I’m not an accountant, a lawyer or tax attorney. So I can’t tell you whether or not The NRA’s brazen shell game with donations: A Yahoo News investigation reveals a major scandal in the National Rifle Association’s fund-raising practices and reporting to the Internal Revenue Service. But it doesn’t look good. At all . . .
Early last summer I began making contributions to the National Rifle Association — a dollar here, a dollar there — to see where my money would end up. Some of it quickly found its way into the account of the National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund, the NRA’s political action committee. And that was of no small interest, because I never knowingly contributed to the NRA-PVF.
For me, this wasn’t a big problem; my contributions were a spit in the bucket for an organization that spent $37 million on the 2014 elections and operates on an annual budget of more than a quarter of a billion dollars. But my contributions and others like them may be a big problem for the NRA because, according to some of the nation’s top experts on federal election law, they are all illegal.
The issue is not just that my donations ended up in a political fund account, but the way the NRA solicited them — and presumably those of thousands of others. In fact, each of these transactions almost certainly violated multiple provisions of the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) and a legion of state and federal antifraud statutes designed to protect the public from phony charities and false or misleading solicitations.
Again, I am not equipped to make even a basic determination as to the veracity of the claims, presented in considerable detail, complete with supporting statements from relevant experts. I await clued-in members of our Armed Intelligentsia’s take on the charges.
Meanwhile, the word “arguably” in author Alan Berlow’s conclusion leads me to believe that this exhaustive report isn’t all that it seem to be. But this much is true: either the article is misleading and inaccurate or the NRA is about to fly into a shitstorm of major proportions.
NRA solicitations through its corporate and PVF websites have arguably violated all these state statutes. And because of the way the NRA has structured its PAC, any state attorney general with an interest in investigating these apparent violations would have authority to subpoena all relevant NRA records dealing with its nationwide fundraising operations.
Watch this space. [h/t RA]