Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos
At the beginning of the new year, the National Rifle Association announced its plans to file for bankruptcy in order to reorganize and set up shop in Texas. One of the reasons the Second Amendment cult and money-laundering scheme organization filed for bankruptcy was to get out from under the New York state investigation into the dubious financial dealings of the "nonprofit."
Those dubious dealings had been leaking out to the press as a result of a legal civil war within the money-loving, gun-obsessed group and their longtime bankrollers, PR firm Ackerman McQueen. Even before those lawsuits and the public civil war between Ackerman McQueen and the NRA began, story after story of the financial woes of the organization leaked out. Since the battle between the two organizations has been unearthed, story after story after story has also leaked detailing wild spending habits, mismanagement, and alleged corruption among top executives. Meanwhile, board members have been pushed out or resigned.
In more bad* news, a possible new civil war is breaking out within the board as Wichita, Kansas, judge and veteran board member Phil Journey is adding a wrinkle into the NRA leadership's attempt to cleanly move through bankruptcy court in the Lone Star State. According to the Wichita Eagle, Judge Journey's attorney filed a motion in a Dallas court asking for "an independent examiner to investigate allegations that the NRA's longtime chief executive and others mismanaged the organization to enrich themselves and a handful of well-connected insiders." Journey is quoted as saying that in having an independent investigator mandated by the courts, "The hope is to either confirm or deny the allegations swirling around the association."
This move by Journey, who served on the board for three years in the 1990s and had returned to the board last year, is entirely plausible due to all of this crazy spending by higher-ups. This move might make the more cynical minds among us scratch their collective heads as to what exactly is happening here. According to the filing, at issue is NRA chief Wayne LaPierre's housecleaning over the past few years, as he has centralized his hold on the organization.
"The Debtors (the NRA) have improperly paid excessive compensation to current management in base salaries, and, perhaps more troubling, via a series of excessive perks that were wholly for the Debtors' insiders' personal benefit.
"The Debtors' insiders received this hidden compensation for items via direct payment of purely personal costs. This includes the Debtors paying for purely personal travel costs for private chartered airplane trips for the Debtors' insiders and extended family members and friends."
Journey's motion also alleges that a swath of board members were not made aware of the Chapter 11 filing, nor the new LLC, Sea Girt, being used to "bootstrap this filing into this district and venue." According to Judge Journey, he and others found out about all of this by way of the news. Teehee. Journey, of course, has no issue with the move to Texas, but he is clearly making a move against the current leadership. I'm praying for you guys!
Some of the many things at play here are NRA frontman Wayne LaPierre's spending habits. That includes little things like LaPierre's reported interest in getting the NRA to help him purchase a $6 million mansion on the company dime. LaPierre and his family also seemed to enjoy jetting about on private excursions, billing their lifestyle back to the 'nonprofit.' What all of these allegations and stories have in common is that they try to point fingers at one another to lay the blame for the company's continued financial decline.
But financial issues have been at the forefront of the gun group's concerns over the past couple of years, as proven by choices to pull back on lawsuits defending them against being labeled "domestic terrorists" and the like. Their fundraising efforts in recent years have led them far afield of our country's borders—you know, the way real faketriots like the NRA are wont to do.
Is this the first sign that Wayne LaPierre might really lose control over the organization he has worked so hard to make money off of? Possibly. It shows that the bankruptcy process is going to be more than simply getting out from under the numerous legal issues the Second Amendment conmen are running away from. If Journey is successful, he and whomever else he has in his corner might angle their way into leadership positions with the shady public relations claim that they have cleaned house of their bad apples.
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