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Dan Z for TTAG
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Yesterday, NRA board member Scott Bach wrote that calls for current NRA EVP Wayne LaPierre and his leadership team to resign by some board members is due to their desire for “personal advancement” or is the result of their succumbing to media spin.

Then there’s this about William A. Brewer III, the NRA’s outside counsel who’s currently billing the Association at the rate of about $97,000 per day.

Emily Cummins, who worked for 12 years in the NRA’s treasurer’s office, quietly resigned in November as the group’s internal strife escalated. Cummins, in a written statement that began circulating this month among NRA leaders, including at least one board member, alleges that Brewer obstructed the work of NRA accountants and vastly exacerbated the organization’s financial woes as he charged it hefty legal fees. Cummins confirmed that she had produced the statement, which was obtained by ProPublica, but declined to provide any additional comments. Brewer’s firm said its work was justified and of the highest quality.

The statement lays out a list of allegations regarding Brewer’s legal work and his treatment of NRA staff as questions surfaced about his law firm’s billings, which totaled $24 million over a 13-month period. In the first quarter of 2019, Brewer’s firm charged over $97,000 per day, according to internal NRA documents posted anonymously online.

Cummins accuses Brewer of trying to intimidate, deceive and silence NRA staff who were processing his bills while some accountants were growing increasingly troubled by the organization’s mismanagement, exorbitant spending and questionable deals involving conflicts of interest. Former Brewer colleagues as well as written correspondence obtained by ProPublica broadly supported her claims.

Cummins wrote in her statement that Brewer “intimidated NRA staff and threatened our professional livelihoods.” She alleged that he used pressure tactics with staffers “to keep them acquiescent,” compiling what she called “burn books” filled with personal information that he could use against individuals.

– Mike Spies in New Documents Raise Ethical and Billing Concerns about the NRA’s Outside Counsel

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  1. It is clear to anyone paying the least attention to what has been going on for the last several months, Wayne and his puppets and most of the BoD needs to go.

    Starve the beast of the cash they need to stay in power. Send your money to GOA instead.

    • I was going to suggest Gun Owners of America also. We need to make a list of the best groups other than the NRA and try to share that with other gun owners and future gun owners. The NRA reminds me of the fall of Rome, they became decadent and the empire fell apart.

      • GOA is going to be growing so fast in finances & influence, that I’d really like to see some stories about what they are doing to get ready. From what I understand, they still have a rather ‘small time’ architecture, with authority vested in a small number of people with little accountability. This works fine when you’re small, since you aren’t bogged down with oversight & paperwork, and can remain more nimble, but it also puts you at the mercy of management’s moral strength. When an org starts handling tens or hundreds of millions of dollars, this spells corruption and death. That’s exactly what happened with the NRA.

        The NRA has been a corrupting influence on the RKBA since its inception, but it was a relatively small scale affair as far as total dollars involved. So while we “radicals” today may not have agreed with its collaborationist gun control stances, it did at least serve the Fudd sportsman membership’s needs very effectively; it organized competition, founded shooting clubs, promoted hunting & marksmanship sports, and of course worked to ensure the “wrong” people didn’t have access to firearms. However, during the big gun control gains of the late 60s-80s, the civil rights angle of the NRA grew rapidly and began to overtake the original mission, and with that movement’s desperation came tremendous increases in donations. Initially, the new money was put toward opposing gun control and opening a new front in the NRA’s objectives, spear-headed by guys like Neal Knox. But the temptation of those newfound resources proved too great for the organization’s primitive management structure, and before long the few principled figures were driven out by grifters like LaPierre, who then worked to funnel the money to themselves.

        The GOA *will* go the same route in time if they don’t put into place protective systems, today. Divided authority, internal & independent oversight, checks & balances, and of course accountability to the membership, are all needed to ensure the same pattern of abuses doesn’t come to pass. To my knowledge this has not yet occurred, and the GOA is still run as a private entity by a handful of stakeholders; they will not be able to effectively scale up operations as needed until they do. The longer they delay this necessary evolution to a ‘professional’ organization structure, the more time and money will be wasted.

        • I just renewed my NRA membership and included an extra $500 with a note to the NRA asking them to all get along and focus on our gun rights.

          We need to stick together on this. Ignore what you read about the NRA infighting in the fake news. Things are actually just fine.

        • ” I just renewed my NRA membership and included an extra $500 with a note to the NRA asking them to all get along and focus on our gun rights.

          We need to stick together on this. Ignore what you read about the NRA infighting in the fake news. Things are actually just fine.”

