,a guy can dream, right?

    • Unfortunately, by remaining chartered in NY, the NRA has left itself at the tender mercies of a political prosecutor and a state court system that is, shall we say, not exactly friendly to PotG.

      All of this was 100% foreseeable, and apparently there were moves years ago to move the NRA out of NY for that reason. But Wayno squashed them, and I suspect it was because changing the organization’s structure might have made it possible to dislodge him and his minions and stop the gravy train.

      The tax evasion angle ought to be making some people VERY uncomfortable. And yeah, I’m looking at a certain NRA director and Wayne fartcatcher from Texas . . . .

      • Could the NY AG seize operational control of the NRA and dismantle it, and issue a fine that just so happens to be the assets of the NRA?

        How does something like what’s now happening usually go down?

        My nightmare is the NY AG seizing the assets (in particular the NRA firearm collection) and literally throwing them in a metal shredder with Pelosi looking on and laughing…

    • A friend told me he quit the NRA after Sandy Hook. I responded that I JOINED the NRA after Sandy Hook. I did so in large part because Wayne’s famous “Good guy with a gun” comment showed a level of political sophistication you don’t often see. I then watched the NRA dismember an expected, but still very strong, progressive gun-control initiative that the media talking heads all thought was a slam-dunk certainty. Say what you will about ‘ole Wayne, the guy stepped up and, with a few well chosen words, stopped a moral-crisis fueled, multi-million dollar attack on our 2nd Amendment that was backed by a sitting president. But, there’s a problem.

      As an organization, the NRA is considerably older than most of its members. It is therefore not surprising that, like other similar large, old, organizations a discrete insider culture has emerged which sees itself as a Sacred Guardian Of The True Flame. Over time all insider cultures become dysfunctional, allowing and promoting the kinds of hidden agendas that increasingly have come to define the NRA’s management. In his short tenure Ollie North, by no means an amateur at dealing with organizational culture, realized just how dysfunctional the NRA had become, understood how dangerous this kind of organizational failure actually was—and promptly got defeated and exiled once he took steps to make critically necessary changes. The NRA is still the lynch-pin defender of our 2nd Amendment rights. We need an Ollie North to set things right.

    • Shoot if that happens I may be willing to start donating again. I stopped all donations after I became a lifer because I saw the same corrosion at 99% of all other large corporations and various entities.

      I stick with them because I believe in the NRA, but like you said, the 3%’ers at the top sour the whole gallon of milk.

  2. Taxes did in Capone as well.., just sayin’.
    I believe the organization is good. The management … not so much these days.

    • “Taxes did in Capone as well.., just sayin’.”

      We asked WLP to leave. He refused. At this point I have no problem with him sent to federal prison and dying there of syphilis like Capone did in Alcatraz.

      (In case anyone missed it, I’m not a nice person, and I’m being charitable with that description…)

      • Everyone knows you’re an asshole. You can dispense with the stupid disclaimer.

        • Fuck’in-A, my pathetic widdle troll is ‘triggered’!

          If I pissed you off, I’m doing something right.

          Now, go back in the basement and cry like a good little troll… 🙂

        • “Everyone knows you’re an asshole.”

          True ‘dat!

          I dedicate this to you, frustrated widdle incel troll :

      • Capone went to Alcatraz. Capone did have syphilis, Capone died at home, not in prison.

      • Although Al spent some time at Alcatraz, and was treated with penicillin for his syphilis, it was too late to cure the extensive damage that had been done by the disease. He eventually stroked out at his home in Florida after his release.

    • What’s the difference? The organization is people. And the people are corrupt.

      Is the mission what you believe in? There are other organizations with it.

      • The organization is its members. Like me. I’m not corrupt.
        If leftist can kill the oldest and largest (even if not the best) of pro-gun organizations, what makes you think they will leave the small guys alone?

        • Someone,

          It will be exponentially harder for some Hard-Left Attorney General to dismantle a smaller organization that did not do anything unethical, wrong, nor illegal.

          The reason that this particular Hard-Left Attorney General has an excellent probability of dismantling the National Rifle Association is because top-tier executives gave her all the legal ammunition that she needs on a silver platter. Saying it a different way, it is a lot easier for a Hard-Left Attorney General to win when one of the organizations on our side insists on scoring multiple own goals.

          • Like I said in another post elsewhere(that got deleted), LaPierre loaded the weapon cocked back the hammer and handed it to NY AG Letitia James then dared her to pull the trigger. This whole mess is on his head.

