There was one shocker. Willis Lee, 1st VP, with president Charles Cotton being term-limited, should have become president. Reports have it he was blind-sided by what happened — first, Bylaws and Resolutions passed a bylaw amendment to let Cotton serve a third term, and then Nominating Committee un-nominated him, either for presidency or 1st VP.
What could have happened? Obviously the “powers that be” judged him too unreliable (which is to say, too honest) for their plans. We looked over his Facebook page for clues.
“For, reasons, I resigned as a named member of the SLC, the Special Litigation Committee, after 2 1/2 years focusing (mostly) on the attack against NRA members by NYAG. Reasons.
Another: comedy of errors? Or not? My surprise in By Laws committee that they were surprised that I don’t support the By Laws change proposal bc they were told ‘leadership’ supported the change and none of the committee confirmed w leadership before sprinting to meet the deadline to get it to Board members.”
“Eggshells. Or, simply doing what we’re told?
Board members (most) not asking me anything about the proposed By Laws change to allow Charles to stay in office another year in a change of office terms we’ve enacted only once in 152 years- for Charlton Heston. Nor asking how or why By Laws acted on faulty(?) info to prep, pass, distribute proposal at last last min. No one curious, which makes me curious about what I don’t know about this move.”
“Two years after the judge dismisses NRA Bankruptcy suit is a good time to renew the (my) pledge to never, again, keep secrets from the Board of Directors.
Transparency fosters trust.”
Lee adds a comment: “Just fortunate to serve amazing NRA members. Hence, resigned from Special Litigation and Relocation committees, pretty much taking myself off the table for the chairs. Appropriately so. Thanks.”
“Got this slipped under the door tonight. [Nominating Committee report not nominating him] Oh. Congratulations to the (new) team nominated to be officers. (Uh, no one told me they were in Exec Session.)
“Through the night, received messages & DMs. Some fun or funny, some biting – towards me and/or NRA, some complementary. Friend’s call before o’dark-thirty (of all nights to NOT be on silent) asking if I were still attending Board meeting.)
Sad but best text “Oh. No. They Ollie’d you, at annual meeting, in Indianapolis. lol” in a reference to us dumping North here in 2019. Folks, not yet. Update later.”
“My role changed. Resigned from Special Litigation Committee handling NYAG allegations about NRA, staff, Board. Resigned from Relocation Committee handling potential HQ sale & move. Not elected President because of their rules change. No longer First Vice President.
Took a step away … reasons. Still active on Board of Directors.
Tho way awkward, ensured the drama was minimized (refused to do another Indy 2019 NRAAM).”
“Integrity is important. Gotta live w yourself. Thank you.”
April 25, note reference to mic being cut:
“At each Board Meeting, officers give a report to the Board (of Directors). I began the First Vice President report w many kudos to staff and volunteers for an amazing NRAAM. . . . .
I’ll give more excerpts this week. As a teaser: it is a lot to cover & every minute I expected the mic to be cut. They should have.”
“SLC meets weekly, most weeks we have multiple short-notice legal meetings. Perspective is helpful, as I WAS NOT PRESENT DURING THE PERIOD OF THE NYAG ALLEGATIONS. That trial is now pushed later in the fall, at least, with an appeal expected.”
“Drama update: No longer NRA officer. Resigned from Special Litigation Committee & Relocation Committee to maintain my integrity.
Still on NRA Board of Directors, NRA Foundation Trustee. Honored. Thanks to NRA members.
Yup, there’s a story.”
“Each Board meeting (3x year), officers present their report to inform & update members. Mostly fluffy rhetoric. This is 4/5 of my Indy report. With the weekend’s drama, bosses fidgeted & wanted to cut the mic (see why below) but couldn’t make up a valid point of order.
. . . . . . .
Though membership declined, please thank NRA members who stick with us. Change is seldom embraced. We’ve seen unanticipated consequences. WE SHOULD WANT TO SHOW THAT NRA IS CHANGED; THAT WE’RE NOT THE SAME PEOPLE DOING THE SAME (CRINGY) THINGS. IF NOT, IT WON’T MATTER WHETHER WE WIN IN COURT.”
Yup, Col. Lee was not marching in lockstep with the “powers that be.” He’d resigned from the Special Litigation Committee (which has overseen all the legal disasters to date) and the Relocation Committee (which is aimed at a disastrous relocation of HQ to Texas). He says he did it to protect his integrity. He implies that he disapproves of the scandals, and suggests NRA needs to change and not keep doing the same things. He is dangerous!
Better get rid of him, now! And breathe a sigh of relief that he didn’t become president.
The might of the “powers that be” is shown in his concern that they’d cut off his mic — the mic of the First VP, as he gave his report to the board. No dissent can be tolerated!
18 thoughts on “Pondering Events Of Last Board Meeting”
My wife and I are having a difficult time controlling our anger with Col. Lee when he states “integrity is important” and he must “maintain my integrity.”
