The ballots for the 2020 NRA Board of Directors Election were included in the February issues of the official magazines. Those who get the magazines electronically should have received their ballots separately in the mail. If you haven’t received your ballot and you think you are eligible to vote, contact NRA Membership Services at 1- 703-267-1000. Ask for membership. (Correction courtesy of Dave V.)
Completed ballots must be received back by March 29th. Late ballots will not be counted.
The first published endorsements that I saw were from Lt. Col. Robert Brown of Soldier of Fortune Magazine. Col. Brown has been a member of the Board of Directors for a number of years and has been a somewhat independent voice on the board. He endorsed six people for the Board. He notes elsewhere he is NOT voting for Charles Cotton, the current 1st VP.
Ammoland News is endorsing only two candidates this year: Anthony Colandro and Graham Hill. They go on to say:
Based on the last years’ controversy at the NRA AmmoLand News is very cautious in who we are endorsing as we wait and see how the NRA’s legal challenges work out. Graham Hill is one of those Directors that we know very well and have much respect for his work and trust his leadership skills can help guide the NRA in the year to come. Please Bullet Vote only for Graham Hill and Anthony Colandro when you return your NRA ballot.
Anthony’s DECADES of Second Amendment activism experience, fighting for all of us, with a target on his back, is the thing legends are made of! Leading rallies, testifying for gun owners at hearings held at our state capitol, hosting Tony Simon’s Diversity Shoot and the Second Amendment Women Shooting Club–SAW at his range. He never stops fighting! His in-your-face weekly radio broadcast reaches millions of gun owners nationwide.
The Trigger Pressers Union (a training organization) has endorsed Frank Tait and Jim Wallace. Klint Macro, the head and founder, is also endorsing Todd Ellis and Anthony Colandro according to their Facebook post.
Next up is Save the Second. The organization itself has not endorsed any candidates. They have, however, provided a valuable service by creating a guide to all candidates which can be found here. It has many links to candidates’ social media sites, endorsements, and biographical information.
They also have produced a 2 1/2 hour YouTube where they discuss the candidates. It is worth watching.
The individual directors of Save the Second have made their own recommendations independent of the organization.
Jeff is blunt on what the NRA faces and the assortment of candidates on this ballot.
The NRA is in deep trouble. I honestly expect indictments and financial sanctions to be coming down very soon from investigations being conducted by the New York and DC attorneys general and other agencies. All of these troubles tie directly back to Wayne LaPierre and the NRA Directors who allowed him to abuse his power so egregiously. If the Association can be saved, it’s going to require Directors willing to make hard decisions and stand firmly on principles. This ballot doesn’t offer a lot of hope for that, but we must do what we can with what we’ve got.
Jeff has made both endorsements and non-endorsements. The non-endorsements are those who should not get your vote under any circumstances. These include Charles Cotton, Ron Schmeitz, and Alan Cors. Rejecting these three would, in Jeff’s words, send a “loud message to the Board and the powers that be.” He also mentions John Cushman who is running by petition. Cushman has been on the Board off and on for 20 years. Jeff considers him part of the problem and not part of the solution.
In years gone past, Jeff has endorsed bullet voting. This year he has broadened the number of candidates he supports. They include:
Finally, as a reminder, I am endorsing both Frank Tait and Graham Hill. I think both are excellent candidates and worthy of your support. I am also suggesting bullet voting. The NRA Board election is what is termed in political science an “approval election“. This means there are multiple candidates running for multiple seats and you can vote for as many candidates as there are seats. Social scientists have written extensively on approval elections and on voting strategically in these elections.
Since you cannot rank order your preferences, if you vote for as many candidates as there are open seats, then your most favored candidate is equal to your least favored candidate. One merely needs to look to the presidential election of 1800 to see the consequences. Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr both got the same number of electoral votes even though one was running for president and the other for vice-president. This became known as the Burr Dilemma. That election was ultimately decided in the House of Representatives.
If you see other endorsements for the Board that you think should be highlighted, please comment and include a link to the endorsement with your comments.
However, according to an internal email obtained by Newsweek, Powell has departed the NRA entirely.
It was not clear whether Powell was fired or if he resigned. The NRA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The email clarifying the nature of Powell’s departure was sent to the board of directors Saturday evening by the NRA’s general counsel John Frazer.
“Several directors have reported receiving media queries regarding Josh Powell and his employment status with the Association,” he wrote. “For the sake of clarity, we note that Josh is no longer employed by the NRA.”
In noting the sensitivity of discussing personnel matters, Frazer made reference to “the assortment of pending and threatened litigation” facing the gun-rights group.
The Newsweek article also raised a question that someone asked me on Twitter this evening: how did Ackerman McQueen know or find out that Powell had been placed on leave?
Save the Second raised some interesting questions regarding the termination of Powell’s employment with the NRA.
2. Was this a move against Wayne’s wishes/protection?
3. Was there an insultingly generous severance package to add insult to injury after his disastrous tenure as an overpaid executive that didn’t seem to do anything right?
4. Will the problems he and his decisions/appointments caused in the NRA’s Education & Training Division be undone ?
Given that it will be classified as a personnel matter, I think the whys and wherefores of his termination may never be fully known. Moreover, unless either Wayne or one of his inner circle talks, we won’t know the answer to number 2.
We may have to wait until the Meeting of Members at the Annual Meeting in Nashville to find out if any severance package has been paid. If then.
