Suppose you were an enemy of the right to arms and set out to create a plan for the destruction of the NRA. What would go into the plan?
First, upon discovering the massive corruption, utterly outrage the PR agency that was the conduit for much of the money. Don’t tell them “we’ve seen what you’re up to, and how you’ve looted us, no more of it, let’s negotiate the terms of separation.” After all, they know where all the bodies are buried (as Steve Hart, the board’s attorney, warned).
No, cut them off suddenly, insult them publicly, and sue them on doubtful grounds. They must be made so angry that they will disclose everything, even if it implicates them, as well as NRA leaders, in crime.
Then, when they release stories on the corruption, do not react with shock and initiate an investigation and audit. That would suggest that NRA’s board is not itself corrupt or tolerant of corruption. It is capable of good nonprofit governance, which would kill the NY Attorney General’s lawsuit. So don’t go there.
Next, when president Ollie North and first VP Richard Childress call for such an audit, have the board purge them. Now the board has endorsed corruption and cover-up, exactly what the NY Attorney General wants to see. When some 14 directors push for such an investigation, do not agree, instead have the new president purge them, too, as far as she can (the board makes most of its decisions at committee level, so strip them of all committee assignments, and hope they’ll resign).
Then have director Marion Hammer email the surviving directors with the threat that if they get out of line they’ll be given the same. Have the email treat being against the corruption as the equal of being an enemy of the NRA. NRA and the corruption are now being made identical, in writing, by a powerful director.
Icing on the NY Attorney General’s cake: then make Marion Hammer chairman of the board’s Ethics Committee, which can vote to remove directors from the board.
When membership drops by about a million people, and finances suddenly become difficult, fire hundreds of employees and cut salaries by 20%, but stay the course on the corruption. (NRA’s IRS 990 forms have long showed 800+ employees: its recent bankruptcy filings showed 500 remained).
Then, to escape the NY lawsuit, file for bankruptcy in Texas, on an insane plan that no bankruptcy expert has ever been able to figure out and explain. One professor of bankruptcy law called it “remarkably hare-brained.” and asked, “”what the hell were they thinking?”
In the bankruptcy proceedings, have CEO LaPierre testify that the NRA was in excellent financial health, best it’s been in years, etc. Leaving everyone (including the judge) wondering — then why are you in bankruptcy? It wouldn’t have been hard to make a case that NRA was in weak financial condition, see above, and have that as part of the case. Don’t do that–you might win! Go in on the weakest possible grounds, and get dismissed. Start by arguing you need bankruptcy to escape from the NY Attorney General’s lawsuit, then when opponents point out that gaining a litigation advantage is not allowed in reorganization bankruptcy, and end by arguing that it’s ludicrous to think NRA sought an advantage against the NY Attorney General.
Along the way, issue press releases saying the bankruptcy was part of a plan to “dump New York.” You’ll have to eat them when the bankruptcy problem above comes out. And eat them again when the Attorney General tries her suit to dissolve the NRA. A New York jury is going to hear “and so fixed were they in their corruption, that they tried to escape justice by filing bankruptcy in Texas. They said they’d “dump New York.””
Along the way, run up legal fees. In just the 90 days before bankruptcy, the NRA paid Bill Brewer (just one of its attorneys) $17 million — which is more than it spent on trying to re-elect Donald Trump. The bankruptcy costs, on top of that, must have been enormous.
At the end, NRA is left fiscally drained in a critical election year, and as it faces the NY Attorney General’s lawsuit. The board has handed the AG all the evidence she could ask for.
That would be the perfect plan for someone out to ruin the 150-year-old organization. We have to wonder if there might be someone with that aim?