If you remember your history, the depth and breadth of the scandals that have consumed the National Rifle Association, Wayne LaPierre, and many NRA officers and directors spilled into public view when a rift opened between the association and its longtime advertising and marketing firm Ackerman McQueen. Ackerman had been running the wildly expensive and severely underperforming NRA TV for the association. They also employed the NRA’s president at the time, Oliver North.
Things got, shall we say, messy. As the fighting with AckMac spiraled, it was revealed that LaPierre had (allegedly) been using the agency to launder a variety of high dollar expenses (suits, jets, vacations) through the agency which were then (again allegedly) billed back to the NRA through vague, non-descriptive billing.
As Bloomberg (of all outlets) reports . . .
The dispute began in 2019 when the NRA accused Ackerman McQueen of over-charging, falsifying invoices and misleading its senior executives about the performance of NRA TV. At the time, top NRA officials were embroiled in an internal squabble amid press reports of self-dealing and financial malfeasance at the gun-rights advocacy group.
As the internal disputes intensified, the organization accused Ackerman McQueen of conspiring with the NRA’s former president, Oliver North, and former chief lobbyist, Chris Cox, in a failed coup against the NRA’s longtime leader Wayne LaPierre. Ackerman McQueen has denied wrongdoing in its dealings with the NRA and filed counter-claims.
North quit. Cox
was fired did too. Lawsuits flew in both directions between the NRA and AckMac.
Yesterday, however, a day before a scheduled court date, the two sides reportedly settled their differences. Terms of the settlement have not been disclosed.
While this clears one expensive distraction (and an ongoing revenue source for LaPierre’s favorite attorney, William Brewer III) there are still lots of legal bumps in the road ahead for the NRA.
Thursday’s settlement comes a day after a New York judge rejected a bid by the NRA to dismiss a suit filed in 2020 by Attorney General Letitia James, who alleges the nonprofit misused millions of dollars of assets. The NRA, which is chartered in the state, has denied wrongdoing. The judge in that case also rejected James’ effort to shut down the NRA as a result of her allegations of financial wrongdoing.
The only fact that really still matters: Wayne LaPierre remains in the top seat on Waples Mill Road.