TTAG Talks With NRA Dissident Donor David Dell’Aquila

David Dell'Aquila

Courtesy David Dell’Aquila

David Dell’Aquila says he finally realized that his attempts to reform the National Rifle Association from within were doomed after a conversation he had with NRA President Carolyn Meadows (she hadn’t been given the top job yet at the time). It happened during a party for large donors like himself that was held before the Indianapolis annual meeting in April.

Dell’Aquila tells TTAG that he approached Meadows because he’d received information indicating that a high-ranking NRA employee was receiving payments from vendors to whom he directed business. Meadows asked where he heard that (he told her it didn’t matter). She then told him none of it was true.

Then Dell’Aquila said he asked Meadows — strictly hypothetically — if she had a problem with an NRA official collecting a salary from the Association while using a vendor with which he either had an ownership interest or received payments for business directed its way (i.e. kickbacks).

According to Dell’Aquila, Meadows told him, “That’s how it’s done in D.C. Everyone does it.”

That’s when he says he knew his year-long effort (it started following the 2018 Dallas annual meeting) to bring about change and accountability by working with NRA officers and employees was futile.

Dell’Aquila, a retired Nashville technology consultant, then set about developing a four-phase strategy to force EVP and CEO Wayne LaPierre and his supporters — both in management and on the board — out of their positions. That would allow the process to begin of making the NRA more effective, open, and accountable to its membership.

Dell’Aquila isn’t alone in this project. He says the people working with him are well-organized with substantial finances, resources and support, and they have legal help. 

Phase One was to publicize his campaign. He did this primarily through an interview he gave to the New York Times that was then picked up by a number of other outlets.

In that interview, he announced the effort, already well under way, to persuade other large donors and supporters of the NRA to withhold dues, donations, planned giving (through estate planning), and ad revenue in NRA publications.

As of July 2 when the Times article ran, Dell’Aquila had obtained commitments to withhold more than $130 million. As of last weekend, that total had gown to over $162 million.

He called Phase Two “Operation Grass Roots.” That involved creating a web site (helpsavethenra.com) through which members can sign a petition to demand leadership change, accountability, and transparency.

When we talked, one of the aspects of the allegations about wrongdoing that clearly bothered Dell’Aquila most was the effect on regular members. People who send their hard-earned dollars in the form of small contributions and dues to support gun rights, only to have them wasted on custom suits, private planes, profligate spending and expensive white shoe attorneys to “fix” management mis-steps.

Phase Three is an effort to use a favorite NRA tactic against itself. Dell’Aquila has assigned each of the NRA’s 76 board members a letter grade based on how well — or not — they represent the interests of the organization and its members over those of its leadership.

As Dell’Aquila told TTAG, it’s the same way the NRA grades politicians and candidates according to their support of gun rights.

He stressed that these grades are “dynamic” and will be updated daily based on board members’ actions, such as yesterday’s letter from four members demanding an independent investigation of the org’s tens of millions in legal expenses paid to lawyer William Brewer.

On Saturday, Dell’Aquila sent a letter (PDF) to all NRA board members explaining his rationale and giving them their grades. He wrote,

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 [director of operations]. 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.

Here is Dell’Aquila’s list of board members and their grades:

A- Advocates the replacement of CEO LaPierre and/or publicized one’s removal from committee’s due to questioning leadership, spending policies, etc.
B- Removed from committee(s) due to questioning leadership, spending policies, etc, but is not publicized
C- Insufficient oversight/direction to CEO LaPierre
D- Recently added to a committee(s) to limit oversight and fortify CEO LaPierre’s power
F- Supports CEO LaPierre and his leadership team with insufficient oversight

Dell’Aquila pointed out that board members have a fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of the Association. In his view, that involves removing LaPierre and current management from office and investigating any questionable, excessive spending or outright wrongdoing.

Members who side with LaPierre, he told TTAG, have made a choice not only to avoid holding NRA officers accountable, but to also forego over $162 million in revenue — a clear breach of their fiduciary responsibilities. That, he said, could put them in legal jeopardy as part of the New York Attorney General’s investigation into the NRA’s finances and practices.

Which brings us to Phase Four. As he wrote to the board members,

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.

Dell’Aquila didn’t want to elaborate much about what Phase Four entails. He didn’t want to tip his hand, but told TTAG it’s a three-pronged effort that includes what he’s calling Operation Grass Roots, Operation Inside Out, and Operation Clean-Up.

Just what that involves isn’t clear, but he said once Phase Four starts, it will be difficult to stop. Given his comment about letting it “play out in the media,” it’s easy to speculate that it involves information about the board and/or NRA operations that NRA insiders would find embarrassing if made public.

As for the timing of Phase Four, Dell’Aquila doesn’t seem to be a patient man. He wants to return to the life of a retired consultant rather than leading an insurgency to preserve a healthy NRA and protect gun rights. While he didn’t want to be nailed down, it sounded like Phase Four would start in about ten days to two weeks assuming no further movement by the board.

Stay tuned.

 

comments

  1. avatar Bob Jones says:

    I’ll definitely be voting next year…for the ousters.
    They need to assemble some fresh blood to run for director as anti-WLP candidates and let the rank and file know their names.

    1. avatar barnbwt says:

      I’m just sure that LaPierre’s nominating committee will be on board with that effort…

      1. avatar Sharp Stick says:

        Are y’all brain dead? Wayne is the heart and soul of the NRA and must never be infringed.

        Odd, don’t you think, Thai I can troll A pro gun website by supporting the NRA?

        1. avatar John in Ohio says:

          “Odd, don’t you think, Thai I can troll A pro gun website by supporting the NRA?”

          People have been trolling pro-gun websites for many years by supporting Negotiating Rights Away. Nothing new here for some of us. The names may change but the Fudds remain.

        2. avatar Sharp Stick says:

          Thanks for biting my hook John, but I’m going to throw you back. I’m after bigger fish.

          Re-baiting my line…every membership penny we withhold from the NRA is a penny more for Bloomberg.

        3. avatar Fudds McKenzie says:

          You’re not as special as you think you are. The good news is there’s plenty of pro-NRA derp for everyone to snark on, if you’d care to calm down and join in.