          Good start, but not quite sarc, ridicule, parody or irony. Takes a bit to get into the swing of it.

        • The NRA is paying over $200 a minute to the lawyer during each workday. But we should thank him for hoarding our money. He will singlehandedly suffocate the NRA from the inside; something it seems we all want.

          By the way, the lawyer made over a thousand dollars in the time it took me to type this. And another $150 in the time it took you to read it.

  2. This is why I quit being an NRA member. They do not believe strongly enough in the 2nd amendment any longer and are a bloated, wasteful mess that needs to disappear and be replaced by other groups. Most of the membership dues apparently are going into the pockets of a nasty sheister.

    • Yay, another NRA article. 😐

      I’ll be more interested in actually reading the entire text when there’s something NEW to report. Wake me up when we’re there.

      My multi-year membership should be expiring this month, if I recall correctly. Money’s going to FPC and GOA now.

  3. It beyond time for the entire Negotiating Rights Away management and BoD to be drained from it’s Virginia swamp,if the NRA is to be saved this has got to come to a end. Not One More Effing Penny !

  4. This drama will make it to an American Greed episode someday. It will help cement Wayne LaPierre’s legacy as a scoundrel.

  5. Am I in before clowns start claiming that the treasurer is also a “DNC shill” on Bloomberg’s payroll?

    Also, there’s absolutely no way on Earth a multi-billion dollar *marketing* company would possibly deploy internet posters on the more significant forums to defend its continued multi-million dollar siphoning of the NRA’s finances.

    This Democrat lawyer is sucking up 100,000$ a day in money that could theoretically be used to oppose Bloomberg’s agenda, and yet the idiots in charge tell us we need to keep donating harder than ever. I don’t want to hear from anyone ever again about how the NRA’s useless lobbying efforts are deserving of exorbitant funding. And I hope everyone’s learned their lesson about not questioning exorbitant funding of *any* activist/outreach/charity effort, regardless the organization.

  6. Holy crap, that Ammoland article is a mare’s nest of NRA shills. Excuse after excuse after excuse after excuse…

    I’ll reiterate what I said about AM or LaPierre’s office itself sending forth armies of sycophant drones to try and cover for this scandal; I’d be shocked if they weren’t doing media-control of some sort.

    • Yeah, I used to frequent the Ammoland site before making TTAG my first stop. Kinda dumped it to the wayside once I realized its articles are like 10-to-1 pro NRA.

  7. $97000 a DAY?!? You can’t bill a bankrupt organization.Clean up your act NRA & I’ll renew my membership. Join other groups-especially your local/state ones like GSL & ISRA. BTW what has GOA accomplished? Anyone???

    • It’s the dishonest 99.9% of lawyers that give the rest a bad name.

      What’s the difference between a disaster and a tragedy? A disaster is when a bus load of lawyers drive off a cliff. A tragedy is when there is an empty seat.

      • “A tragedy is when there is an empty seat.”

        Close, but no cigar.

        The tragedy in a bus full of lawyers going off the cliff is that the bus driver also killed was just a working shlub trying to feed his family.

        (In all seriousness, a lawyer for me has recently turned a personal financial shit-sandwich into a very pleasantly cash-positive experience. Positive enough for a spanking-new Sig for an EDC…)

    • They (GOA and all the others, including state level organizations) have been participants in most of the things NRA doesn’t participate in but takes credit for. I have seen it many times. Other organizations do the work but NRA shows up for the photo op.

  8. I am still not sure who are bad guys here. I read everything I can find on the issues but so far I have no conclusive evidence either way. I was just getting to believe that O. North was indeed a good guy after first thinking he was in cahoots with the money, now I’m not so sure that I wasn’t right the first time. I need facts, more facts that can be verified and checked. All the negative misinformation is exactly the type of thing I would expect with today’s mainstream media/political left and so many are falling right in line and worse, screaming it to the rafters in commentary here in a firearms site. Talk about a disinformation campaign. If it turns out that it was an insider takeover attempt for dollars then we need to know. If it turns out that leadership has been screwing the members, we need to know. I don’t know what good it does anyone to bloviate loudly about negative opinions that may be hurting us all.

    • We’re seeing an entrenched organizational culture protecting itself against perceived outsiders. The NRA is the “dowager empress” of gun-rights organizations. It has been around so long that its leadership has become comfortable with “the way things have always been” and react militantly to perceived threats to their status and privilege. What is particularly telling is that the real issues roiling the NRA remain so opaque. Ollie North hasn’t commented nor has Chris Cox, both of who probably have stories to tell. Similarly, the NRA board has circled its wagons and ain’t sayin’.