        • “…what makes you think they will leave the small guys alone?”

          Speculating here….

          It is not the numbers of members that makes NRA a threat to gun-grabbers (if, indeed, a threat from NRA actually exists), it is the financial power to hire legions of lobbyists. The smaller 2A support organizations don’t have that reach; do not present the same threat.

        • Sam I Am,
          Agree. It really comes back to who supports the political opposition. When they try to gut the firearm industry next, it won’t be to control guns (as they claim), it will be to control political opposition. Although part of it is ideology, the same is true of traditional energy industries.

          • The genius of Evil is to convince the world that Evil does not exist. Someone once said Evil can appear as an angel of light.

            We often talk about “Leftists”. This is because we fear speaking truth…communism, the most murderous ideology the world has ever seen. As a result, communism is seen as an angel of light, despite the slaughter of unimaginable numbers of non-combatants in countries sick with communism. As the man said, “When people hear the name ‘Lenin’ they think of John”.

            Who speaks of Campuchea now days? It is reported that the communist take over resulted in the murder of nearly one in three people. That’s what communism, leftism gets you. But the worshipers of that abomination all believe they will be part of the untouchable elite.

      • People are corrupt? So you endorse defunding the police? You ready to move on to another line of work?

  3. Replace and remove ever single executive officer and board member.

    Otherwise, the NRA is history. Rightfully so. The NRA has been MIA my whole life.. 28year old lifetime member. I never felt my voice was or has been heard.

    The enemies of us the people will succeed in taking down this failed organization.

    • “Replace and remove ever single executive officer and board member.”

      I seriously doubt that will satisfy them.

      They aren’t interested in ‘cleaning up’ the NRA and ‘making the guilty pay’, they want it destroyed and erased from the map. This is personal for them…

    • Don’t count on Texas, the big cities are all turning blue. Between the liberals and illegals it’s already purple.

  4. In other words, the “leadership” at the NRA did exactly the same thing as: Hollywood studios, every other big “foundation” that claims to be non-profit, labor unions, both major political parties, federal, state and local governments…when government and organized intercessors become some of your largest “industries” this is what you get. These people are worse than locusts, worse than 18th century hydraulic and strip miners – scum, barely deserving due process.

    • Exactly, which is why 85% of the federal bureaucracy needs to die yesterday. I personally know of multiple millions being wasted every year by one group in my little corner of the world. They even ended up blowing millions just because of an internal personal dispute and mismanagement. No one was ever punished, and the managers paid themselves bonuses and took extravagant trips in the name of continuing education, all while collecting those sweet, sweet government benefits. If someone screws up really bad (and gets caught), they just move them to another job.

      • I get what you’re saying – I was part of the machine, DoD at the unit level – and yes, there are plenty of folks in government service just for the easy money. But where does the money come from? Taxpayers and people buying our debt ultimately – but Congress appropriates the funds and the President executes the budget. And the American people get precisely what they vote for. Sad, because the Founders left us some great systems, designed to prevent exactly what’s transpired, that we’ve allowed to become twisted and borderline evil.

  5. WLP will be gotten the same way Capone was,tax fraud ,he’s going to make some big Bubba a dandy girl friend.

    • WLP is neither violent nor dangerous, so he wouldn’t go to a maximum security facility. Most likely he’ll be assigned to changing Bernie Madoff’s diapers.

  6. What a shame. I’m an NRA member because the club I belong to with a beautiful range and great people requires it. Good intentions on the part of the club. Not their fault but, I’m very disappointed in the NRA’s top management. I pay my dues but, I don’t see much in terms of real return. Just bad news about top brass. Good people below that level. Let the chips fall where they may in removing bad apples and restoring the organization to the principles upon which it was originally founded on. I’m a GOA member as well and I hear more about real work done by them in 1 month than the NRA does in a year. All I get from the NRA is paper mail and email asking for more money.

  7. Their intentions to destroy the NRA not just the corrupt leaders will be an over reach. Unfortunately they will find a judge that will agree with the decision tondisolve the org.
    I don’t think NY is entitled to the spoils and assets of the org, that’s not theirs to begin with. They can ask for a huge amount as part of the lawsuit to try and steal everything but that’s when it gets risky. Even if a judge laughs with them and says ” sure, let’s take all their assets in a suit” that opens it up for an appeal they might lose, and lose all.

    Not that I would give the brilliant AG advice but they should focus on the scum running it instead. The bad publicity would do The rest. I’ve moved on so I don’t care about the NRA and we see other orgs getting real.results while WLP gets head from his mistress.

