No shock, Chris Cox has resigned his position at NRA. Here’s more in this developing story that’s now taken NRATV off the air too. READ MORE
SOURCE: Tactical Wire
Chris Cox, the former head of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) has resigned his position. Last week, NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre placed Cox on leave and accused the man many believed to be his evenutal successor of having aided in a failed “coup” attempt against LaPierre by former NRA President Oliver North. In the announcement of Cox’s departure to NRA employees, LaPierre thanked Cox “for his service to the NRA.” This latest development follows the announcement by LaPierre that the NRA was shutting down production of its online streaming network, NRATV. The Outdoor Wire has also acquired a communication between the NRA and its former agency Ackerman McQueen in which the NRA’s Andrew Arulanandam “demands immediate delivery of all materials by Section XLC of the Services Agreement, including all Confidential Information (as defined by the Services Agreement).” The letter also says that “if AMc damages or converts the NRA’s property, or if the NRA perceives an imminent risk of the same, the NRA will pursue legal recourse.” The acrimonious parting of the ways has been accompanied by a myriad of charge, counter-charges and lawsuits between the NRA and Ackerman McQueen.
There’s a lot going on right now within NRA. Rumors are rampant! This article has the a good collection of facts. READ MORE
SOURCE: NYTimes.com, by Danny Hakim
The palace intrigue at the National Rifle Association deepened last Thursday as the gun group suspended its second-in-command and top lobbyist, accusing him of complicity in the recent failed coup against its chief executive, Wayne LaPierre.
The accusation came in a lawsuit filed Wednesday night in New York State Supreme Court against Oliver North, the N.R.A.’s former president, who led the attempt to oust Mr. LaPierre shortly before the group’s annual convention in April. The complaint provides new details about the effort against Mr. LaPierre, but it is the involvement of the organization’s No. 2 official, Christopher W. Cox, that will reverberate.
In the suit, the N.R.A. said that text messages and emails demonstrated that “another errant N.R.A. fiduciary, Chris Cox — once thought by some to be a likely successor for Mr. LaPierre — participated” in what was described as a conspiracy.
The court filing includes text exchanges in which Mr. Cox and a board member appear to be discussing an effort to oust Mr. LaPierre, though the full context is unclear. The N.R.A. is conducting an internal review of the matter, and a spokesman, Andrew Arulanandam, said on Thursday that both Mr. Cox and a top aide, Scott Christman, had been placed on administrative leave.
Mr. Cox, in a statement, said: “The allegations against me are offensive and patently false. For over 24 years I have been a loyal and effective leader in this organization. My efforts have always been focused on serving the members of the National Rifle Association, and I will continue to focus all of my energy on carrying out our core mission of defending the Second Amendment.”
The suit — the latest in a series of legal actions stemming from the gun group’s internal turmoil — is likely to send new shock waves through the N.R.A. While Mr. North served as president for just one year, Mr. Cox has worked for the N.R.A. since 1995 and led its lobbying arm since 2002. He has been a leading presence at the organization’s gatherings, reliably serving up red meat for the N.R.A.’s base.
Among other things, he has been a fervent defender of the AR-15, the semiautomatic rifle used in many mass shootings, telling attendees at the group’s convention last year that “we have an AR culture that’s on display all over the exhibit halls this weekend.”
Together, Mr. Cox, 49, and Mr. LaPierre, 69, have been the public faces of the N.R.A., the twin architects of its strategy. But they have had an uneasy relationship, and their staffs are somewhat siloed from each other. Mr. Cox runs the N.R.A.’s lobbying arm, the Institute for Legislative Action, which has a separate media relations team from the N.R.A.’s, and his choice of consultants has also sometimes diverged from Mr. LaPierre’s.
As Mr. North’s coup attempt played out at the convention this spring, some people inside the N.R.A. said Mr. Cox largely kept quiet and appeared to be hedging his bets.
Jennifer Baker, a spokeswoman for the N.R.A.’s lobbying arm, said Mr. Cox and Mr. LaPierre had “worked closely together for a quarter of a century, and any notion that Chris participated in a coup is absurd. Chris Cox is known as a calming force who always acts in the best interests of our members by effectively defending the Second Amendment, so it’s not surprising that board members would reach out to him for advice during tumultuous times.”
But Carolyn D. Meadows, who succeeded Mr. North as N.R.A. president, said in a statement: “I fully support the actions undertaken today. The N.R.A. is moving forward on all fronts, especially with regard to serving our members and focusing on the crucial upcoming elections.”
