Monday, April 29, 2019

Circular Firing Squad

Via the Washington Post:

National Rifle Association President Oliver North has been ousted amid internal strife and external pressure.

In a statement read at the NRA’s annual meeting in Indianapolis on Saturday, North said he would not seek a second term, citing confrontations with board members and donors over what they called exorbitant payments to a law firm, a lawsuit against the group’s longtime public relations firm and press reports about alleged financial mismanagement.

“There is a clear crisis,” North said in the letter, which was read by NRA Vice President Richard Childress. “It needs to be dealt with immediately and responsibly so the NRA can continue to focus on protecting our Second Amendment.”

The announcement by North, who said he created a committee to look into the organization’s finances, came a day after NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre issued his own letter to the NRA’s board claiming North had attempted to extort him.

According to that letter, North told LaPierre that he would send the board a letter alleging sexual harassment by a staff member, a “devastating account” of the NRA’s financial status and accusations of profligate spending on clothes and travel, unless La­Pierre resigned from his position and withdrew the NRA from a lawsuit it filed against Ackerman McQueen, the public relations firm it has used for decades.

“I believe the purpose of the letter was to humiliate me, discredit our Association, and raise appearances of impropriety that hurt our members and the Second Amendment,” LaPierre wrote in the letter, which was first reported by the Wall Street Journal. “I believe our board and devoted members will see this for what it is: a threat meant to intimidate and divide us. I choose to stand and fight, and hope to bring 5 million members with me.”

The NRA’s board will meet Monday to determine next steps. Tom King, a board member and president of the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association, said he supports LaPierre.

Couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of nuts who took an organization that once advocated for sensible gun control and stayed out of politics and turned it into a screaming mob of thugs with the finesse of a jackhammer and the sense of humor and tolerance of the Taliban.

And of course it all comes down to money.  It always does.