The pro-gun rights community was surprised by the swiftness of response by the civilian disarmament industrial complex after the Parkland high school massacre. It’s fair to say that most Second Amendment supporters were caught off guard by the number and fierceness of the attacks mounted by camera-ready sock puppets like David Hogg and Emma Gonzalez, with help from their willing accomplices at CNN and the rest of the mainstream media. Anti-gun forces were rested and ready to pounce when the horror of Nikolas Cruz’s murder spree became evident.
So it probably won’t surprise you that those inspiring, telegenic Parkland moppets weren’t the real driving force behind the media onslaught. And the scrappy bunch of earnest, concerned high schoolers didn’t get together in a barn like Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney to organize the huge undertaking that was the March for our Lives.
No, that was the handiwork of an experienced, organized group of activists based in New York, Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles.
HuffPost and Daniel Greenfield have done a helpful job of digging to find out exactly who is in charge of raising the millions of dollars and grinding the organizational gears necessary to put on an Astroturfed dog and pony show on the scale of the one we saw last weekend.
First, meet the March for Our Lives “person in charge of the event” . . .
Deena Katz is the multi Emmy nominated Co- Executive Producer of “Dancing with the Stars,” TV’s #1 most viewed unscripted show. Deena also currently produces several other shows including “Real Time with Bill Maher” and “Whose Line Is It Anyway.”
Deena has worked as a Producer on dozens of high-profile television series and specials with talent from all genres, ranging from the Academy Awards and the Emmy Awards to the Presidential Inauguration. She has also produced series on the WB, ABC, NBC, HBO, Bravo, CW, Lifetime, CBS and others.
And here are the shadow operation’s board members . . .
Aileen Adams was the Deputy Mayor for the Office of Strategic Partnerships for the City of Los Angeles during the adminstration of Mayor Villaragoisa. In this capacity, she promoted collaboration among philanthropies, nonprofits and the City.
Her previous roles include service as a State Cabinet official, presidential appointee in the United States Justice Department as Director of the Office for Victims of Crime, and was the University of Southern California’s Vice Provost for Strategic Alliances.
George Kieffer is the current Chair of the Board (of regents of the University of California). Mr. Kieffer received his bachelor’s degree in history from U.C. Santa Barbara, where he was named the Outstanding Male Graduate, and received his J.D. from UCLA. He previously served as an Alumni Regent from 1978 to 1980.
Mr. Kieffer has served as the President of the U.C. Santa Barbara Alumni Association, as Chair of the U.C. Santa Barbara Foundation, as the President of the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges, as a founding member of the California Community Colleges Foundation, and as a Member of the Blue Ribbon Commission for Review of the California Master Plan for Higher Education.
Nina Vinik leads The Joyce Foundation’s grant making in support of evidence-based policies and practices to reduce gun deaths and injuries, improve police legitimacy and build police-community trust, and reduce mass incarceration in the United States. Under Nina’s direction, Joyce has funded some of the nation’s most significant research into the impact of state prevention strategies. She also has focused on developing broad stakeholder coalitions to advocate for policies to keep our communities safe.
Vernetta Walker, JD, has worked with many national and international nonprofit organizations addressing a wide range of governance issues, from restructuring complex entities to implementing exceptional governance practices. Vernetta leads BoardSource’s diversity, inclusion, and equity (DI&E) work to help nonprofit boards successfully develop and integrate inclusion strategies. She also is a frequent speaker on DI&E, as well as effective board engagement for impact. Her clients have included the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, YMCA of the USA, The National Aquarium, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Independent Sector, and National Council of La Raza.
Jeri Rhodes is responsible for the financial, administrative and facilities operations at (Friends Committee on National Legislation). She directs the team managing financial planning, budgeting, accounting, human resources, personnel, information technology, facilities and general administration.
Jeri has spent much of her career in the past 25 years leading the administrative and financial operations of law firms in Washington, DC. Most recently she served as Chief Financial Officer of Greenpeace, and early in her career she served as Treasurer of St John’s College. She is also active as a Board member of VGIF, an organization that provides community funding for projects that improve the lives of women and children all over the world.
Through Scholz Nonprofit Law, Melissa Scholz unites her expertise in nonprofit law with 30 years of experience as a community leader and fundraiser. Prior to forming Scholz Nonprofit Law in 2007, Melissa worked at a large Wisconsin law firm and developed a broad knowledge of legal issues that affect nonprofits. She brings this tax and business savvy into the firm, where she is able to tailor their service to the unique needs of nonprofits and mission-driven businesses.
Gun control activists wring their hands over the NRA. They claim that a special interest lobby is illegitimately thwarting the “will of the people”. Yet it’s the anti-gun groups that are invariably false fronts. It’s very clear who runs the NRA. But the latest fake anti-NRA group is a nebulous shadow. Out front are the high school students and out back are the professional activists.
And who is really behind the whole thing? Hollywood celebs, Bloomberg, a network of organizations?
We know who supports the NRA. You can see NRA stickers on car windows even in the bluest cities in the country. But who really supports the anti-gun political network? You’ll need to spend hours sorting through paperwork, following the trail, comparing addresses and researching names, to even get a hint.
That’s what an illegitimate lobby thwarting the will of the people really looks like.