Opinion by Buz Mills
Editors Note: Buz Mills is one of the few still-acting NRA BOD that has been critical of the leadership and who has made past calls for change that would clean out the corruption at the National Rifle Association Of America.
The National Rifle Association of America (NRA) is at a watershed moment in its 153rd year. Our leadership has admitted in courts and depositions to the misappropriation of donor funds and unauthorized use of assets.
So, now when we all should be looking towards New York and Justice Cohen’s courtroom. Our attention is diverted here while chicanery continues in Fairfax.[NRA HQ]
Those on trial have admitted condoning the misuse of donor funds by others employed by the NRA. For years, the leadership has abused their position and the trust our members and benefactors placed in them. The Board of Directors (BOD) is solely responsible for this victimization of the members.
Thanks to the New York Attorney General, we are halfway to fixing our organization, bringing the NRA up to par with other non-profit special interest groups. The judge will hold the victimizers responsible, and they will have to account for their deeds.
Meanwhile, in Fairfax, VA, the selected leadership is scheming to continue the abuse suffered over the last few decades!
Instead of following the bylaws for the succession of the Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer (EVP).
The leadership wants a special election to install the enabler and facilitator of all the previous chicanery. No other than our duly ‘selected’ President, Charles Cotton. He is the man more responsible than any other for permitting our selected leadership to run roughshod over our membership and benefactors.
As the chair of the Audit Committee for many years, Charles Cotton was supposed to be responsible for holding our employees accountable and ensuring their conduct was beyond reproach. Our chair and “moral compass” approved every act of malfeasance brought to the committee for decades, and multiple acts were approved retroactively, months, and years after the fact.
When restitution was mandated, a bonus was awarded to the miscreants, including enough money to pay the restitution. This bonus also included enough for the miscreant to have the cash to pay the taxes on his misappropriation. Talk about rewarding bad behavior!!
Again, I emphasize it was not the miscreant’s money, and it was not the facilitator’s money! It was the MONEY OF OUR MEMBERS and the MONEY provided by the BENEVOLENCE OF OUR DONORS. There is something deeply wrong when you continually permit and encourage this serial abuse.
Also, do not forget Charles Cotton spearheaded the deceit and the lying to the Board Directors about filing bankruptcy, which the judge later called “a fraud.” The BOD was never advised we needed to file for bankruptcy, nor was it justified to the board. We read it in the papers.
So once more, we [BOD] will violate the NRA bylaws again – accepting, justifying, and participating in some kind of sham election to make the selected president our EVP.
Is the principal facilitator of the misappropriation of tens of millions of dollars (members’ and donors’ money) and behind causing the hundreds of millions of dollars of legal fees (again, members’ and donors’ money) to have any business with access to the treasury?
Does he have any right to represent any moral, honest person or organization? NO!
The normal, conventional way professional non-profits hire a new & qualified Executive Vice President involves the following:
- Select a search committee of business professionals from the NRA Board Of Directors, selected from the floor by the BOD,
- Retain professional employment agencies to recruit, screen, and interview potential candidates,
- The Search Committee shall interview and screen candidates,
- BOD meets and greets the candidates,
- BOD votes to select a candidate,
- The Search Committee sets forth the terms and conditions of the employment contract.
The NRA would then have a professional to run the business of a world-class organization in accordance with applicable laws, customs, and traditions. Oversight will be provided by a professional BOD that is congruent with the by-laws in effect as it was (circa 2015) before ceding all monetary responsibility to the outgoing EVP.
Next, we hire a celebrity “FACE” of the NRA as a spokesperson with no access to funds. Using a process similar to finding an EVP.
This is how a professional Board of Directors of a world-class not-for-profit begins to heal itself.
We have an opportunity to choose to correct the path. We have the opportunity to recover all of the membership that has abandoned us over these issues (2 million members +/-). We have the opportunity to recover the trust of our most benevolent donors. We have an opportunity to recover the respect of our industry and of the American people. There is no downside to doing this correctly.
Let’s not squander this opportunity, we must move forward smartly and with all the courage of the champions of freedom.
Owen Buz Mills
Gunsite Ranch, Arizona
National Rifle Association of America