    2. avatar Missouri_Mule says:

      I voted for some ousters this time.
      Adam Kraut Esquire
      Allen B. West!
      Julie G. Golob – nice person but too busy with career and kids
      Willes K. Lee – got fooled by his appearance on Rev. Kenneth Blanchard’s Black Man with a Gun show
      Good to know who the “F”ers are. My son 24 hates Marion P. Hammer. The political science grad figured that one out on his own (proud dad).

      1. avatar I Haz A Question says:

        Maybe I’m asking a dumb question (cuz I haz one), but what’s the voting process? I’ve been an active NRA member for a few years and have never received any materials or info suggesting that I have the ability to vote on anything. All I get are mailers telling me I can win a big truck full of guns…if I send in some cash.

        It won’t matter soon, anyway. I’m allowing my membership to expire later this year, and won’t renew until this whole debacle is sorted out.

        1. avatar Wood says:

          IIRC, members in good standing >=5 years and life and above members vote. My package comes in one of the publications I get. I’m a life member (signed up during a reduced rate membership drive) and membership is required for my range membership, so while I won’t be donating anything more, I’ll not shoot myself in the foot by dropping a paid life membership.

        2. avatar I Haz A Question says:

          Ok, thx. My local range doesn’t require it, and the training academy (for which I already have a lifetime membership) doesn’t require it either, nor does it claim any affiliation with the NRA.

          So I guess I don’t need it and can afford to wait out the dust-up until it’s settled.

        3. avatar Russel A Helmers says:

          I agree whole heartedly. I made the mistake though of letting them talking me into extending my membership year until 2026. No more money or support from me. I’ve never had any love for La Parrie.

        4. avatar Bruce D says:

          5 years or more of consecutive membership. If you fail to renew, the cycle starts again, if I recall correctly. I strongly urge you to renew. The NRA and LaPierre have been effective. Otherwise, the U.S. would have gun-control more oppressive than Britain or Australia, with coerced buy-ups of firearms. Screw soap opera bullcrap. Now is not the time for infighting. Sure, improve accounting and expenditures. But, we should NEVER jeopardize our resistance to the current ongoing threats to freedom.

    3. avatar Wiregrass says:

      That’s the thing with NRA elections, you can’t really vote for the ouster of anyone. It is set up to maintain the status quo. That’s why so many celebrities are on the board, everybody recognizes names like Ted Nugent, Tom Selleck, Allen West maybe someone like Julie Golob in the shooting community. People don’t really understand how these ballots work. The more votes you cast, the less weight each vote has. The best you can do is “bullet vote” for one candidate that you know seeks reform and leave no other checkmarks. Financial starvation is the only measure that will have an impact at this point.

      1. avatar Steve says:

        Yep. This is the only way to do it.

        Even then, the current system is set up to virtually nullify any votes for prospective new board members that haven’t gone through the internal nomination process and we all know how that works…

  2. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    I’m kind of shocked that more than a few members of the board have received low grades.
    Are they board members just for the status?
    Fuggit. The sun just rose, and it’s time to hit the shower.
    I’ll hit them up later today when I have more time. This is getting bad for the NRA.

    1. avatar Geoff WWJWD - "What would John Wick do?" PR says:

      “I’m kind of shocked that more than a few members of the board have received low grades.”

      Yeah, it looks like the board will be of little use in rectifying the situation.

      That’s more than a bit depressing…

  3. avatar Porridgeweasel says:

    Very interesting article. I see a vision of the pitchforks at the ready, torches in hand.

    Don’t know why but I’m saddened to see Julie Golob with a C.

    1. avatar User1 says:

      Tar and feather. It’s an American tradition.

  4. avatar daveinwyo says:

    Support the 2A, buy more guns ‘n ammo.
    It would appear that the days of the NRA, as a gun rights advocate are done.
    Potomac fever always wins.

    1. avatar Geoff WWJWD - "What would John Wick do?" PR says:

      “It would appear that the days of the NRA, as a gun rights advocate are done.”

      No, it means fixing what needs to be fixed is gonna be a lot more difficult than it needs to be…

      1. avatar daveinwyo says:

        Too old to wait for a “fix”.

    2. avatar John in Ohio says:

      “It would appear that the days of the NRA, as a gun rights advocate are done.”

      As if they every started.

      It would appear that the days of the NRA, as a gun privilege advocate are done.
      FIFY

  5. avatar Mike says:

    Sorry. But I have a huge problem when one of the initial phases of his plan is to run and talk to the New York Times. Any objective person knows the lying New York Times has an agenda and it sure isn’t pro-NRA. To me, this undercuts the rest of Aquila’s credibility.

    1. avatar Geoff WWJWD - "What would John Wick do?" PR says:

      No, it’s a rather savvy move, actually.

      The NYT just wants to see the NRA taken down, and he’s using them to shoulder a lot of the dirty work for him.

      It looks to me like he’s using the NYT without them being fully aware they are the one getting used.

      He appears to me to be rather sharp…

      1. avatar barnbwt says:

        Exactly. And frankly, even the NY AG investigation *could* be a savvy way of decapitating the worst part of the NRA, provided the knock-on effects of the investigation can be sufficiently isolated from the rest of the org. Might not even be hard to ensure that, considering how much LaPierre consolidated & isolated his little fiefdom from all approaches; maybe even to the extent that whatever criminal behavior doesn’t legally reach beyond his immediate reports.

        If this donor had run to a “conservative” (ie Republican, ie NRA-leadership-friendly) news outlet, the story would have been squashed.

        1. avatar Geoff WWJWD - "What would John Wick do?" PR says:

          “Might not even be hard to ensure that, considering how much LaPierre consolidated & isolated his little fiefdom from all approaches; maybe even to the extent that whatever criminal behavior doesn’t legally reach beyond his immediate reports.”

          I really hope that’s the way it plays out. When the dust clears, the NRA needs to seriously consider relocating to a friendlier state than New fucking York…

      2. avatar Missouri_Mule says:

        Ditto!
        60Minutes? LOL

      3. avatar Mike says:

        Sorry. But, respectfully disagree. Many people don’t take the NYT seriously and discount anything they print.

        1. avatar Geoff WWJWD - "What would John Wick do?" PR says:

          But the ones that do are primarily Leftists. And that’s the target audience we want seeing it.