    • I really hope the members of the board sing like canaries and turn state’s evidence and deliver WLP’s head on the metaphorical platter…

      • Geoff:
        “I really hope the members of the board (etc.)”

        One can only hope. But don’t hold your breath. The board members haven’t lifted a finger to date. Well, if any of them have lifted a finger, they got steamrollered.

  8. Hickok 45 ghosted me on his YouTube channel a couple of years ago for daring to point out how corrupt NRA leadership is.


    • To be “fair” to Hickok45 he’s backed away from the NRA as of late. He’s always been an old fudd but good for him. I want a strong incorruptible NRA. I don’t see that happening…

      • “To be “fair” to Hickok45 he’s backed away from the NRA as of late.”

        Anyone checked to see if NRA stopped financial donations to Hickok45 around the time he started backing away? Cause and effect here might be interesting.

        • Dunno how you find out…low and behold old Dana is giving the “new” Taurus G3C a positively glowing review today. He always whines about the triggers as his gigantic hands don’t “fit”. Normal humans are ok. Oh and I’m OK making $. Is Hickok making $ from Taurus? Mebbe Bud’s.., .

    • Let’s be fair here, cgray. You’re an a**hole. Doesn’t matter what topic you’re speaking on. Is it possible that’s what got you kicked to the curb by Hickok?

  9. Maybe I should have saved my membership dues and invested the money in orange jumpsuits instead. Lock them all up and throw away the keys.

  10. If done purposely, these are federal felonies. Besides time at Club Fed, it’s a loss of 2A rights for WLP and his bozo squad.

  11. “Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their party.”

    Ok kiddies, this is where it gets down to cases. The NRA is the only pro-2A stalwart the enemy respects. NRA must be saved, or we will lose our gun rights almost overnight, one day. Everyone who claims to be gunned-up, and ready to shoot anyone coming through the door, people who are itching for the boogaloo, patriots who just need the “go” signal, this is where we separate wheat from chaff.

    We need to demonstrate our determination to fight for our rights. Sell whatever you have, and send the money to NRA to fight the government takeover of NRA. If you are not willing to sell everything, if that is what it takes, to defend your rights, how can we count on you to show up when the militia calls? How can we trust that you really are more than sunshine patriots and fair weather friends? Selling your belongings won’t even put you in the line of fire.

    How hard can it be to show the world that you “Don’t Mess With Texas”, and the other states? With 100 million gun owners, surely 25 million converting goods to cash for saving the NRA cannot help but put a stop to all the gun-grabbing movements. Who would dare to go up against 25 million fanatical gun owners showing the politicians we mean business; forcing them to see the loss of their office if they don’t line up properly and stop infringing? 25 million energized, hyped-up, shrieking to high heaven “From my cold, dead hands !” ? If NRA is for us, who can be against us?

    Save the NRA !
    Save Wayne’s World !
    Save Me a Seat on the Bus !

    Workers of the world, unite !!!!

  12. This is a copy of a letter send last year to the NRA Board:

    Dear Members of the Board of Directors:

    It is a sad day in the 148-year history of the NRA institution, and history will record from this day forward your actions to address the crises facing it.

    As some of you know, I represent a grassroots effort of both NRA members and non-members and have the capability to reach millions of voters.

    For the record:

    I tried to reform the NRA from within over the last fifteen months, and have spoken to several current NRA officers, former officers, and persons who directly report to Mr. LaPierre. It was only at the Indianapolis NRA Annual Meeting, that I realized that the current NRA leadership is incapable of reform. It was also at that time in which I came to the conclusion that Mr. LaPierre would be incapable of voluntarily resigning.

    My strategy to enact leadership change is a multi-phase approach that will gradually obtain momentum, become self-sustaining, and will be difficult to contain, once Phase 4 commences.

    We are a well-organized team that has substantial money, resources and support. Although a few high-dollar donors desire to be anonymous, they and our rank-and-file NRA members are the life sustaining blood of the NRA and demand new leadership, accountability and transparency.

    To the extent that the members of the Board of Directors can control the destiny of the NRA, without external forces intervening, timing is critical for them to provide oversight and direction to the CEO, and take control before it is too late. To do otherwise, allows the NRA to continue on its path of self-immolation that is precarious and unpredictable.

    The next move is for the members of the Board of Directors to assert their roles, and start a new chapter for the NRA, without Mr. LaPierre, to ensure that it remains relevant in the future and faithful to its mission statement. Doing so, will prevent this cancer from spreading further. It is imperative that the cancer not contaminate the 2020 elections.