We recall approximately 4 years at our annual “secret” dinner always with the same officers, directors and managers Carolyn Meadows, Col. Lee, Millie Hallow, Susan Howard and usually Col North. For the first time in approximately 4 years, Colonel North was not present because this was the year Wayne falsely accused Ollie of wrongdoing. However, at our dinner it started with the first troubling issue and Susan Howard (at the time huge advocate for Wayne) started to respond until Col. Lee whispered, although sufficiently loud enough for me to hear, to Susan “do not respond because this is our last get together!”
Finally, Col Lee did not have integrity then and years later he has now acquired it? Col. Lee and the rest of the current directors are negligent as well as personally liable for not providing oversight and carry out their fiduciary responsibility. This is the same Col. Lee who was one of three on the Special Litigation Committee that allowed the Brewer law firm to receive well over $100 million dollars!
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You mention Ollie North and say, “Wayne falsey accused Ollie of wrongdoing.” Uh, there were no clean hands in that situation. When Brownell resigned as NRA president in May 2018, Wayne wanted a “big name” as president. Wayne approached Ollie. At the time, Ollie was working for FOX News, and drawing big buck$. Ollie told Wayne that he couldn’t be NRA president because he could not give up the big buck$. Wayne said, “No problem! You can make a few videos, and we’ll have Ack Mac pay you to match what you’re getting now from FOX.” Now, at that point, Ollie should have said, “Slow down! I’ve been on the board long enough to know that the NRA cannot pay officers. That’s just not done.” Instead, Ollie said, “Okay. We’ve got a deal.”
Now, when Ollie began as NRA president, he honestly did find and start making noises about the massive corruption. He just did not see his being paid by Ack Mac as part of the corruption. There’s a reason that Ollie was a no-show on the battlefield at the Saturday morning members meeting in Indianapolis in 2019.
They’re all dirty. The only three in recent years who have not been dirty are Frank Tait, Judge Journey, and that guy Rocky-something-or-other from Texas. Other than those three, they’re all dirty. There may be a few who are not dirty, but, if so, they are damned cowards.
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I agree with you that there has been malfeasance committed by most of the board and this has been ongoing since 1990s. See report starting on page 63 http://eqs.fec.gov/eqsdocsMUR/00001F57.pdf. The competent directors can be counted on one hand, and the ones that quickly come to mind are Col. West, Col. Brown, Joe Olson, Frank Tait, and Judge Journey. I would like to draw special attention to Col Brown. Col Brown as an exemplary director and the documented evidence is irrefutable regarding his attempt at oversight and fiduciary responsibility. I have no reservations with any of these people, or Jeff Knox, Rob Pincus, or Randy Luth being appointed directors during receivership [if the judge(s) so order(s)], or new directors for the reformed NRA (and no more than a maximum of fifteen directors).
You stated, “There’s a reason that Ollie was a no-show on the battlefield at the Saturday morning members meeting in Indianapolis in 2019,” and referenced my statement of “Wayne falsely accused Ollie of wrongdoing.” I was fortunately (or unfortunately) at ground zero trying to reform the NRA for the better from the inside. I made that statement regarding Wayne falsely accusing Ollie but did not go into specificity because I did not want to draw attention away from Col. Lee’s “integrity.”
But regarding Wayne falsely accusing Ollie I can provide the following facts:
1. Our annual “secret” dinner was always several days ahead of the members meeting and the subsequent board meeting in executive session. Carolyn Meadows was late to our dinner but when she did arrive Col. Lee announced her to the rest of us as our “next NRA President!” This was well before the board of directors meeting in an executive session to determine the next president. Surprise?
2. Before Col. North accepted the NRA President position, he told Wayne that he needed health insurance, and he knew that would be problematic for the traditional NRA president. Wayne told Ollie he would manage that by having Ollie being an Ack-Mak employee while also serving as the NRA president. Surprise?
3. Wayne was primarily responsible and oversaw Ollie’s contract. Surprise?
4. Ollie requested that the audit committee review the contract before accepting the position. Surprise?
5. Ollie understood that the NRA president was a ceremonial position and the only real power that it had was the ability to demand an outside audit.
6. When Ollie told Wayne he was going to have an outside audit on the Brewer’s billing, contract, etc., audited, Wayne stated to Ollie “if you go ahead with this, I will fire you!” Surprise?
Suffice it to say, there is a lot more, but I hope this gives you a better understanding of the facts and much of this is revealed in Ollie’s depositions.
Replying to David Alan Dell’Aquilla:
1. Surprised? Not at all. As soon as Millie began cozing up with Carolyn, the next step was obvious.
2. Surprised? No. Not at all. Read above. Story was that Ollie’s wife had health problems, and he wanted to make sure that he had health insurance for her. However, he also wanted his paycheck replaced.
3. Surprised? No. I made that clear above.
4. Surprised? Not really. The Audit Committee had abandoned their fiduciary responsibilities and was nothing but a rubber stamp. Ollie was on the board, and Ollie was well aware that the Audit Committee was an audit committee in name only.
