I just arrived home after concluding my first time attending an NRA Board Meeting. I flew from Dulles to Denver and drove another two hours and am still overloaded with what happened, what didn’t happen, who attended and who was absent.
First, I arrived at the Hilton Washington Dulles Airport on Friday at noon and was only able to attend the Civil Affairs Committee Meeting. As you may have read from Rob’s post, the security was less than friendly and the executive sessions has been used to exclude interested/concerned members from learning more about their organization. The Civil Affairs Committee is chaired by Jim Porter and as he called the meeting to order I was still unaware of what committee meeting it was; I don’t recall him announcing it. No signs, itinerary or other publications were to be had that would give any indication. Nevertheless, it was still interesting while it lasted. The last thing mentioned before they went into executive session was from 2nd VP Willes Lee who ironically said, “The great work this committee does should be made public.”
The Friday evening gathering at the hotel bar was inspiring. Many directors stopped by and several concerned members joined us in discussing issues and speaking with directors who weren’t occupied.
Saturday morning there was some confusion about where breakfast was being held. Many directors mistakenly thought that breakfast was held in the area where the meetings took place. This resulted in several directors walking past us, while we waited in the hallway, multiple times as they searched for their colleagues.
The board meeting was called to order by President Carolyn Meadows who explained her absence from the Finance Committee was due to an illness effecting her voice. She had 1VP Charles Cotton assume her duties.
First was a matter of the roll call, which I believe (there was some discrepancy) that 55 of the current 71 directors attended.
Then there was a vote on a bylaw clarification for how board candidates would submit their request to waive the 5-year life membership requirement.
Then came the reports from board officers and staff. The reports from the board officers were nothing like I would have imagined. It was basically adulation of Wayne LaPierre. In Carolyn Meadows’ report she made an odd quip that was concerning. She said that several people had told her that she would go to jail. She laughed it off saying not to send her chocolate chip cookies because she doesn’t like them. Weird. Right?
1st VP Cotton gave a similar “report” congratulating Wayne LaPierre and then spoke about William Travis’ line in the sand at the Alamo, not “spreading lies”, and “Stand on the wall with us.”
2nd VP Lee echoed his co-Presidents and added a “we are at war,” speech that somehow came back to the statement “Wayne makes the NRA tick.”
Wayne LaPierre gave his speech next. Interesting, he’s created a “war room” which will now provide a rapid response to current events, social media and apparently the rapid manufacturing of 60-second videos. Three were shown during the open session of the board meeting. One of the lines that is going to be a phrase commonly repeated is “A kernel of truth in a bushel of lies” which seems to somehow address all the allegations from Ackerman McQueen, Oliver North, NY AG, NY Dept of Financial Services, DC AG and more apparently. It was exceptionally unclear what the lies and truths are exactly.
At the conclusion of his speech Wayne appointed Jason Ouimet to be the new head of NRA-ILA. However, he didn’t realize the board had to vote in Jason Ouimet so with a quick correction by Cotton the board was on to a vote which essentially approve LaPierre’s will.
There was then a break in the meeting and on return VP Cotton announced they would be going into executive session, which Ted Nugent opposed. He was overruled because he didn’t clarify (more motion) the extent of matter or time that he wanted the meeting to stay open. The meeting then went into a three-hour plus executive session with a working lunch.
When the meeting was finally opened back up shortly after 1:00pm, Save the Second’s bylaw amendment proposal, submitted by petition, was discussed and deferred by the bylaws committee for further review of “its merits.”
Prior to adjourning at 1:52pm, 1st VP Cotton thanked those board members for the candid discussions during executive session, particularly Ted Nugent and Duane Liptak.
More thoughts and commentary to come later.