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Turmoil At The National Rifle Association21:26
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NRA President Oliver North announced that he would not serve a second term as NRA president at the organization's annual conference.  ( Scott Olson/Getty Images)
NRA President Oliver North announced that he would not serve a second term as NRA president at the organization's annual conference. ( Scott Olson/Getty Images)

The National Rifle Association — stalwart defenders of their interpretation of the Second Amendment, and political cash cow — is in a leadership crisis.

Lt. Colonel Oliver North will not serve a second term as the organization’s president, according to a letter that was read on his behalf at the organization’s annual meeting.

North was reportedly at odds with Wayne LaPierre, the NRA’s chief executive.

The two sparred mostly over financial matters. Vox reports that LaPierre said that North asked him to resign. North responded by asking for an investigation of LaPierre’s handling of the NRA’s finances.

North’s departure announcement follows the news that the New York State Attorney General’s office has opened an investigation into the NRA’s tax-exempt status.

In addition, The New Yorker recently published a lengthy expose about the NRA and its relationship with Ackerman McQueen, a public-relations firm.

Here’s part of what reporter Mike Spies wrote:

According to interviews and to documents that I obtained—federal tax forms, charity records, contracts, corporate filings, and internal communications—a small group of N.R.A. executives, contractors, and venders has extracted hundreds of millions of dollars from the nonprofit’s budget, through gratuitous payments, sweetheart deals, and opaque financial arrangements. Memos created by a senior N.R.A. employee describe a workplace distinguished by secrecy, self-dealing, and greed, whose leaders have encouraged disastrous business ventures and questionable partnerships, and have marginalized those who object. “Management has subordinated its judgment to the vendors,” the documents allege. “Trust in the top has eroded.”

Even further, The Guardian reported on another headache for the organization — its alleged ties to Russia, which are being investigated by committees in the Senate and the House of Representatives.

What does the future hold for the NRA ahead of the 2020 election cycle?

GUESTS

Betsy Woodruff, Political reporter, The Daily Beast; @woodruffbets

For more, visit https://the1a.org.

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Copyright NPR 2019.

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