    Each of you will have an important decision to make on whether or not you are going to let Phase 4 play out in the media. Your decision should be made with the understanding of your duties and responsibilities as a faithful director to the NRA itself, and not Mr. LaPierre and his leadership team.

    The role of a director is essentially providing oversight and direction to the CEO. It basically includes financial (fiduciary) oversight, management oversight, mission oversight, and legal oversight (bylaws, articles of incorporation, and all federal, state, and local laws). Mr. LaPierre and his leadership team should not be telling the Board of Directors how he is handling the crises confronting the NRA; rather, the Board of Directors should be directing Mr. LaPierre.

    I do not know how long the cancer has been at the NRA, but it has certainly metastasized. Mr. LaPierre’s desire to remain as CEO until after the 2020 elections will never be realized. To the extent I have any creditability with you, I guarantee to you that is an impossible dream! I have no hidden agenda and I will return to retirement as soon as Mr. LaPierre and his leadership team are replaced.

    For the few of you that know me, you unquestionably know my commitment to the grassroots effort and to the NRA members and non-members is resolute. I have told NRA directors that I can be one of the NRA’s biggest advocates or worse nightmare, and Mr. LaPierre and his leadership team have chosen the latter.

    Attached is an Excel spreadsheet grading the members of the Board of Directors similar to how the NRA grades those seeking or currently in public office. For example, a grade of “A” is given to a Board Member who has advocated the replacement of Mr. LaPierre, and/or publicized one’s removal from committee(s) due to questioning leadership, spending, policies, etc. Similarly, a grade of “F” is given to a Board Member who supports Mr. LaPierre and his leadership team with insufficient oversight.

    That being said, the grades in the spreadsheet are dynamic, meaning a Board Member’s grade can go from an “A” to “F” and vice versa. For example, a member of the Board of Directors who now requests an independent audit, etc. will receive the grade of an “A”.

    As always, I am willing to work with absolutely anyone, including liberals, conservatives, and even reporters! My only requirement is that everyone be respectful and civil. As for Board Members, I simply request that you apply basic fiduciary duties of your position as directors, as required by New York law. Doing so, I believe will eradicate this insidious cancer once and for all. I intend to continue this campaign until the will of the grassroots members and voters is realized!
    To any Board Member who wishes to change their grade, or believes he or she was inappropriately graded, please be prepared to substantiate to the objective “eye” what you have done to excise this metastasized cancer. For example, please provide past proof or in the future, proof that you have undertaken your duties faithfully as a member of the Board of Directors.

    Now, to those members of the Board of Directors who continue to argue that these allegations in the media are false, that “train has already left the station.” It is immaterial, at this point, not only to our rank-and-file members, but to the anticipated 65 million republican voters in the 2020 election, and both the attorneys general from New York and Washington, D.C.

    The members of this grassroots effort will be requesting several votes of “no confidence” for Mr. LaPierre, each NRA officer, and Mr. Josh Powell. In addition, they will be requesting a vote to obtain an independent financial audit from one of the “Big Four” accounting firms.

    It is important for each member of the Board of Directors to completely understand his or her responsibilities. For example, current NRA officers who have stated “I don’t know anything about that,”

    “that is the first time I’m hearing it,” “I trust Wayne completely,” etc., are not deemed within the law as valid acceptable legal defenses. It is your responsibility to know or take the necessary actions to obtain such knowledge.

    Furthermore, Mr. LaPierre can only indemnify members of the Board of Directors if he/she acted in a fiduciary matter which was/is in the best interest of the NRA organization; otherwise those members of the Board of Directors who failed to meet such obligations are subject to personal liability.

    Certainly, you would agree that it is your responsibility to wisely spend the hard-earned monies of our rank-and-file members. I have read too many comments from members expressing dissatisfaction with the NRA’s leadership. The sentiment is the same: “I do not have much ‘disposable income,’ so I expect that dues and donations to organizations that I choose to support are spent wisely. I have lost confidence that the NRA is spending prudently.”

    To be more succinct, take as an example the $100,000 cruise/fishing adventure for the 76 members of the Board of Directors being held in Alaska for its upcoming meeting. If you can justify such an expense given the current financial crisis of the NRA, you have the ears of over a 100 million voters who want to understand your rationale for this, and literally a dozen other financial irregularities.

    In addition, it is not prudent and inappropriate for any members of the Board of Directors to restate what one current NRA officer has previously stated, that it is too expensive to cancel the Alaskan cruise/fishing adventure due to its binding contracts.

