Marion Hammer’s report cards can make Republicans tremble and Democrats cheer.
But now the onetime president of the national gun-rights group, who also serves on its board of directors, is the one who doesn’t make the mark, according to an NRA donor staging a leadership coup.
David Dell’Aquila filed a federal lawsuit against the NRA earlier this month, alleging that the gun-rights group misled contributors, as reported by The Wall Street Journal earlier this month:
A donor to the National Rifle Association filed a lawsuit against the gun-rights group, seeking class-action status, and claiming the group’s funding solicitations were “intentionally and materially false” because the NRA spent donated funds on executive perks, large legal fees, and other expenses unrelated to the group’s core mission.
Dell’Aquila’s mutiny isn’t isolated to federal court. He’s also drumming up support to rid the NRA of its CEO, Wayne LaPierre, amid reports of lavish spending that included $275,000 on spendy suits and a $39,000 single-day spree at a tony Beverly Hills boutique.
Dell’Aquila’s launched a website — “Help Save the NRA” — to recruit other gun-rights advocates to join the demand that LaPierre and the board of directors get the boot.
“We are a well-organized team that has substantial money, resources and support. Although a few high-dollar donors desire to be anonymous, they and our rank-and-file NRA members are the life sustaining blood of the NRA and demand new leadership, accountability and transparency,” Dell’Aquila wrote in a letter to the board, posted on the website.
Dell’Aquila — who’s donated at least $100,000 to the group and had pledged millions more, according to the WSJ — crafted a report card scoring members who serve on the board of the NRA, notorious for the “grades” the group hands out to state and federal legislators.
He gave “A” grades to members who “advocated the replacement of Mr.LaPierre, and/or publicized one’s removal from committee(s) due to questioning leadership, spending, policies, etc,” Dell’Aquila wrote.
And he bestowed “F” grades to members who support “LaPierre and his leadership team with insufficient oversight.”
Hammer was among more than two dozen members who received a failing grade.
The rationale Dell’Aquila gave for Hammer’s “F?” She “wrote letter in support of WLP.”
Last month, Hammer penned a missive following a contentious NRA meeting. In the July 14 email, the NRA past president advised members of the group that “we must now move on.”
Hammer not only took the failing grade in stride, she flipped it into a compliment.
“When it comes to grading NRA Board members, it is my view that “F” stands for Freedom Fighter because every NRA Board Member that Mr. Dell’Aquila graded with an “F” has been fighting to protect his Second Amendment rights and his Freedom for many years. The fact that he is unappreciative, or perhaps ignorant of the continued personal sacrifices of those he arbitrarily and cavalierly maligns, speaks volumes,” she wrote in an email to The News Service of Florida, when asked about the report card.
Among the demands of Dell’Aquila and his junta: the removal of all past NRA president from the board of directors. That would include Hammer, of course.
Dell’Aquila is also demanding that the board cancel its upcoming “cruise/fishing adventure” in Alaska, questioning the $100,000 price tag for the Alaska board meeting.
“If you can justify such an expense given the current financial crisis of the NRA, you have the ears of over a 100 million voters who want to understand your rationale for this, and literally a dozen other financial irregularities,” Dell’Aquila wrote.
And, because Florida, the leader of the mutiny has someone in mind to take LaPierre’s place: political firebrand Allen West, a former Sunshine State congressman who serves on the NRA board of directors.
“There is a cabal of cronyism operating within the NRA and that exists within the Board of Directors. It must cease, and I do not care if I draw their angst. My duty and responsibility is to the Members of the National Rifle Association, and my oath, since July 31, 1982, has been to the Constitution of the United States, not to any political party, person, or cabal,” West wrote in a statement posted on his website