Only time will tell if the problems Powell caused in Education and Training will be solved.
Save the Second is having a pre-NRA Board Meeting meet-up in Northern Virginia tomorrow evening. I have put their notice below:
The BoD Meeting is quickly approaching. Save The Second is planning a gathering with STS followers and fellow concerned NRA members at the Washington Dulles Airport Hilton on Friday, September 13th at 6:00pm. Yes, that is the same meeting location as the NRA Board of Directors meeting. Not only will you have a chance to meet and discuss NRA issues with like minded members, but we will also be discussing the plan for Saturday morning. Hopefully, we will have the chance to converse with a few NRA Directors of the Board as well. If you plan on attending the meet up on the eve of the BoD meeting, please RSVP on the official Facebook event. This is a night you will not want to miss.
There is a concept in public relations called strategic silence. While normally you want to respond to critics, sometimes it is advisable to do nothing. This is especially true when you are a large organization and the critic is small and not well-known. It is counterproductive.
Marion Hammer obviously never learned this.
Yesterday, the Washington Times ran a commentary by Ms. Hammer attacking Save the Second. It also had a condescending attack by her on Alan Gottlieb of SAF and CCRKBA as well as on the late Neal Knox. Her purpose in this op-ed seems to have been to defend Wayne LaPierre as well as position the NRA as the be all and end all of the Second Amendment.
Some attackers, including some of the NRA’s own members, have created an outfit that calls itself “Save the Second.”
The organization is most definitely not about saving the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Save the Second maliciously encourages the harassment of NRA board members who oppose attempts to oust NRA leadership.
There are many in the Second Amendment community who have not heard of Save the Second. They have now.
Save the Second is a 501(c)(3) non-profit established for the sole purpose of reforming the NRA so that it can be a more effective advocate for the Second Amendment and gun rights.
One of the original founders – Anthony Garcia – was one of the organizers of the successful recall effort in Colorado. (Corrected – I had both Ron Carter and Anthony as organizers while it was only Anthony.) The recall was to replace prominent Democrats who passed universal background checks and a magazine ban. Those Democrats had been funded by Michael Bloomberg and the opposition to their recall was funded by his millions as well. Both Senate President John Morse and Sen. Angela Giron were recalled and a third Democrat resigned before she could be recalled.
Ms. Hammer continues:
Leaving the NRA in the hands of a bunch of novices who haven’t done 1 percent of what Wayne has helped the NRA accomplish is a pure recipe for disaster.
You may think they’re well-meaning but they likely couldn’t figure out how to run the NRA or a 50-state legislative operation, period.
From all appearances, Save the Second is just an extension of the 22-year-old failed coup attempt against Wayne by led by the late NRA board member Neal Knox, whose son is gun-rights supporter Jeff Knox of the Firearms Coalition.
Oh, I think they could figure out how to run a 50-state legislative operation. After all, the blueprint for the NRA’s grassroots efforts did come from former BOD members Tim Knight and Sean Maloney who just happened to work with Ron and Anthony in the Colorado recall effort.
As to the “failed coup attempt” of 1997, this is actually a rewriting of history. I have been going back and re-reading Neal Knox – The Gun Rights War. Just as now, there was a call for financial audits as well as a “management audit” ordered by the NRA Board of Directors in 1996. There were serious concerns about a decline in assets and a “failure to manage, poor internal controls, too much reliance on outside vendors, and too many multi-million dollar agreements without written contracts.” (As an aside, I really suggest buying the Kindle version of this book to learn more.)
Then, as now, the chief resistance to financial openness was Wayne LaPierre. Then, as now, his chief backer was Marion Hammer. The two have a long-term symbiotic relationship which seems to have little to do with protecting the Second Amendment and all about protecting their perks.
Ms. Hammer concludes by saying, ” Our country needs the NRA. And Wayne LaPierre is the only person who can lead us through this hate-storm. ”
She is half right. We do need the NRA. However, we need an effective NRA with an effective Board focused on the Second Amendment. Unfortunately, it seems that the most effective people such as Chris Cox, Jennifer Baker, Emily Cummins, and David Lehman are all gone having been forced out due to Wayne’s paranoia fed by William Brewer III and Josh Powell.
Now that you know about Save the Second thanks to Ms. Hammer, they plan to be at the NRA Board of Director’s meeting this Saturday morning. It is being held at the Hilton Washington Dulles. Save the Second will be presenting the member’s petition calling for a vote on mandatory attendance at NRA Board meetings. If you are in the area, I hope you will attend.
For those that haven’t heard Save the Second is a grass roots organization calling for reforms in the National Rifle Association. They most certainly are not anti-NRA and their proposed reforms would, in my opinion, help shore up the organization and return the focus to fighting for the Second Amendment.
The first goal that they are working on is attendance requirements for directors. To that end, they are collecting signatures from voting members on a petition to bring that up at the next Board of Directors meeting in September. It seeks to change the bylaws to impose an attendance requirement. If a board member misses two out of three meetings in a given year without good cause, they cannot be nominated by the Nominating Committee. They could run by petition. If they miss three consecutive meetings, they would be permanently disqualified from service on the Board of Directors at the end of their current term.
I have groused about this in the past and now it is it is time to act. If you are going to put your name up for election to the Board, it should be incumbent upon you to actually show up for the meetings. While the celebrities seem to be the worst offenders, they aren’t the only ones.