          I don’t get my news from a single political viewpoint, I graze the Washington Post (and others) along with the more right-leaning news sources…

    2. avatar barnbwt says:

      What, should he have run to Fox news instead?

    3. avatar million says:

      It was a good choice if he wanted to maximize his exposure but it’s poor optics. Maybe he tried the Wall Street Journal and they balked or were going to paywall the story online.

      1. avatar Geoff WWJWD - "What would John Wick do?" PR says:

        He wants maximum exposure to the Leftists, and the NYT is the perfect place to drop it…

    4. avatar enuf says:

      The New York Times has a liberal leaning editorial policy but their news reporting is very good.

    5. avatar Old Hawg says:

      Of course, the NYT was going to trumpet the problems in the NRA from the rooftops, whereas a more 2A-friendly organ may have likely muted their coverage of it. Does anyone think that they would have been brought up to speed on what’s going on via “The American Rifleman”? The NYT was only too happy to hang the NRA’s dirty laundry in public in such a way that WE, the membership, couldn’t miss it. I think it was a pretty slick move on Dell’Aquila’s part.

      1. avatar Bruce D says:

        Just so long as it lulls the anti-gun NYT readers into thinking the NRA has gone away.

  6. avatar Dr. Michael S. Brown says:

    Nice write up! He’s and impressive guy. Wish we had someone like David Dell’Aquila in the CEO chair instead of its current occupant.

    1. avatar Bruce D says:

      LaPierre has been effective.

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        “LaPierre has been effective.”

        “Yes, your honor. Guido Sarducci is mafioso, and he makes sure we pay every month to keep bad things from happening to our businesses and family. But he contributes to the church, runs the youth-at-risk midnite basketball league, and keeps our neighbor hood safe. Please don’t send him to jail.”

  7. avatar MarkPA says:

    Looks to me as though the battle is NO LONGER about the money. It’s about EGO.

    WLP would be better off financially if he simply retired and attempted to hang on to his consulting contract. He could negotiate a retirement agreement whereby his cronies agreed not to contest his post-retirement consulting contract. However, his ego probably won’t let him admit defeat (by retiring) in this battle.

    Each of his cronies has the same problem; but, without so large a distraction in money. They have been enjoying the prestige of being an officer or director for so many years while turning a blind eye to the malfeasance of officers and the board. How do their egos deal with the realization that they have been negligent for so many years? It’s hard to let go of one’s own history; to disavow one’s consistent pattern of action (inaction).

    So long as ego is the driving force, the easy-way-out is to let the Association collapse. Then, they can claim that they did the right thing but a tragedy beyond their capacity caused the failure.

    If ego is the driving force there is nothing likely to alter their postures. Maybe being seated in a deposition might register. Maybe their personal attorneys counseling them after the deposition is given might register. Maybe the NRA’s Officers-&-Directors Liability insurance company declining to renew the policy will have some impact.

    Short of such pointed pressure, I don’t find much basis for optimism.

    Politically, about 1/3 of the director seats come up each year. Only a small percentage of eligible (5-year and life) members vote; and, these have consistently voted “shotgun” (not bullet-vote) for candidates of the nominating committee. It’s hard to imagine that these consistent voters will abandon their habitual voting practices.

    If heretofore non-voting eligible members bullet-voted for reform candidates there would be ample potential for turn-over in directorships. However, for this to happen would require at least 2 more elections. And, this could only happen if the nominating committee felt obligated to nominate reform candidates; OR, reform candidates could get nominated by petition.

    The nominating committee is apt to refuse balot slots for reform candidates. Getting nominated by petition has, historically, been an up-hill battle. These two considerations might change in a groundswell grass-roots movement; but this is less-than-likely.

    What does all this mean to those of us who are members and wish for the NRA to survive and thrive? I think it’s in that same word: “ego”.

    There are die-hard NRA member loyalists who will not let go of their treasured organization. I am one of these. Yet, I don’t confuse my treasured institution with the incumbents in its management. I treasure my country, not my politicians. So, I don’t see it as a fight to defend my personal savior: WLP, Hammer, or a slate of F-graded directors for whom I (might have) voted.

    I think it’s a MISTAKE to harp on WLP’s suits, private plane rides, international travel, or salary. For the die-hard NRA loyalist, these complaints are too easily mis-interpreted as targeted at the institution rather than its politicians. Whether WLP’s suits or salary were well/ILL-spent is no longer the issue. INSTEAD, the REAL issue is whether WLP retains the capacity to lead. Are the directors capable of directing? If not, then they must go; they are no more indispensable than the men who populate the cemeteries.

    We can not view the NRA as embodied in a single EVP; nor in a panel of directors who slept on their watch. The NRA must be more than the egos of a few good – though infalible – men. Members must begin to consider whether they want the NRA to survive; or, to serve as the watery coffin in which their heros will inevitably be entombed.

    1. avatar raz-0 says:

      I don’t think it is about ego at this point. THe board circled the wagons pretty early in the NY AG suit and is clearly intent on blaming ack mac for the financial issues that WILL be found.

      Ack mac doesn’t want to be blamed and I suspect is looking for WLP to fall on his sword and take the blame.

      The reality is that both willingly participated in behaviors that put the future of the organization at risk. I highly doubt that the NY AG suit was a simple fishing expedition. It was likely the result of information about these questionable practices leaking. I suspect that those trying to oust the board heard the same things by similar mechanisms. (I can personally attest that parts of this BS, prior to the NYAG doing anything were leaking by word of mouth to at least three degrees of separation, and that’s well past keeping it secret form anyone who wants to know). They tried to work inside of the organization, and that was shut down, and shut down in a bad manner for keeping the peace.

      So we get people trying to push them out in a hostile and aggressive way from the outside. They are going to use every means at their disposal. Being able to sue them over abandoning their fiduciary duty is just one more part in that. Ratcheting up the legal costs while starving them of money is likely the key element and works win or lose. If they win, they get a judge to weigh in on their side, which helps even more.

      I’m going to guess that part of phase 4 involves going after the membership. The NRA is powerful because they have money and voters. They are likely going to push hard to have the voters divest themselves of the organization along with other tactics. I think they are hoping that the pressure will cause the rats to abandon ship, and that plan b is that they at least sequester money and influence from the dying organization and have a nest egg to build NRA v2.0 out of the ashes.