The genesis of the dispute between the N.R.A. and Mr. North is a related legal battle between the N.R.A. and its most prominent contractor, the Oklahoma-based advertising firm Ackerman McQueen, which employed Mr. North. The N.R.A. has sued Ackerman, claiming it withheld documents and records from the gun group, and some officials have suggested the company may also have been overbilling. Ackerman, which has said it did nothing improper, filed a countersuit claiming that it was smeared by the N.R.A.
In yet another lawsuit, the N.R.A. has accused Ackerman of breaching confidentiality clauses in its contract and smearing Mr. LaPierre.
The new lawsuit seeks to block Mr. North’s attempt to have the N.R.A. pay his legal fees, which he has sought as he fields requests to cooperate with other litigation as well as a Senate inquiry.
“The N.R.A. believes that Col. North seeks payments from the Association to which he is not entitled,” the N.R.A.’s outside counsel, William A. Brewer III, said in a statement. (Mr. North is a retired Marine lieutenant colonel who first came to prominence during the Iran-Contra hearings.) “The N.R.A. alleges that Col. North breached his fiduciary obligations — in a coordinated attack against the N.R.A. and Wayne LaPierre that involved others motivated by their own economic self-interest,” Mr. Brewer added.
In addition to implicating Mr. Cox, the new lawsuit claims that another N.R.A. board member, the former Oklahoma congressman Dan Boren, participated in the effort to oust Mr. LaPierre, and it presents a piece of evidence intended to shed light on the overbilling question.
Mr. Boren is close to Ackerman and works for another Ackerman client, the Oklahoma-based Chickasaw Nation. In an exhibit filed in the latest complaint, Mr. Boren expressed concern to a Chickasaw official that Ackerman was billing the N.R.A. for “full salary to these employees that may have been working on our accounts,” adding, “I bet Ackerman is in trouble on this one.”
Another key issue in the N.R.A.’s battle with Ackerman is the role of Mr. North, who was employed by Ackerman while serving as the N.R.A.’s president; the N.R.A. has claimed that the arrangement was improper and that Ackerman wouldn’t show the N.R.A. a copy of Mr. North’s contract for months. Mr. North has said Mr. LaPierre helped negotiate the contract.
Mr. North is said to have sparked the coup by delivering a threatening message to a key aide to Mr. LaPierre shortly before the N.R.A. convention in April, warning that damaging revelations about the N.R.A.’s spending on Mr. LaPierre’s clothing and travel would be released if he did not step aside. He also said Mr. LaPierre would be well rewarded financially if he stepped down. Mr. LaPierre refused to step aside, and the embarrassing material was indeed released, though it is not clear by whom.
The latest suit calls this “a conspiracy by North to extort the N.R.A.”
Any move against Mr. Cox could lead to further litigation. He is one of three senior executives who are contractually entitled to receive their base pay for one to four years if they are dismissed without cause, or in some other instances, according to Massachusetts State records reviewed by The New York Times.
The N.R.A., however, seems to be losing patience with paying those it considers to have betrayed Mr. LaPierre.
“Simply put, the N.R.A. exists to fight for the Second Amendment,” the group said in its latest suit, “not pay other people’s bills.”
Great news for hunters and recreational shooters: Julie Golob, pro shooter for Smith & Wesson will help lead the way for expanded outdoor opportunities for us all. READ MORE
Last week, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced the members of the Hunting and Shooting Sports Conservation Council. In addition to Chris Cox, the executive director of NRA-ILA, Smith & Wesson pro shooter and NRA Board Member Julie Golob has been named to the Council.
“What an exciting time for our hunting and shooting sports! This Shooting Sports Council is yet another way Secretary Zinke and staff is making the expansion of our great American heritage a priority,” said Golob. “It’s an honor for me to be a part of it alongside so many influential and truly passionate leaders in outdoors sports.”
“America’s hunters and recreational shooters have a champion in Secretary Ryan Zinke,” said Cox. “Zinke is fighting for our sportsmen and women to have greater access to our public lands. I am pleased to work with the Trump Administration’s new Hunting and Shooting Sports Conservation Council to make it easier for Americans to enjoy our public lands.”
The Council was established earlier this year to provide the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture with advice on recreational hunting, recreational shooting sports, wildlife and habitat conservation. Additionally, the Council will examine ways to encourage partnership among the public, sporting conservation organizations, state, tribal, territorial, and the federal government.
“Over a century ago, Teddy Roosevelt established the American conservation ethic — best science, best practices, greatest good, longest term,” said Secretary Zinke. “These sportsmen carry on the American conservation ethic in the modern day. Bringing these experts together will be key to ensuring the American tradition of hunting and shooting, as well as the conservation benefits of these practices, carries on.”