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NRA’s Wayne LaPierre Says He Is Being Extorted, Pressured to Resign Login/Join 
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Group’s longtime leader says Oliver North, president of the NRA, wants him out
Wayne LaPierre, who spoke Friday at an annual meeting of the National Rifle Association, has been at the top of the organization for three decades. Photo: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg News
By Mark Maremont
April 26, 2019 5:39 p.m. ET

Longtime National Rifle Association leader Wayne LaPierre has told the group’s board he is being extorted and pressured to resign by the organization’s president, Oliver North, over allegations of financial improprieties, in a battle stirring up one of the nation’s most powerful nonprofit political groups.

In a letter sent to NRA board members late Thursday afternoon, Mr. LaPierre, the group’s CEO and executive vice president, said he refused the demand. Instead he called on board members to “see this for what it is: a threat meant to intimidate and divide us.”
Read the Letter

“Dear Members of the Board:...”

Mr. North sent his own letter to the board late Thursday evening, in which he said his actions were for the good of the NRA and that he was forming a crisis committee to examine financial matters inside the organization, according to people familiar with its contents.

Mr. North previously had sent a longer letter to the board’s executive committee detailing new allegations of financial improprieties involving more than $200,000 of wardrobe purchases by Mr. LaPierre that were charged to a vendor, according to the people. One of those people described Mr. LaPierre’s letter as an “angry reaction” to Mr. North’s longer letter.

The behind-the-scenes brawl is taking place amid the gun-rights group’s big annual meeting, at which President Trump spoke Friday.

Insiders say matters will come to a head by Monday, when the NRA’s full 76-member board is set to meet.

The fight stems in part from a dispute between the NRA and its longtime advertising firm, Ackerman McQueen Inc., which resulted in a lawsuit filed by the NRA earlier this month. In the suit, the group claimed Ackerman McQueen had refused to provide records justifying its billings. Ackerman McQueen has called the lawsuit “frivolous” and “inaccurate.”

One of the NRA’s claims was that for months it had been stymied in attempts to get details of the ad firm’s contract with Mr. North, a former Marine Corps officer and Iran-Contra figure who hosts a documentary program on NRATV produced by Ackerman McQueen.

According to Mr. LaPierre’s letter to board members, which the The Wall Street Journal has reviewed, Mr. North called an NRA senior staffer Wednesday to convey a message to the NRA chief. In the call, according to the letter, Mr. North said that unless Mr. LaPierre resigned, Ackerman McQueen was prepared to send a letter to the NRA board that would be “bad for me, two other members of my executive team and the Association.”
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The letter, Mr. LaPierre wrote the board, “would contain a devastating account of our financial status, sexual harassment charges against a staff member, accusations of wardrobe expenses and excessive staff travel expenses.”

Mr. LaPierre added that after the call “others informed me that I needed to withdraw the NRA lawsuit against [Ackerman McQueen] or be smeared.”

A spokesman for Ackerman McQueen said it would have no comment.

William A. Brewer III, an outside attorney for the NRA, said, “many of the issues raised by Col. North have been the subject of review and investigation by the NRA since early last year. In our view, the items involving Mr. LaPierre may reflect a misinformed view of his and the NRA’s commitment to good governance.”

As for the wardrobe costs, NRA second Vice President Carolyn Meadows said the expenses dated back 15 years and “a wardrobe allowance is not that extraordinary” for the NRA chief, who has “participated in literally thousands of speeches and hundreds of television appearances during that time.”

The letter also claims that Mr. North told the NRA staffer the letter wouldn’t be sent if Mr. LaPierre promptly resigned. If Mr. LaPierre supported Mr. North’s continued tenure as NRA president, the letter claimed, Mr. North stated he could negotiate an “excellent retirement” package for the NRA chief.

Mr. LaPierre wrote that the threat was couched, “in the parlance of extortionists, as an offer I couldn’t refuse. I refused it.”

In the letter, Mr. LaPierre said Mr. North was paid “millions of dollars annually” by Ackerman McQueen, for a dozen episodes of his series, “Oliver North’s American Heroes.” But only three episodes have been delivered thus far, Mr. LaPierre wrote, and the NRA has demanded to know what it is paying for “in light of these production shortfalls.”

Ackerman McQueen “appears to have responded indirectly by trying to oust me,” Mr. LaPierre wrote.

The dispute pits two high-profile conservative figures against each other. Mr. LaPierre has headed the NRA for close to 30 years. During his tenure, the group shifted from being a grass-roots organization to a nationally powerful advocacy organization with strong political sway when it comes to its core gun-rights message.

Mr. North is a conservative folk hero from his tenure in the 1980s on the National Security Council and his role in the Iran-Contra scandal. He became NRA president a year ago as the group searched for a higher-profile figure as its finances sagged after Mr. Trump’s election eased concerns about more gun regulations under another Democratic administration.

The NRA president must stand for reelection every year, but in recent years most presidents have served for two years. Mr. North’s first term is scheduled to end Monday.

—Zusha Elinson contributed to this article.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Fla. Jim,
 
Posts: 3561 | Location: White City, Florida | Registered: January 11, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Circumstances
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Term limits. Wayne has been in charge long enough.



Support your own damn self and leave me the hell alone - Kurt Schlichter's Red, White And Blue New Deal
 
Posts: 3090 | Location: Sunnyside of Louisville | Registered: July 04, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
quarter MOA visionary
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Just STOP it Col. North.
Don't desecrate a fine organization.
Please stop.
 