      IMO this is all pretty dire. The organization has been adversarial to those it represents for a while. It’s been permitted to get away with it because they were big, influential, and headed by people unwilling to embrace reform. This went on long enough that their behaviors have provided opportunity to the opponents of RKBA. there is no longer a choice to keep this in house so to speak. No matter how it falls out, our side gets weakened by this. The board lead us to this situation by, from the most generous perspective, being insufficiently competent.

    2. avatar I Haz A Question says:

      “Looks to me as though the battle is NO LONGER about the money. It’s about EGO.”

      Agreed. There’s undoubtedly going on than we’re all aware, but I think the focus has migrated over more toward ego at this point. Nobody wants to be ousted in disgrace from such a widely-known organization. That’s the kind of thing that follows your reputation for the rest of your life and you never come back from. WLP will attempt to avoid it at all costs.

    3. avatar Bruce D says:

      I care about effectiveness. The NRA and LaPierre have been effective, corrupt or not. Otherwise, the U.S. would have oppressive British and Australian style gun-control and Hillary would be President.

      Reform is fine; but I will not tolerate anything that jeopardizes NRA effectiveness, especially going into the 2020 elections.

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        “…but I will not tolerate anything that jeopardizes NRA effectiveness, especially going into the 2020 elections.”

        Meaning what, precisely?

        1. avatar Bruce D says:

          Meaning the ability to mount effective electoral campaigns to bring about a pro-gun Congress and Executive, blocking anti-gun legislation, enacting pro-gun legislation, repealing gun-control.

        2. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “Meaning the ability to mount effective electoral campaigns to bring about a pro-gun Congress and Executive, blocking anti-gun legislation, enacting pro-gun legislation, repealing gun-control.”

          NRA hasn’t, doesn’t, will not do that. Any workable ideas about how to execute and successfully implement your proposition?

        3. avatar Bruce D says:

          I expect cooperation among ALL officers and board members, forgive and forget as is necessary. I do not want hostile state attorneys general involved. I want us resolving it ourselves, quickly.

        4. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “I want us resolving it ourselves, quickly.”

          Starting over is a “resolve”.

  8. avatar enuf says:

    I just signed his petition:

    https://helpsavethenra.com/

    If David Dell’Aquila’s efforts succeed in reforming the NRA, he will deserve the Presidential Medal of Freedom with “S” Device for “Swamp Draining”.

    There isn’t actually an “S” device, I just made that up.

    But there ought to be.

    1. avatar Ogre says:

      Actually, the swamp draining device should be in the shape of a silver drain. Just a suggestion…

      It looks like I will log on and sign the petition, too. Mr. Dell’Aquila sounds like he’s got this all figured out, and with regard to Phase 4, it’s probably good that he didn’t tip his hand too soon. I just want to see the NRA saved with its influence on politicians intact, but in line with the “Save the 2A” action that most of the members want.

      1. avatar Knute(ken) says:

        Someone knows the silver secret. Buying silver at <20 is the bargain of the century, AND the "silver bullet" that will (eventually) destroy the corruption that is DC.
        This should be the pull quote from this item; "Meadows told him, “That’s how it’s done in D.C. Everyone does it.” "
        Indeed, the corruption is everywhere. "Everyone does it"!

        1. avatar I Haz A Question says:

          Several years ago, when the silver hype was in full swing and everyone was selling their pre-1964s on eBay, I developed a tactic that allowed me to locate and “batch” multiple listings, resulting in me not only winning all the auctions but ending up with a total payout that was about 10% below spot price – and that included the shipping. It was great, and worked for about three years as long as there was a wide array of listings to sift through.

          I have enough silver now. My focus over the past few years since the craze has been on paying down my mortgage and bolstering my tangibles (guns, ammo, food, sundries).

        2. avatar Knute(ken) says:

          I believe that to be an excellent plan. In my world view, necessities (food, water, shelter, weapons) take presence over all else. Excess wealth, above these needed basics, should be held in some other form. Probably either currency (federal reserve notes) or money (precious and non-precious metals), or perhaps other asset classes as well.
          I’m lucky in that I live on a ranch with cattle and water wells, so the basics are taken care of.
          For any excess, I buy silver in preference to the others, because it is both more affordable, and the fundamentals are more sound. For example, it comes out of the ground at apx. ten ounces for each one ounce of gold produced. This suggests that its price should be about a tenth that of gold, instead of a 70+ to 1 ratio. This abnormality tells me that silver is currently very undervalued. It also has many more uses than gold, which is now pretty much only jewelry. Silver is in every computer, cell phone, TV, solar panel, and on and on. Hundreds of consumer products, including medicine.
          But the silver market is so much more volatile, due to its small size, measured in dollars, compared to gold. But this volatility works both ways, meaning it can rise just as fast as it can fall. I’m not averse to risk, so that doesn’t bother me. I attempt to manage the risks inherent in all things, not avoid them.
          My gut tells me that the small size of the silver market, and the huge number of uses in industry, will result in a massive surge in price, someday… WHEN, I know not. But, so long as I don’t attempt to leverage with margin loans, the timing doesn’t matter. When the price drops, I buy. If I don’t have the funds to buy, I just hold. That works well, so long as one doesn’t get into a position to HAVE to sell by a certain time, like the “margin call” trap.

        3. avatar I Haz A Question says:

          Yup. Agreed. I’m in the final one-year countdown on my mortgage, and my vehicles are paid for. No credit card debt, no loans, no exposure. I have the oft-touted three months’ worth of food, medicines, supplies, and emergency cash. I have more spread out in various tangibles such as silver bullion/coins, guns/ammo (lots of ammo), etc. And a month’s worth of gasoline that’s rotated. Once the house is finally paid off next summer, I’ll split the money saved into thirds (investments, more food, and the occasional extra getaway for my wonderful wife as a thank you for putting up with all of this).

          Basically, we can’t control the future, but we can be reasonable in how we prepare for the unexpected. I know all about the artificial silver-to-gold ratio and how silver might experience another slingshot upswing if/when gold rises, so I’ll be adding a little bit more at a time while prices are low (SAEs and Maple Leafs).

