The situation at the top of the National Rifle Association gets worse and worse. After all the shenanigans revealed during the last annual meeting, the organization is effectively being run by a cabal consisting of Wayne LaPierre and his loyalists. They're blocking anyone else from investigating the situation as it deserves, and closing ranks to keep their power and position, no matter what.
What's worse is that the LaPierre crew have apparently ignored due process, due diligence and the rule of law. That last is looking more and more likely to bite them in the posterior, because New York State's Attorney-General is on the case, and apparently isn't about to let go. There's at least circumstantial evidence suggesting that the NRA's Board of Directors ignored or neglected its fiduciary duties. That has just led to the resignation of three directors, frustrated that their attempts to investigate the facts of the matter have been thwarted at every turn.
Tom Gresham put it in a nutshell in a newsletter a couple of weeks ago. I think his views are so apposite, and so important, that I'm going to reproduce the whole thing here.
It’s time for Wayne LaPierre to retire.
I have put this off for a while as I waited to see how events would develop. The leaders at the NRA and I’m talking about YOU, the board of directors, as well as the hired help, have spent years … decades … setting up a system which gives key people massive financial rewards. In my view, it’s at least malfeasance, and it might even be corruption. Monster salaries, private jets, slush funds, insane budgets spent on TV shows, as well as PR and advertising campaigns designed to do nothing more than generate more funds which can be siphoned off for dubious programs, putting millions into the pockets of vendors (and maybe staffers and directors and even family members of Wayne must gokey staffers), have eroded the confidence of members and gun owners to the point where we now see a campaign of “no money until Wayne is gone.”
Whether he directed it, was part of it, or just didn’t see what was happening, this all metastasized under the watch of Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre. The buck stops there.
It has greatly jeopardized what most members believe should be the NRA’s core mission – protecting the Second Amendment and our gun rights. In fact, it looks as though the leadership has subverted the core mission into just making themselves rich.
In the world of corporate leadership, when the CEO has failed at this level it’s time for a new leader.
We need a strong NRA as we enter the 2020 election season. Yes, the NY AG office will continue its investigation, but we can’t realistically expect those who led this organization into the sorry state we now see to be the ones to fix it.
LaPierre now is a symbol of this financial meltdown. In short, no matter what is done, if he remains in this post (or has any role at the NRA), it is utterly impossible to restore the trust of the membership.
Wayne, if you care about the movement … if you care about the fight for gun rights -- recognize that you now constitute an impediment. Take your millions and retire. Staying on to fight the good fight won’t do.
Do the right thing.
I endorse Mr. Gresham's call. It's time for Wayne LaPierre to resign, along with every loyalist who's enriched themselves at members' expense, or received any sort of perks or compensation, in cash or in kind, for enabling the high-level malfeasance of office that's been uncovered.
David Codrea goes even further.
Tom [Gresham] was always nicer than I am about such matters, more willing to give the benefit of the doubt. I’ll state flat-out NRA needs to fire LaPierre and turn its legal team loose on finding ways the executive vice president has breached his fiduciary duties in order to “revisit” contractual pension obligations “owed” him if he does bail. Because thanks to his “leadership,” they’re going to need the money.
Mr. Codrea also has a snippet of information that, if true, is likely to be damning.
Enough is enough. Mr. LaPierre, you've got to go. If you don't, then all your oft-expressed concern for the Second Amendment will be revealed as nothing more than a political ploy to enrich yourself at gun-owners' expense . . . and we're fed up with that. We won't stand for any more of it. One way or another, you're going to go. Why not do it as gracefully, and as peacefully, as possible, before it's forced on you?