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Thursday, August 06, 2020

It could be a fair cop.

No doubt this one has political motivations: New York's attorney general has filed suit to dissolve the National Rifle Association, accusing the upper echelons of the organization of using it as a personal ATM.

Speaking as someone who may or may not own firearms that may or may not have been lost in an unfortunate fishing mishap...I'm willing to buy into this one.

In her lawsuit, Attorney General Letitia James called for the dissolution of the NRA and the removal of CEO Wayne LaPierre from the leadership post he has held for the past 39 years, saying he and others used the group’s funds to finance a luxury lifestyle.

She also asked a New York court to force LaPierre and three key deputies to repay NRA members for the ill-gotten funds and inflated salaries that her investigation found they took.

James accused the NRA leaders of flouting state and federal laws and signing off on reports and statements they knew were fraudulent, while diverting millions of dollars away from the NRA’s charitable mission to benefit themselves and their allies.

The attorney general requested that the court bar the four men — LaPierre, general counsel John Frazer, former treasurer Woody Phillips and former chief of staff Joshua Powell — from ever serving in a leadership position for a New York charity in the future.

“The NRA’s influence has been so powerful that the organization went unchecked for decades while top executives funneled millions into their own pockets,” James, a Democrat, said in a statement.

Her investigation, which began in February 2019, found a “a culture of self-dealing, mismanagement, and negligent oversight at the NRA that was illegal, oppressive, and fraudulent,” according to a statement by the attorney general’s office.

Her lawsuit paints a picture of widespread wrongdoing at the influential gun rights group, and a freewheeling atmosphere in which top officials repeatedly took advantage of their positions for their personal benefit.

I have been an on-and-off member of Satan's Own Rifle Regiment throughout my life, but I have definitely been off for good since 2019. The Association has turned into little more than the extension of LaPierre and his whims, with the Board of Directors [sic] being a bloated shadowy House of Lords rubber-stamp for what Wayne wants to do at any particular time.

Former congressman Allen West called out the Association for financial and governing chicanery in May 2019, and the allegations seemed well-founded. But the snooze bar was hit and despite dumping the culture-warrior NRA-TV channel, business went on as usual.

Now we have this lawsuit. Which almost certainly has been bolstered by info from disgruntled members of the NRA bureaucracy. If the Association goes down in flames, you can blame LaPierre, his cronies and everybody who enabled them. It had become a racket and now the bell has tolled.

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