        4. avatar Knute(ken) says:

          Maples are my choice too. Less premium than Eagles, and 4 nines fine as a free bonus. I do have some Eagles and Philharmonics also, but Maples are my coin of choice. I think they’re prettier too.

    2. avatar Dave G. says:

      I just signed it too. Hope it works.

  9. avatar CLarson says:

    “forego over $162 million in revenue — a clear breach of their fiduciary responsibilities. That, he said, could put them in legal jeopardy as part of the New York Attorney General’s investigation into the NRA’s finances and practices.”
    Is that a creative way of saying you legally have no choice to take outside money with strings attached? All groups and individuals should have the right to say no. Why should New York even have a say if this is an NRA internal matter.

    1. avatar enuf says:

      “Why should New York even have a say if this is an NRA internal matter.”

      Because the NRA is a non-profit chartered in and under the laws of the State of New York. Its internal workings, financial activities, any unethical behaviors all fall under the microscope of the NYS Attorney General. Among which is the duty of the Board Members to behave and act in the best interests of the organization, not their own self-interest. If they are merely incompetent, even that is a breach of their duty under the law.

      The NRA should move out of NY anyway but that does not change how non-profits are regulated under the law. Every state does this, and should do this. Some very poorly, maybe most even. The NRA’s mess is of its leadership’s making. Hope the corrupt and the cronies and the greedy all at least get booted off the Board of Directors.

      We need a strong NRA working for us, not against us!

      1. avatar CLarson says:

        Fair enough. If the NRA goes through reform, then moving out of New York should be one of the main goals.

        1. avatar Geoff WWJWD - "What would John Wick do?" PR says:

          The only problem is, Washington is the seat of national power. So it will need to be in local range. Virginia?

        2. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “The only problem is, Washington is the seat of national power. So it will need to be in local range. Virginia?”

          Once worked for a large defense contractor, headquartered in Chicago; successful lobby office in DC. (and lobbyist offices in all the state capitals)

    2. avatar Knute(ken) says:

      It is not the refusal of contributions that will create the legal jeopardy. It is the totality of the circumstances that will breach their fiduciary responsibilities.
      IF the investigation turns out to find that the monies were turned down because there were strings attached that violated the non-profit charter (for example, contributions from bloomberg that demanded an anti gun stance), then that would be fine.
      IF, ONTH, it turns out that the board refused contributions because they wished to avoid an impartial audit…. THAT would definitely be a breach of fiduciary duty.
      Its quite easy to understand if one just pictures the position one is in as a board member of a non-profit. That one’s duty is to spend the organization’s money in pursuit of the goal written in its charter, not in pursuit of one’s own self aggrandizement. That is the meaning of; “Fiduciary Duty”.
      It is not the money, or its amount. It is about how the money gets spent that is at issue.

  10. avatar Johnny Go Lightly says:

    Phase 4 – come on now…..it is clear that there is the threat of legal action. Either civil, with depositions under oath and court ordered discovery, or collaboration with the AG’s in criminal action.

    1. avatar Geoff WWJWD - "What would John Wick do?" PR says:

      “Either civil, with depositions under oath and court ordered discovery, or collaboration with the AG’s in criminal action.”

      At this point, it appears the problem resides at the highest level of the organization.

      If in their greed they isolated themselves from the lower levels, that will make it easier for the NY AG to focus on the source of the problem.

      I hope they get the ball rolling sooner than later. If it destroys the NRA in its present form, that’s the breaks. A new organization (or organizations) will rise and get back to the business of representing the 2A…

      1. avatar User1 says:

        We honestly don’t have time to allow the NRA to continue to fool the people. The lefties/statists (Republican and Democrat) have already raised 4 generations of anti liberty Americans. It will be a ridiculously hard fight for the hearts and minds of the average person. Trying to covert their statism mentality to a liberty one will be almost impossible once the entire society forgets what it is to be free. Fighting a war for independence will be a futile act because of tech and the massive population you would have to sway.

        We can’t let people become domesticated by organizations like the NRA. The lefties love making their groupies go wild because it brings them the victories. We have to be just as passionate but cunning over mindless violent aggression.

        We have truth, history, numbers and logic on our side. We are not using it on the field of battle because we don’t even show up and the leadership has made us docile.

        1. avatar Geoff WWJWD - "What would John Wick do?" PR says:

          “We have truth, history, numbers and logic on our side. We are not using it on the field of battle because we don’t even show up and the leadership has made us docile.”

          Maybe, but I doubt it. This has royally pissed-off the members who will demand a more open organization. They aren’t getting any money from me until I see how the ‘New NRA’ is structured…

        2. avatar John in Ohio says:

          Well stated, User1. I agree.

        3. avatar Bruce D says:

          We cannot have infighting in the face of a current threat to freedom. I’d rather have a corrupt but effective organization than a self-righteously pure but ineffective one. LaPierre and the NRA have been effective. Reform efforts are OK only so long as they do not jeopardize effectiveness, especially going into the 2020 elections.

  11. avatar John Boch says:

    I’m gonna go out and buy a whole case of popcorn today.

    1. avatar Enuf says:

      Used to be you could go into a Costco and buy a massive bag of popcorn. Have not seen that in years.

      Luckily, it is still offered online. I find as big as 18 gallon size of pre-popped popcorn for sale. But if it’s unpopped to pop yourself that you are looking for, there’s bags of that up to fifty pounds:

      https://www.amazon.com/s?k=bulk+popcorn&i=grocery&ref=nb_sb_noss_2

      This is what it takes to get thru Congressional hearings, Presidential Silly Seasons, major sporting events and yes even NRA infighting.

    2. avatar CLarson says:

      If there ever was a time for an entrepreneur to make Tactical Popcorn™️, it is now. 😀

      1. avatar I Haz A Question says:

        It already exists. Just go to any store, buy a bag of popcorn kernels, pour a little into a saucepan, add a little bit of vegetable oil (people who grew up before microwaves will remember this method), turn the heat up accordingly, and you’ll quickly hear “pop! pop! pop!”