Posts: 16958 | Location: Houston, TX | Registered: June 11, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Honky Lips
Picture of FenderBender
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by smschulz:
Just STOP it Col. North.
Don't desecrate a fine organization.
Please stop.


under no circumstance is the NRA a "fine organization," they are our most effective organization but by no means, fine.




Chances are high; you won't like what I've got to say.
 
Posts: 7943 | Location: Live from the high desert and the great American southwest! | Registered: July 24, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
My hypocrisy goes only so far
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North just resigned.




U.S.M.C.
VFW-8054
III%

"Never let a Wishbone grow where a Backbone should be "



 
Posts: 6169 | Location: Central,Ohio | Registered: December 28, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
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sheesh

hate to this kind of drama

a united front is better

------------------------------


Proverbs 27:17 - As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.
 
Posts: 7379 | Location: Florida | Registered: September 20, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Go ahead punk, make my day
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by GrumpyBiker:
North just resigned.
Yeah, I figured it would play out like that.
 
Posts: 42760 | Registered: July 12, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Go ahead punk, make my day
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by FenderBender:
quote:
Originally posted by smschulz:
Just STOP it Col. North.
Don't desecrate a fine organization.
Please stop.

under no circumstance is the NRA a "fine organization," they are our most effective organization but by no means, fine.

There really are no 'fine' organizations that are remotely effective.

Nature of the game.
 
Posts: 42760 | Registered: July 12, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
Looks like Ollie picked the wrong side and overplayed his hand.

To be more clear, he was already on the side of Ackerman-McQueen, which pays him handsomely for his NRATV program.
 
Posts: 1418 | Location: WI | Registered: December 29, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
Term limits does seem to be in order.



I Drink & I Know Things
 
Posts: 349 | Location: Fort Worth, Texas | Registered: February 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Leave the gun.
Take the cannoli.
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by doublesharp:
Term limits. Wayne has been in charge long enough.


Not to mention the crazy salaries for the executive staff
 
Posts: 6340 | Location: New England | Registered: January 06, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
I can't tell if I'm
tired, or just lazy
Picture of ggile
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The NRA may have been a fine, outstanding organization at one time, but not anymore, and I think Ollie made the smart choice in resigning.

If the NRA is going to survive it needs to have a thorough house-cleaning, but I don't see that happening.


_____________________________

"The problems we face today exist because the people who work for a living are outnumbered by those who vote for a living."
 
Posts: 1180 | Location: Lake County South Dakota-pheasant country | Registered: June 20, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Tinker Sailor Soldier Pie
Picture of Balzé Halzé
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by RHINOWSO:
quote:
Originally posted by FenderBender:
quote:
Originally posted by smschulz:
Just STOP it Col. North.
Don't desecrate a fine organization.
Please stop.

under no circumstance is the NRA a "fine organization," they are our most effective organization but by no means, fine.

There really are no 'fine' organizations that are remotely effective.

Nature of the game.


Very true.


~Alan

Acta Non Verba
NRA Life Member (Patron)
Family, Guns, Country

"My guns are always loaded."
~R.G. Justified

What whiskey will not cure, there is no cure.
 
Posts: 22367 | Location: Ski Town, Utah | Registered: October 29, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Peace through
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OP, you need to provide a link. All posted news items must be accompanied by a link.


____________________________________________________

"The world's in a bad way, my man,
And bound to be worse before it mends;
Better lie up in the mountain here
Four or five centuries,
While the stars go over the lonely ocean"
- Robinson Jeffers
 
Posts: 87036 | Registered: January 20, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Ignored facts
still exist
posted Hide Post
So, without the NRA, what would be the state of 2A??

Just sayin'


.
 
Posts: 8012 | Location: The Beaver State | Registered: February 28, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Gracie Allen is my
personal savior!
posted Hide Post
^^^ Well, yeah, but that's a good reason to keep an eye on the people at the top of the organization.
 
Posts: 23280 | Location: Deep in the heart of the brush country, and closing on that #&*%!?! roadrunner. Really. | Registered: February 05, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Tinker Sailor Soldier Pie
Picture of Balzé Halzé
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by radioman:
So, without the NRA, what would be the state of 2A??

Just sayin'


I'm 100% behind the NRA. I don't know what the deal is here between the CEO and the President (former President), but I hope that it is squashed soon. I don't like seeing this internal quarrel being so public.


~Alan

Acta Non Verba
NRA Life Member (Patron)
Family, Guns, Country

"My guns are always loaded."
~R.G. Justified

What whiskey will not cure, there is no cure.
 
Posts: 22367 | Location: Ski Town, Utah | Registered: October 29, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Veteran of the
Psychic Wars
posted Hide Post
Here is a link thru Reuters:

Ollie Steps Down,,,


__________________________
"just look at the flowers..."
 
Posts: 1100 | Location: Va | Registered: March 02, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
quarter MOA visionary
Picture of smschulz
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Col. North was wrong in the way he handled the dispute.
Other than that I wish him the best, he made the right decision to get out and let the NRA live on.
 
Posts: 16958 | Location: Houston, TX | Registered: June 11, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Glorious SPAM!
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Personally I have thought that Wayne needed to go a LONG time ago. I cringe everytime he speaks and tries to refute the left. He is horrible at it. He is not the guy we need to fight the new radacalzed left. He may have been fine in simpler times but he is not a wartime consigliere. And make no mistake the radical left is at war with ANYONE who owns guns, whether some want to believe it or not.
 
Posts: 9055 | Registered: June 13, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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