      It looks like the NRA “insider culture” has decided that if they all remain quiet, this will all blow over. It won’t. Sometimes silence is deafening and this is one of those times. I’ve re-upped my membership because I think the NRA is the only viable opponent to the gun-control movement. Despite what the keyboard warriors may think there ain’t nothin’ or nobody out there that do what the NRA can do.

      It looks like the NRA’s structural problems, which Ollie and unnamed others attempted to make public, are institutionalized dysfunctions that the leadership would prefer to keep hidden. The attempt to do this has thrown the NRA into both organizational free-fall combined with organizational management paralysis. It could very well be that there is nobody really in charge at the NRA. This is a deadly combination. The obvious—and only—solution is direct board action. We’ve elected them and expected them to act responsibly. They need to act responsibly to fix this mess.

    • I’m in pretty much the same place right now. None of the people who are arguing about this in public, accusing each other, and making plans can be trusted.

      I don’t know enough about any of them to decide who’s working in my best interest (which means protecting and advancing Second Amendment civil rights), who’s in it for personal gain, and who might be simply misled or mistaken.

      I *do* know, however, that the NRA is an utterly dysfunctional, bloated mess right now. It apparently has been for quite a while.

      At this point, I don’t care who in the executive office and the BoD has been acting out of virtue and who out of greed. Together, they ALL let this happen…so as far as I’m concerned, they ALL need to go.

      I hope the NRA survives and thrives, because we need a strong 2A champion. The only thing that’s clear to me in the present mess is that the NRA isn’t going to be what we need it to be unless some dramatic change happens within it.

      • Notice that the NRA is accusing people of leaking damaging information. They are not claiming that they’re libeling, making things up, or lying.

        • Yes, I did notice that. I may not know who to trust, but I sure do know a few who definitely *can’t* be trusted.

  9. F*ck the NRA and the corrupt rats that populate it. They wont get any more of my hard earned money until they get rid of these scumbags.

    $97,000 a day… so incensed that my contributions are going to pay that blood sucking no good lawyer.

    • Sure, if he was the best lawyer. What are the chances the best lawyer happens to be the son-in-law of the vendor they were already paying $40M a year? I’m guessing 0%, and that they could have found a better lawyer for less of they weren’t locked into nepotism and conflicts of interest.

  10. And the NRA wonders why I don’t answer their calls and donate anymore…. How fracking clueless and tone deaf can you be? All this malfeasance and still they call begging for MORE donations.

    • Whoop-whoop!

      I recently ditched AT&T and finally installed a VoIP phone. Now I have those NRA robocalls automatically sent to a black hole, and don’t ever have to hear them anymore.

    • At the current rate, Bill Brewer’s firm will cost the NRA about $40 million a year. The firm does not cover any NRA litigation in Virginia, as it has been thrown out of court there for lying to the judge about its issues in Texas. The firm is not allowed to practice in Texas at the moment either. The firm also donated to the Hillary Clinton and Beto O’Rourke campaigns. Quite some top shots the NRA hired there.

  11. We already know that Wayne and his buddies have stopped many attempts to look into the finances. North tried to investigate the dubious spending and legal services, he wanted to setup a committee to look into things after he was constantly denied by Wayne, but before that could happen the letter warning Wayne was used against North so the board of directors would get rid of him.

    If I remember correctly, the lawyer Wayne and co. hired is the son in law of the CEO of Ackerman (who died over a week ago) and is a lefty who has been in trouble for bad behavior in other states. North wanted to look into his legal services because he is charging the NRA way more than what is standard for non for profits, more in the realm of large corporations, when the rates are usually reduced not increase for non for profits.

    It has been said by the Wayne defenders they can’t talk about this kind of stuff because they were forced to sign NDAs as board members. That they have to wait until all the lawsuits the NRA is going through are over to mention any the internal issues and details. They claim if they talk openly of the issues the NRA will lose their tax exempt status and collapse. That’s right, they say if they talk now the NRA will be shut down because of the things they have done or haven’t done.

    But everything is a-okay. Continue to support the dear leader as he gets the NRA out of the big trouble the leftists caused.

  12. Why cant the board vote out the swamp dwellers and reboot the nra.
    I will not be donating until the swamp is drained.

    • For one, at least half the board are bad apples. Second, the swamp monsters created the rules and structure. Third, the NRA changed the rules to stop fresh thinkers from changing things until they get 5 years in.