        It’s like “bang! bang! bang!” on your stovetop. 😀

        1. avatar CLarson says:

          I still pop on the stove top, occasionally, and melt real butter on top. Much better tasting than microwave popped. 🍿😋👍

        2. avatar RidgeRunner says:

          What about Jiffy Pop? Never was enough in a batch of Jiffy Pop. Just enough to piss you off.

        3. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “What about Jiffy Pop?”

          Hated that stuff. the layer of popped corn lying on the bottom of the pan was always burned, and once the bag opened, stunk up the whole house. Humbug. I remember when we popped corn in a long-handled basket, over the log fire in the living room. Now, that was really great pop corn.

        4. avatar Enuf says:

          I always liked Jiffy Pop and buy it still from time to time. It does require constant effort to keep it moving to avoid burning, a skill and duty well taught in my Boy Scout Era … a very long time ago.

          We also had and used the closed metal basket to make popcorn over campfires.

          Good times!

        5. 2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil, 1/8 teaspoon POPCORN SALT, 1/2 cup popcorn kernels & butter…for stove-top popcorn

  12. avatar former water walker says:

    Ehhh…they won’t get my lonely membership next year. The NRA has more than a passing resemblance to a large church I used to attend in Chiraq…

  13. avatar Nanashi says:

    Why only now? Why not start this two years ago when LaPierre admitted he conned the membership to pass gun control?

    https://youtu.be/2pk2LqqqtDs?t=4m9s (go to 4:09). Compare it to Volume 13, Number 13, August 15 1986 edition of The Monitor “”Repealing the machine gun amendment tacked on to the McClure-Volkmer bill will be a high priority” said National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action Executive Director Wayne LaPierre Jr.”

  14. avatar Lowpoint says:

    The only thing I don’t like from the Why We Are Doing This section of his website. #2 Chris Cox re-instated and promoted to CEO/Executive Vice-President of the NRA to maintain continuity/stability and provide new leadership. Why does he want Cox back in? Is there nobody competent enough to be an interim leader until one can be elected by a new Board?

    1. avatar User1 says:

      Allen West wanted to help with the reformation. He said he would accept a position as interim president for a year so someone better suited can be found for the long term. Instead certain people wanted Chris Cox to replace Wayne. I find that very odd considering that Cox was little Wayne in the making. I think they didn’t want West because Cox is corrupt like old Wayne or they just didn’t want the black guy being the face of the NRA. Now West is considering leaving the NRA and running for public office again, since he can’t help the NRA he rather help the country.

      I honestly think the typical NRA member does not favor “diversity” in the NRA nor the country. I think West would be an okay choice at this point, but the members don’t want to have a black guy fill the role of a white guy because it looks like forced diversity just because he is black. They like the way things have been, they like the makeup of the NRA as is. I even heard that the leadership has said they can’t stray from that because their internal polling says it won’t end well for the NRA. People will start leaving or stop giving money if they see a bunch of homosexuals, “liberals” and minorities flooding into the NRA. Maybe the leadership is creating that problem and the members are following along with the group think.

      1. avatar Geoff WWJWD - "What would John Wick do?" PR says:

        I think you’re selling the members short.

        Put it to you this way – If Condoleezza Rice decided to run for president, the support for her on the Right would be nearly unanimous. Competency matters, and she has that in spades.

        The Leftists could never wrap their head around the fact that Conservatives hated Obama for his political ideology, not his skin color. You know what would melt ‘Progressive’ minds? The thought of someone like Condoleezza Rice as president…

        1. avatar User1 says:

          But Trump has a similar policy in some respects as Obama. He even does worst things. Yet everyone loves Trump. And they like to yell about how they are proud to be white and they are not ashamed to say it out loud.

          I see a lot of millennial males say they wish America would go back to the great 50s where everything was setup to make white families successful via government programs and not give the same privileges to non whites.

          I forget who it was in the NRA leadership that said they can’t change the status quo of old white guys being the center of the NRA’s demographics and attention. I didn’t think it was necessary to document it because I believed the white males saying they were not the least bit prejudice nor racist. However, seeing how they actually treat people like Maj Toure and Allen West disproves their claims.

        2. avatar User1 says:

          It had to do with her being a minority… So says the new NRA president.

        3. avatar ChanceMcCall says:

          Hey. I have been a member (Life+) since the early 1960s. I am also an “old white guy” who shoots trap and hunts. I also carry every day.

          I would have no problem with West or Colion Noir, serving as President if they would do the job. Neither would any of my friends who are also members.

          From my perspective we need to get rid of WLP and his cronies, as well as many Board Members to fix the NRA. Like David Dell’Aquila, I am part of several efforts to limit funds to the NRA until WLP and his cronies are gone.

        4. avatar Hantmaster says:

          As an old white guy I honestly don’t care what color the people running the NRA are. Are they honest, competent and of good character? That’s what’s important. I’ve got more important things to worry about than color. Like what’s for breakfast.

        5. avatar Bruce D says:

          User 1, that was an anti-gun clip. Why should we give it any credibility?

  15. avatar Sam I Am says:

    Looks like someone decided to start the revolution, finally. Kudo. But….

    Are any of the NRA members recording here contacting him to volunteer time to assist in whatever capacity? In launching a revolt, there must be some things that need attention, but the leader(s) don’t have time to get to. It would be encouraging to learn that r&f are actively supporting the renovation.

    (P.S. Not being a member until the renovation is complete and successful, I would be suspect as an “outsider” of no credential, so that is why I am not volunteering to help the revolution…but I remain a loyal member of the cheer leading squad on the sidelines.)

  16. avatar strych9 says:

    Maybe I’m the only one this happens to but whenever I read certain stories music starts playing in my head. Recently with NRA/WLP stories it’s The Offspring – Staring At the Sun. That’s probably an interesting indication of how I feel about them at this point.

  17. avatar Richard Kennedy says:

    I signed the petition…..I hate that I felt it was necessary….but what I have seen over the past few years is that the NRA has lost its way. If they fall, I hope they can get back up and return to the ideals that created them. If not, I hope another organization can step up, although I don’t know who that would be. We are at a critical time in history. The left is working harder than ever to destroy not only the 2nd Amend. but the entire Constitution and this great nation. We need the NRA to do what we need them to do. Protect the 2nd.

