Submitted by a 2A Advocate
The Wayne LaPierre and his Conservative Inc. Gang have been getting rich of the backs of Joe sixpack NRA members: Wayne and his Gang must go!
Wayne LaPierre, leader of the National Rifle Association since 1991, has turned the country’s most important foremost Civil Rights’ group into a cesspit of corruption and grift. The LaPierregang has long paid itself among the highest salaries of any American 501(c)4 organization, with LaPierre himself earning over $2.1 million in 2018 (the date of the most recent 990-PF filing). The same year, the NRA paid public relations firm Ackerman McQueen a whopping $32 million, almost ten percent of the NRA’s $352 million in revenue that year. Ackerman McQueen was the NRA’s primary external communications agency, a relationship going back to the 1980’s. Throughout this time, Wayne enriched himself, his friends, and members of his clique. As the excesses grew more and more egregious, the payments grew ever more extreme.
When the last 990-PF was filed, one gun blogger took the time to look carefully at the compensation of LaPierre and his top lieutenants. Josh Powell, the NRA Chief of Staff was an egregious example:
“Who in their right mind could justify paying Josh Powell over $900,000 with a base salary greater than the CEO’s of either Ruger or American Outdoor Brands? Powell is the guy responsible for the debacle of NRA Carry Guard, the guy the NRA spent money on to settle his sexual harassment problems, and the guy who has run multiple companies into the ground. It is ridiculous!”
Tyler Schropp, “Managing Director, Advancement”…fundraising, pulled down over $700,000. The salaries understate the problem as the NRA was paying for 5-star hotel stays and luxurious travel for the entire senior leadership team.
Wayne LaPierre and his Conservative Inc. friends have gotten rich off the backs of Joe Sixpack NRA members! Ridiculous!
The house of cards began to collapse in 2018 when Wayne hired Oliver North to be the President of the NRA. Wayne thought he was appointing another Charlton Heston, a charismatic figurehead who would hold up a musket and shout, “from my cold dead hands.” Instead, what he got was a middleweight boxing champion who funneled money to right-wing guerillas in Nicaragua.
The NY State Lawsuit against Wayne LaPierre and the NRA explains the situation. According to the NRA bylaws, the President role was unpaid, but Oliver North had a lucrative contract with Fox News to produce a show called “American Heroes.” Unfortunately, Fox News would not permit Oliver North to produce American Heroes AND be NRA President. So the NRA proposed a scheme to pay North through Ackerman McQueen and have American Heroes aired on NRATV, another Ackerman project. Upon taking on the title of President, various whistleblowers and dissident Board members began to show North where the bodies were buried.
Meanwhile, in 2018, the NRA hired Brewer, a law firm founded by William Brewer III, the son-in-law of Angus McQueen, founder of Ackerson McQueen. Brewer is a a well-connected Democratic donor. North became concerned that the NRA was paying Brewer $2 million per month in legal fees without review. In early 2019, the Audit Committee of the Board reviewed the contract with Brewer and determined that it failed to comply with the NRA’s own internal controls.
It was at this point, that LaPierre realized that North was going to be a problem, so he used the payment to North through Ackerman that he himself arranged to claim that North was violating the NRA’s “conflict of interest” policy. The chutzpah!
In April of 2019, North brought the conduct of the LaPierre Gang to the rest of the Board and resigned as President (while remaining on the Board). Over the next 3 months, Board Member Allen West publicly denounced the LaPierre gang. Chris Cox, LaPierre’s expected successor was fired and declared a “coup plotter.” Other Board members demanded an independent investigation and they were frozen out and resigned.
While a civil war was raging inside of the NRA, Ackerman McQueen terminated its 38-year long contract with the NRA. In August, Brewer and the LaPierre Gang devised a new plan to hang onto power, sue Ackerman and pin the self-dealing on it. At this point, Ackerman had every incentive to share information on the LaPierre Gang with New York State Attorney General Letitia James, an activist bent on the NRA’s destruction. With donations down due to COVID-19 and Brewer’s legal fees the NRA is hemorrhaging cash. The NRA has laid off 200 staffers year to date.
The only way the NRA will survive is for the Board to stand up fire Wayne LaPierre and his Gang, conduct a thorough audit, and rebuild the trust of its 5.5 million members. Today, one lone Second Amendment activist, David Dell’Aquila, has laid out the game plan to move forward:
The NRA is by far the most effective gun advocacy group in the world and the Left will stop at nothing to destroy it, shred the Second Amendment, and reduce middle-class Americans to serfdom. That said, it should not be a haven for grifting off American gun owners, Wayne and his Gang must go.