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Fri Apr 19, 2019, 06:08 PM

Investigative report says NRA's internal dealings are dubious enough to end its tax-exempt status A

Last edited Fri Apr 19, 2019, 07:17 PM - Edit history (1)

Investigative report says NRA's internal dealings are dubious enough to end its tax-exempt status

 by Walter Einenkel, Daily Kos Staff



The National Rifle Association’s power and influence have taken a hit over the past couple of years. News stories over have pointed to big financial woes for the weapon fetishists, with reports of cutbacks that have even included the elimination of free coffee at NRA headquarters. It has been apparent that the leadership of the NRA is morally corrupt to most outside observers for some time; but the moral corruption seems to have included good old run-of-the-mill corruption and mismanagement as well. This is according to a new and thorough investigation by The Trace’s Mike Spies, published in the New Yorker. Through private correspondence and interviews with NRA employees, Spies paints a picture of a dirty-dealing, greedy, and potentially fraudulent nonprofit teetering on the dangerous edge of collapse.

The crux of the financial issues for the NRA is its problematic relationship with the public relations outfit Ackerman McQueen, which pays out million-dollar salaries to people such as NRA president Oliver North* and spokesperson Dana Loesch. Spies talked with Marcus Owens, former head of the IRS division that looks into tax-exempt enterprises such as the NRA, and showed him some of the documentation he has obtained. Unsurprisingly, Owens found that, with regard to the NRA’s tax situation, the “litany of red flags is just extraordinary. The materials reflect one of the broadest arrays of likely transgressions that I’ve ever seen. There is a tremendous range of what appears to be the misuse of assets for the benefit of certain vendors and people in control.” If this is true, the NRA would not qualify for its tax-exempt status. And the NRA without its tax-exempt status is not a viable entity whatsoever.

Spies chronicles the evolution of the relationship between Ackerman and the NRA, as the two companies became more and more touchy-feely. According to Spies, people began seeing more luxury cars in the parking lots, more Italian suits, more opulence. Meanwhile, the expenses that the nonprofit has incurred does not match the money coming in. According to Spies, the NRA under Ackerman McQueen has developed into for the most part a public relations and lobbying firm, unable to pull in more members while spending millions on failed initiatives. And Spies has memos and insider reports on the game-playing being done for the company’s audits, showing how tangled the web of payments to “vendors” is. Emily Cummins was the association’s 12-year-veteran managing director of tax and risk management; she left in November of last year.

Cummins explained to the board that Ackerman and other venders were generating enormous expenses and getting paid through multiple entities, in a way that obscured payments. One such arrangement involved a company called Membership Marketing Partners, which provides direct-mail fund-raising. In 2017, the N.R.A. paid M.M.P. nearly twelve million dollars. At the same time, it directed almost eight hundred thousand dollars to a firm called Allegiance Creative Group, for “fundraising counsel.” Allegiance doesn’t have a Web site, but, according to state filings, at least ten of its fifteen employees also work at M.M.P. The president and C.E.O. of both companies is Gurney Sloan, who previously worked as a senior vice-president at Ackerman McQueen. This kind of arrangement is not illegal, but, as the former I.R.S. manager Marc Owens told me, “Multiple names for the same entity suggest an effort to disguise the extent of contact. Most organizations have centralized accounting so they can track how much is owed.”


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Reply Investigative report says NRA's internal dealings are dubious enough to end its tax-exempt status A (Original post)
applegrove Apr 2019 OP
keithbvadu2 Apr 2019 #1
maxsolomon Apr 2019 #2
UTUSN Apr 2019 #3

Response to applegrove (Original post)

Fri Apr 19, 2019, 08:00 PM

1. NRA Cuts More Operating Costs-and Lavishes Executives With Perks

NRA Cuts More Operating Costs-and Lavishes Executives With Perks


The NRA Is Being Sued Over Its Relentless Telemarketing Campaigns

When begging for bucks goes wrong.


The NRA has employed InfoCision since 2012 under a contract that grants the fundraising company up to 65 percent of the funds it raises on the NRA’s behalf. InfoCision gets between $2.50 and $3.75 for each “completed call” to potential NRA donors, and up to half of the regular payments for new or renewed NRA memberships.

If those high fees are unavoidable, they can also have the effect of obscuring, for a potential donor, exactly where his or her money is going. Many of those speaking with an InfoCision fundraiser, after all, will not know that a majority of their donation is not going to the charity that fundraiser is representing.

comment from a blog (DU I think

I had a coworker who was a big time gun owner who kept a gun in every room in the house just in case someone broke in (lots of problems with that idea, may be worth a blog article someday, but that’s what he did). He even went so far as to start buying more guns for each room after a school shooting, like home invasion and mass shooting are correlated somehow. He had let his NRA membership lapse and refused to renew it because he got tired of nonstop requests for donations. To him all the membership did was give the NRA to badger him for more money with phone calls, and direct mailings. If the
organization is as strapped for cash as it appears, those solicitations may have gone way over the top and people are simply tired of being badgered for money and are choosing to let their membership to lapse.

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Response to applegrove (Original post)

Fri Apr 19, 2019, 08:03 PM

2. Hahaha, the IRS doesn't have the ovaries to end anyone's tax-exempt status.

Since Scientology intimidated them into recognizing them as a church.

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Response to applegrove (Original post)

Fri Apr 19, 2019, 08:19 PM

3. K&R

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