  18. avatar User1 says:

    Angus McQueen, CEO of Ackerman McQueen, died last week.

    These old Fudds need to rethink the way they are going to leave this world. Do they want to leave it with a bad reputation and a strong disliking from the people or do they want to do what is right before they die? They are going to leave sooner than later, one way or another.

    Wayne wants to end up as the bad guy while he rests in peace and his buddies will ride or die for him. I guess it doesn’t matter to these people, they are fine being forever dishonorable in the after life.

    1. avatar Knute(ken) says:

      You said it. Honor means nothing to such ‘people’. Only 20 thousand dollar suits and private jets. It’s all about their egos, and nothing else. Certainly it hasn’t been about the second amendment. Not for the NRA.

      1. avatar Bruce D says:

        I’d rather have a corrupt but effective organization than a self-righteously pure but ineffective one. The consequences of ineffectiveness are far worse at this point in history than the consequences of the alleged corruption. I will only support reform that increases current and future effectiveness, and not anything that jeopardizes either.

    2. avatar Fudds McKenzie says:

      Most will go to their graves with peace of mind, never even knowing how full of crap they were. It’s not a bad deal, they were born into a world ready to recieve them; Disneyland, track housing, solid employment after high school. Their payoff was immediate, rather than in posterity and the consequences, such as they are, won’t trouble them in their natural lives. We can snark about them, but really a bird in hand is usually better than two in the bush.

  19. avatar Owen says:

    I’m saddened to see Sigler got an F. Next time I see him I’ll ask him why. My guess is fudds sticking together but who knows?

  20. avatar User1 says:

    Don’t forget this guy [Anthony Colandro]. He is loyal to the establishment. An A grade BSer.

    1. avatar User1 says:

      Status quo earns you a F.

      Don’t listen to the detractors or haters:

      1. avatar Bruce D says:

        He’s right.

  21. avatar LKB says:

    Sorry to be a Debbie Downer, but I fear that at the NRA, the fix has been in too long and too deep for any meaningful chance of reform. I wish Mr. Dell’Aquilla, Col. West, and other dissident NRA directors all the best of luck in their activities, but unfortunately the clay has already been cast.

    Years ago, WLP (and his cronies / toadies) managed to structure the NRA’s governance such that they are accountable only to the Board of Directors — which they have also structured to be so ridiculously large that it’s not an effective check at all. And add to it the fact that the WLP clique has already stuffed the Board with WLP fartcatchers like Marion Hammer and Charles Cotton, controls the “nominating” committee and NRA lines of communication with its members, and has only 1/3 of the board up for election at any point. The end result is a neutered board that is no check at all on management . . . which is exactly what WLP wanted.

    Ergo, we can protest, complain, etc., all we want, but at the end of the day WLP can simply say “whaddaya gonna do about it”? If anyone thinks he and his cronies are going to voluntarily get off that nice gravy train they are riding (or allow any meaningful independent audits, which would likely lay bare their activities), they’re smoking something.

    Unfortunately, the only ways to get rid of the rot at the NRA all involve doing serious injury to the organization in the process. If donations and membership dues truly start drying up (which they should), the last thing WLP et al. will cut would be their own salaries and benefits — first things to go will be the things that the NRA is supposed to be doing (education, outreach, lobbying, etc.). Legal action (whether by hostile state regulators with another agenda, or via private actions) just mean large legal bills for the NRA (and yet more NRA $$$ for some WLP supporters) and the strong possibility of an adjudication that does yet more damage to the organization.

    As other have said before, I suspect the NRA is going to have to hit bottom before anything gets better. It’s sad, but that’s the reality.

    1. avatar Ing says:

      I’ve thought for a while now that 76 board members — several of them celebrity “stunt” members and all of them spread across the country — is excessive. They can’t communicate with each other, no one knows what anyone else is up to on the board, let alone what the executive office is up to… It’s a recipe for uselessness. It seems Mr. Dell’Aquila reached the same conclusion.

      From what I’ve heard, the NRA already has cut the budget for training and education programs — and that was before any of this kerfuffle.

      I was willing to give the benefit of the doubt, but not after that. It probably will get very, very ugly before anything changes, but the whole organization needs to be turned upside down and shaken out.

      My membership expires in March. That ought to be enough time to see whether it’s worth renewing or not.

      1. avatar joefoam says:

        I came to the same conclusion about the quality and the quantity of the board members. Cutting back on the number of them certainly seems prudent and axing the celebrities does as well. How many people do you need at the trough, and we haven’t even seen the list of employees on the payroll. How many of them are just collecting a paycheck.

    2. avatar Geoff WWJWD - "What would John Wick do?" PR says:

      ” Legal action (whether by hostile state regulators with another agenda, or via private actions) just mean large legal bills for the NRA (and yet more NRA $$$ for some WLP supporters) and the strong possibility of an adjudication that does yet more damage to the organization.”

      Those who are high in the organization but not at management level could hasten the process by turning state’s evidence for the NY AG.

      Once WLP sees the walls rapidly closing in, he may elect to bail…

      1. avatar LKB says:

        Possibly. More likely would be that some NRA people quietly drop a dime to Ack-Mac’s attorneys as to where the bodies are buried, and Ack-Mac’s attorneys then send laser-guided discovery requests to get them (or to burn the NRA if it claims such materials don’t exist).

        The threat that Ack-Mac’s attorneys will air a lot of WLP’s dirty laundry is about the only real pressure I see that has a chance of working in the short term, but at the moment WLP is just purging the organization of anyone he suspects of disloyalty. Doesn’t look like he’s planning on going anywhere.

    3. avatar Bruce D says:

      “…has only 1/3 of the board up for election at any point…”

      That’s to maintain stability and continuity, and guard against hostile takeover.

      “Unfortunately, the only ways to get rid of the rot at the NRA all involve doing serious injury to the organization in the process.”

      Then, it’s better to bear the rot, or find some way to remove it gradually so as not to compromise effectiveness.

      At this point in history, especially going into the 2020 elections, it is essential to have an effective organization even if corrupt, than a self-righteously pure but ineffective one.

      I will only support reform that increases effectiveness, with no compromise in effectiveness in the short or long term.