      To name a few issues…

    • “This organization needs to be fixed, not abandoned.”

      Doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different result, is the definition of…..

    • “This organization needs to be fixed, not abandoned.”

      I have a very good friend who 7-8 years ago had a terrible heroin addiction. Nothing worked until he came home one day to find his mom had changed all the locks and through his belongings on the front porch with the phone number for a very good, but intensive long-term treatment center. She was simply done trying to “fix” him, and had enough. It was at that moment… when his family effectively “abandoned” him… that he realized he had hit rock bottom and needed to change.

  13. My NRA membership expired and was not renewed. The ONLY way I will ever buy another membership is when Wayne LaPierre is no longer a part of the NRA. Of course, that is IF the NRA survives which I doubt it will. I have little doubt that one day we will find out that LaPierre has had his hand in the till since day one!

  14. I believe the majority of NRA money will go to board members to pay for their lawyers to defend themselves in court. The Clintons alone had almost 3 million dollars in lawyer bills when they left office.
    Anyone but especially the Rich gun owners who donate money are just throwing it away. I hope these criminals go to jail.

    Give to your state groups, the SAF, GAO, JPFO, NAAGA, Pink Pistols, Black Guns Matter.

  15. That kind of money might make sense if the guy was providing top-notch legal representation in a YUGE case where his firm had a ton of people working on the various aspects of preparation, or a bunch of smaller cases at the same time.

    The problem is that I can’t think of what he’d have been doing in that vein in the last year or two.

    • Let’s make it simple. A Federal Judge tossed him out of court in VA while he was representing the NRA. In the real world, your client shows you the door right after the Federal Judge does.

      In NRA Fantasy Land, they continue your “professional services” and give you another $20million or more in legal fees.

      STOP THE INSANTITY! Boot Wayne and his entire deep state cabal and replace them with some “normal people” who know the difference between ice cream and horse shit.

      Wayne et al are well on their way to destroying our rights and our organization for their personal enrichment.

  16. I was all set to go ballistic (no pun intended) until I looked up ProPublica – basically a site dedicated to bashing Trump. So read it cum grano salis.

  17. As a Life member The NRA is not getting another dime from me until W. L. is long gone.
    Oliver North is a great patriot and a God loving man Shame on the NRA. The only conspiracy that took place was the Million dollar + salary W.L. was skimming from the NRA and they have the balls to continue ask me for a donation?

  18. We, as members, need to call in the accountants, CPA’s and get a full accounting
    of where the money goes.

  19. As a Life Member of The NRA, one question keeps reappearing, at least that is how it looks. Exactly what is going on in and with the NRA?

  20. Benefactor Life member here. Like many, no more $$ to the NRA until Wayne falls on his sword. He needs to dress up in his $25K suit and hit the road.

    • It take a few million for leftists to pass massive gun control. It takes a few million to stuff NRA “leaders'” pockets.

  21. Apparently few on the current NRA Board can be trusted if Scott Bach has been bamboozled. Another candle winks out. The evil broth has been simmering since 1997.

  22. Since Mr. Zimmerman has a perpetual beef with the NRA perhaps he needs to contact Robert Mueller to begin an investigation. That way he can keep his insinuations alive long enough to affect the outcome of the 2020 national election. I looks as if a weakened NRA is what Dan is looking for. I wonder why?

    • “I looks as if a weakened NRA is what Dan is looking for. I wonder why?”

      Really? You been away for awhile?

      Dan is not alone, nor unreasonable re NRA. NRA is a Fabian club, trying to win by barely losing each battle, hoping the opposition will tire of the game.

  23. I wrote yesterday about the “beyond the pale” relationship between the NRA and its outside counsel.

    Evidently, some of you feel I and other rational people are “out to get the NRA.” I am a Life Member and a staunch supporter of the 2nd Ammendment and of what the NRA was and must become again.

    Wayne and his minions are deep state denizens whose sole purpose is the perpetuation of their stranglehold on the NRA and it coffers. Any benefits to buttressing the 2nd Ammendment are secondary to them.

    As members and as Americans, we need, no, we demand that OUR NRA be ripped from the greedy clutches of Wayne and the rest of the gang that can’t shoot straight and resume its rightful place as America’s first and most basic civil rights organization. NOW!

  24. They can spend $97,000/day on a lawyer, yet they couldn’t do jack against I-1639 other than piggyback on SAF’s lawsuits and print some bumper stickers.


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