NRA’s internal civil war getting hotter with new lawsuits and accusations

NRA’s internal civil war getting hotter with new lawsuits and accusations
Wayne LaPierre, Jr. is executive vice president of the National Rifle Association. Photo by Gage Skidmore.
News & Politics

If you have not heard already, the National Rifle Association is having a big civil war. No, not that racist civil war they’ve been trying to foment with the majority of America, a civil war between the non-profit NRA and the marketing company that pays most of its bills, Ackerman McQueen. Ackerman is the PR outfit that actually pays the big money contracts to many of the faces Americans have become familiar with—Oliver North and Dana Loesch. A few weeks ago, NRA crypt keeper Wayne LaPierre dropped a leak saying that a power play was afoot and Oliver North and Ackerman McQueen were “extorting” LaPierre with promises of their own embarrassing leaks of NRA mismanagement and excess. LaPierre’s preemptive move, while successful in keeping him in power at the NRA, has not immunized him from those embarrassing leaks.

Since then reports have leaked out listing myriad excesses and mismanagement, dubious money deals, and big time financial deficits by the Second Amendment lobbyist non profit group. This includes everything from claims that the NRA has been running $40 million in the red, while LaPierre himself has spent $450,000 on travel and nice clothes. The accounting going on between the NRA and Ackerman has led to calls for more serious investigations of the non profit tax exempt status of the organization, and the legality of some of their “charitable” work in relation to their political work.

Now, The Trace reports that the two companies are trading some more legal lawsuit filings. The NRA’s filing on Wednesday charged that Ackerman McQueen has been creating “targeted leaks,” of this bad PR in the hopes of overthrowing the current NRA leadership. It accuses Oliver North and the McQueen team of bad faith and demands $40 million in compensation. Ackerman McQueen turned right around and filed a suit—less than 24 hours after the NRA’s filing—demanding the NRA pay Ackerman $50 million in damages, saying “the NRA’s allegations are bogus, and an effort to hide its own internal strife.”

This all follows NRA’s move last month to file a suit against Ackerman saying that they had not been allowed to see transparent records of how the company was handling its billing, while Ackerman countersued saying that the NRA had been given more than a week with the billing records. In both cases, Ackerman argues that the NRA is trying to push the spotlight away from its own internal shit show.

A couple of years ago the NRA was living high on the hog, spending untold millions on lobbying and right wing gun-loving candidates. But those corrupt salad days may very well be coming to an end. They’ve lost elections and had their super-dubious (and possibly treasonous) foreign money connections exposed. Reports have come out over the past couple of years pointing to serious revenue concerns inside of the organization, prompting more and more speculation as to how the NRA gets money and what they are willing to do in order to get that money.

Thoughts and prayers.

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