  22. avatar Chris T in KY says:

    Allan Cors an F rating? He was a regular guest on the Mark Walters Armed American radio show. Wow.
    Vote the f#cker off the board.

  23. avatar The SGM says:

    The failure to address the allegations against Lapierre and his flamboyant expenditures/ flagrant abuse of his fiduciary responsibilities inherent in his position etc., etc. must lead to a revolt by all members. It must be from without as no hangover/ straphangers from the old administration must remain. Until then members must vote with their pocketbook and in correspondence with the board and the CEO – flood their offices, fax machines and e-mails with your disillusionment.

  24. avatar Fudds McKenzie says:

    Several times I’ve been told I should join and try to change it from the inside. That’s a load if crap. Usually the person saying it thinks they’re being clever, talking me into toeing their line and would want me nowhere around if I had a chance at influence. Same scam for thousands of years; support the powers that be now, your reward is forthcoming. Yeah right. Sometimes they just can’t imagine how repulsive I find the status quo. I tell them but they think it’s hyperbole or something. That’s kind of sad. Either way not happening.

    I don’t really want to change the NRA anyway. Fudds won’t stop being a thing. They can have it. The onus is on sincere RKBA people to deny the NRA their money and political capitol. So I affect the change I wosh to make not by joining and changing it from the inside but by staying out. It’s a great deal! Costs no time or money and I don’t have to put up with their crap. It’s funny how just acting according to my principles pays off.

    1. avatar Bruce D says:

      Don’t use that as an excuse to do nothing. Give money to GOA and pro-gun candidates. And keep writing letters to and calling elected officials. As for me, I’m going to keep giving the NRA money. The NRA is effective. I’d rather have an effective organization even if corrupt than an ineffective one no matter how self-righteously pure, unless we want British or Australian style gun-control and Hillary as President.

  25. avatar Mikial says:

    An awful lot of F’s and C’s in there. What a shame that the Board is that self-serving.

    1. avatar Bruce D says:

      Those are factional grades – how strongly they oppose or support LaPierre, how strongly they support the Dell’Aquila faction who assigns the grades.

  26. avatar Anymouse says:

    “That’s how it’s done in D.C. Everyone does it.”

    Bull-F’ing-$#!+. I don’t care if everyone else is corrupt. They should be in jail, and we should be doing the right way. It’s my money (at least a little bit), and I want it handled responsibly without nepotism, self-serving, and conflicts of interest.

    1. avatar User1 says:

      American culture is now totally shit. Even your NRA is behaving like a bunch of commies.

      The youth are now referring to America as a “clown world.” Nothing makes sense and everything is broken. No one is honorable and honest. The entire system is junk and America is moving in the direction of becoming a shit hole.

      No surprise the youth want to CTRL+ALT+DELETE the U.S. system. The problem with that is they’re moving back to European ways instead of away from them. More leftism isn’t the solution to leftism.

      1. avatar Wood says:

        A Constitutional Republic is the antidote to leftism. We had one once, but began moving away from it before the ink was dry.

        The electoral college was brilliant. However, we clearly need a version of it in all the states so crowded leftist urban population centers can’t wag the dog.

        1. avatar User1 says:

          Unfortunately Republicans think there are more right wingers than there actually is just because the map of red and blue shows a lot of red. They forget those red areas have very few people there compared to the blue areas. There are way more leftists in America now; they are the majority and they have the youth on their side.

          There are so many lefties in America they can turn any red area blue by simply moving there. Including entire states. Look at what is happening to Nevada.

        2. avatar Wood says:

          The young are only lefties because they don’t have anything. They’re sponging off their parents or the .gov, and want to keep that gravy coming. Once they build a little personal wealth they’ll switch, because they don’t like the idea of giving their stuff to anyone else.

        3. avatar John in Ohio says:

          “There are so many lefties in America they can turn any red area blue by simply moving there. Including entire states.”

          Exactly. The natural tendency is towards tyranny. It takes a lot of work to keep a people free. After each generation passes without restoring liberty, subsequent generations find it more difficult to identify the actual problem and how to best correct it. It begins by a generation not recognizing how serious a threat to liberty is and minimizing it. Tyranny snowballs generationally from there.

          Tick-Tock.

        4. avatar LKB says:

          “The electoral college was brilliant. However, we clearly need a version of it in all the states so crowded leftist urban population centers can’t wag the dog.”

          We used to have this, in that states often had state senate districts that weren’t strictly apportioned by population (which, like the US Senate, resulted in rural areas having a meaningful voice in government, and they could serve as a check on the impulses of the dominant urban majorities).

          Then in the 1960’s, the Warren Court held (Baker v. Carr) that such systems were unconstitutional because they gave people from less-populated areas more of a voice in government than their proportion of the population, and thus violated the “principle” of “one-man, one vote.”

          You need only look at what’s happened since then in NY, IL, Cal., WA, etc. (and even to a lesser degree Texas and Florida) to see the impact — the big cities now so dominate both houses of the state legislatures that they pretty much ignore and run roughshod over non-urban areas.

          If PDT is re-elected, and gets to replace Ginsberg and Breyer with originalists, perhaps we might see Baker v. Carr reconsidered. But unless or until that happens, that case — which probably had more political impact than just about any case in the last century — will continue its corrosive effects on us, and preclude adopting what you suggest.

      2. avatar John in Ohio says:

        You hit the nail on the head.

  27. avatar Alan says:

    Wayne’s famous or infamous, depends on one’s viewpoint, Background Checks For Everyone, soured me on the guy.

  28. All one has to do is to see how delighted that the liberal-leftwing Socialist-Democrats are over this brouhaha at the NRA to realize that we who hold our 2nd Amendment Right to own and carry firearms as the essential element that keeps us citizens from becoming slaves must keep the NRA alive and well and able and willing to fight the good fight against government tyranny.

    And, all of this in-fighting among us Conservative-Republicans simply emboldens our gun-confiscating enemies on the left.

    1. avatar Bruce D says:

      I agree. We must never lose sight of the true enemy – the gun-controllers and prohibitionists, the collectivists. If I have to tolerate a bit of corruption to maintain effectiveness, I’ll do it. Address the corruption by alerting the membership, not by involving hostile state regulators or filing lawsuits lbefore a crucial election.

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