5. He also had the power to appoint people to various committees. What he wanted was to have his cake and eat it too. What he wanted was to be NRA president and to collect a big paycheck also. And, he absolutely knew that was a no-no. And THAT is why he did not show up on the battlefield that Saturday morning in Indianapolis in 2019: He knew that his hands were not clean.
6. Surprised? No. Not at all. I knew about that, and I heard about that conversation, not long after it happened.
I will agree with your statement that, absolutely, Lt. Col. Brown was a good guy. He was forced out. And Lt. Col. West was a good guy, but I have wondered if he was on more of an ego trip than a save-the-NRA trip.
You mentioned Jeff Knox: That man absolutely has tried to help the NRA and the members of the NRA. And the work that he has done has been to his own detriment.
“Integrity” and NRA officers and board members don’t belong in the same sentences, unless the words “lack of” precede integrity. The integrity ship sailed long ago.
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N.Y. not-for-profit corporation law requires that directors be independent. Lee apparently was purged because recently he dared to exhibit some independence. Better that wisdom is acquired late rather than not at all.
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I disagree with you, the four years that Col. Lee and other directors did not follow the regulations for a nonprofit company headquartered in New York has only shown the inability of these directors in not providing oversight and their fiduciary responsibility to the nonprofit.
Unfortunately, this four years of malfeasance has only resulted in the NRA almost certainty being put into receivership!
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Thank you. Since the BoD hasn’t and won’t listen to ethics and reason, cutting off as much of the money-supply is necessary. Starve the beast, so to speak. As long as WLP & Friends have enough, they won’t change. So The Benefactors, The Friends, the big donors must turn their backs and keep their wallets.
One more example regarding Col. Lee’s integrity is when he was one of the three comprising the Special Litigation Committee that they decided to fight Chris Cox’s severance of approximately $2.5 million and paid $7.5 million to Brewer to contest it. That is an excellent example of lack of oversight, especially his fiduciary responsibility! Once again, they spent $7.5 million in attorney fees to fight a $2.5 million severance.
IMO, it’s more like he is the first rat off the sinking ship. But maybe he got religion. It happens.
“in By Laws committee that they were surprised that I don’t support the By Laws change proposal bc they were told ‘leadership’ supported the change”
Dude, the Directors ARE the leadership!
Im just an average guy, a gun guy and endowment member. I supported the NRA because I believed in them, their mission and programs. I believed my contributions were an investment in the association, and were being managed as effectively as I look after my own investments.
Now I know I was looked at as a chump, as a source of cashflow for the EVP and others to live high on the hogg, as I lived conservativly. Well no more checks to the NRA from this guy. I discard their mailings, and ignore their phone calls. I hope the criminally malfeasant are charged and convicted.
But more importantly, I hope the NRA can be reconstituted into a stronger organization, with a structure that will prevent a recurrance of events that led to its downfall.
I was reading a Wall Street journal article yesterday about the Second Amendment Foundation. I can’t believe that its claiming 22 million dollars were driven to Alan Gottlieb family owned entities over the last 10 years. I really hope that isn’t true as it seems worse than the claims against Wayne. Any coverage of that so all of us can learn more? It’s beginning to seem like everyone is just out for themselves. Who should we donate to that’s safe?
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I will be talking to the SAF this afternoon and I have already conveyed to them I want a very clear explanation/defense!
Any update on the Gottleib claim ?
I heard back from my “source,” and notified the person that the information provided to me was unsatisfactory. I requested a follow-up by Monday. We were scheduled to talk today but the person pushed it off until tomorrow. I stated that a discussion tomorrow was fine, but I have a responsibility to get back to you in a timely manner.
In my opinion, these are the issues that I stated to the person:
1. Alan’s overhead is 0.27 cents on the dollar – that is high, especially for a small nonprofit. It means that only 78% of donations is going to the mission. A good rule of thumb is to donate money to nonprofits that direct at least 80% of donations to the mission, and it is best to donate to nonprofits that direct 90% to the mission.
2. Professor Elizabeth Schmidt recommends that Alan should be audited to resolve several “red flags.” In addition, I have been interviewed by Mark Maremont (Wall Street Journal) a couple of times in the past and find that he is objective and fair, and always presents both sides of the story.
3. The optics look terrible to our 2nd amendment patriots. In addition, to the red flags, $22 million over ten years is excessive FOR NONPROFITS. In other words, I would not take issue if Alan was making $100 million in one year, but only if he was NOT a nonprofit.
I also believe it is important to add to this conversation something that was previously conveyed to me. Approximately 6 months ago, I was informed that five people were leaving the Firearms Policy Coalition to be hired by Alan and starting their new positions in January 2023. One of the five hired was to be Alan’s replacement. I am waiting to hear why Alan has not retired.
Finally, my friend and I will be reviewing Alan’s 990’s for his nonprofits and my friend will be in direct contact with Alan to better understand Alan’s perspective.
We should have more information in about a week.
“Sad but best text “Oh. No. They Ollie’d you…”
They Nealed you.
How does it feel?
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Willis Lee – “you reap what you sow!”