    Finally, as of this email, the total amount of funds being withheld from the NRA is $162,237,723. These funds are not simply just from planned giving, but include membership fees not being renewed, advertisements in NRA magazines, cash donations, etc.

    If there is a plausible rationale for the members of the Board of Directors to turn their backs to such funds, especially given their fiduciary responsibility to the NRA (and not its leadership), we are all listening.

    This concludes Phase 3. God Bless all of you,


    David Dell’Aquila representing Grassroots NRA members and non-members as well as millions of voters
    I am one of the many donors who are part of the funds being withheld but ready for immediate release when WLP and his cronies are gone. I do not want the NRA to go away but I do want it fixed in a manner suggested by the Save the Second group which I am also a part of. Yes, the NYAG is taking advantage for political purposes and she is overreaching in her “solutions” but those of us who are members of the NRA need to get involved in this suit asking the court to throw out WLP and cronies and require them to repay the NRA itself those funds taken from it and allow the membership to reorganize and restructure the Board and the bylaws. I have suggested to the other groups I am a member of that they should also get involved as amicus curiae asking the court to preserve the NRA while punishing those in leadership positions who have been looting the NRA for their own personal gains.

    Please get involved.

  13. Being an NRA member, a Pistol instructor and a Home security Instructor for a number of years I have come to realize that the top leadership is corrupt and they only want my membership for raising money for them!
    Have not been able to define a benefit from them that I did not pay for! every week mail receives paper asking for more money, only reason I’m a member is my range requires it.
    Studying the NRA’s past history we find they are mostly Anti-gun, they supported the NFA act in the 30’s, the gun control act of 1968, these boys talk a tough fight but what have they accomplished in the last 10 years that amounts to anything. oh I know they bought the head dude a new house and pretty penny suits! they have not helped various states or backed 2A potlickers with much of anything, but by Golly they can party up on our coins!

  14. Look, it is one thing if top-tier executives did some questionable/shady stuff with a few thousand dollars. If these allegations are true, then top-tier executives have unethically pulled out something like 50 million dollars — and maybe much more.

    Such behavior is unconscionable and any organization which allows that should be shut down immediately. Sadly, the NRA’s internal rules/bylaws make it effectively impossible for people with honorable intentions to rectify the organization. At this point I hope the courts are able to dissolve it so that good people can start National Rifle Association Gen. 2 with the proper structure/safeguards to ensure that future executives cannot fleece the organization.

  15. Prosecute the individuals, not the whole member supported organization. That’s a common sense gun law.

    • From Lugnut’s link: “An appropriate remedy exists for any illegal acts in which NRA leaders may have engaged. They should be charged as individuals—and it should remain up to the organization’s board whether to retain or replace them. The board would also be free to dissolve, if it believed that its name has been tainted, and to distribute its funds to any group of its choice. In America, with its deep tradition of independent civil society, it is not up to the government to decide how citizens associate or participate in political life.”

      • “They should be charged as individuals—and it should remain up to the organization’s board whether to retain or replace them.”

        Agree….we can count on the same board that has refused to act, to date. That’s the ticket.

        • I agree Sam. Ideally the board would have acted long ago. At this time the board really has nothing to lose especially if the NY AG has her way. If the organization is dissolved, the board members are abolished. Whereas, if the board tries to do something to salvage the organization, even though the chances may be slim, they will at least be making an effort, although way past due, to do the right thing.

          First rid the organization of the bad players and then work a deal to save the organization under new management and leadership.

          • I think the central issue for the BOD will be if there actually was a BOD, as is commonly understood. If the NRA BOD meets the legal definition, each of them is personally liable for malfeasance, failure to monitor, failure to direct. Maybe there is a legal structure where a BOD is honorary only, with no power, and no responsibilities for oversight.

            It would seem that if the NYS AG finds criminal activity unnoted by the BOD, each would be individually vulnerable to law suits from the membership. Unless the members of the BOD are wealthy, or well-insured, there may not be much to recover, but a forever lein could be placed on their livelihoods/assets until a judgement is extinguished/liquidated.

    • Nanashi. Using a 3rd party, in this case the law firm, to redistribute funds for personal gain is fraud which is a criminal offense. Fraud is just the F word for stealing. Fraud differs from laundering in that dirty money is made clean via the laundering process.

  16. Just get Wayne LaPierre. I want to see that POS in a orange jumpsuit.
    -NRA Patron Lifer.

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