Tue Mar 19, 2013, 08:13 PM
Bjorn Against (12,041 posts)
Know your Enemy: A look at the NRA Board of Directors Part 1
We all know what the NRA is, but there has been far less focus on who the NRA is. We know the NRA is the largest gun lobby in the United States, but how many people know about the people who lead the organization? I have looked at the names of the members serving on the NRA Board of Directors and have seen several familiar names, but there are a number of them that I have not heard of.
In order to be effective advocates against guns I think it would be valuable to have some information on all of the members of the Board of Directors so I have decided to start a new project for this group, I am going to look up information on all the members of the NRA board and post what I find here. Because the NRA has over 50 members who serve either on their Board or in a key leadership position I will have to compile the information over several installments so it may take me a long time before I get to everyone, but ultimately my goal is to write something about every last one of them. Here are the facts on the first few members on my list of the NRA Leadership:
After Bush secured the Republican nomination, he chose Dick Cheney to lead the process of screening and selecting a running mate. Allbaugh ended up with the responsibility of vetting Cheney himself when Bush focused directly on Cheney as his choice for Vice President, rather than as the man to simply help with the choice. The screening process was subsequently called into question when Cheney's Halliburton stock options, along with his sparse voting record in state and local elections, came to light. A Cheney spokeswoman defended Allbaugh's vetting process, saying it "was as thorough, if not more thorough than what other candidates went through." It remained unclear whether Cheney had filled out a questionnaire he had given the other potential running mates, which dealt with these issues among other topics.Link
When the election results turned into a dispute over Florida ballot counts, Allbaugh went to Florida to run the post-election operation there while other advisers remained behind in Texas. After the legal maneuverings played out with Bush prevailing, he named Allbaugh as his nominee to head the Federal Emergency Management Agency on January 4, 2001.
Yes, our very first member not only was the person who vetted Dick Cheney and completely ignored his corrupt ways in that vetting process, he was also the guy who ran the post-election operation of the Bush campaign that involved the most blatant theft of an election in Presidential history.
Of course anyone who would vet Cheney and find that his corruption doesn't matter probably is not too above board himself and it should come as no surprise that Allbaugh was also involved in the exploitation of the war in Iraq for his own personal profit.
After leaving the government, Allbaugh capitalized on his ties with the Bush administration by going into private business ventures connected with Bush's policy objectives. He became one of several partners involved in New Bridge Strategies, a consulting firm to help clients "evaluate and take advantage of business opportunities in the Middle East following the conclusion of the US-led war in Iraq", and Diligence-Iraq, a security company providing protection for companies doing business there. Diligence, a company founded by former CIA and FBI chief William Webster and 40 percent owned by a wealthy Kuwaiti politician. Allbaugh is the co-chair of Diligence.
As it seems pretty obvious that our first NRA Board member is obviously a corrupt right-wing tool, it probably won't surprise you that the next member on my list of the Board members is also an obviously corrupt right-wing tool.
Graham Hill is the founder and CEO of a right-wing lobbying group called Ice Miller LLP, he also serves as the Director of the Fifty Caliber Institute.
Prior founding the lobbying firm Ice Miller Strategies, Hill served as the staff director and senior counsel to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee. Hill is also the Director of Federal Affairs for the Fifty Caliber Institute. While the Fifty Caliber Institute claims that the .50 caliber sniper rifle is “helping to make our streets and nation safer,” the gun has been criticized by many—including members of law enforcement—as a weapon too dangerous for civilian use. John C. Killorin, a former special agent in charge of the Atlanta field division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), called the .50 caliber sniper rifle “a devastatingly powerful weapon against which most troops, most law enforcement, no civilians, have any means of defense.”
Hill also specializes in helping corporate interests to buy out politicians.
One of Graham’s principal Ice Miller clients is General Atomic, which paid Ice Miller $510,000 in lobbying fees between 2007 and 2011. General Atomics has courted controversy for the large amount of money it spends underwriting trips for members of Congress and their families.
And the personal biography of him on Ice Miller's own website brags that he "managed negotiations" on the Patriot Act.
During his time on the Committee, Hill drafted the Norm Mineta Department of Transportation Re-organization Act, which created PHMSA and RITA. He oversaw the negotiations of the port security bill, which contained proposed legislation for port, pipeline, transit and rail security through the Departments of Homeland Security and Transportation. He also managed negotiations for the committee on the REAL ID Act and the Patriot ActLink
Well the NRA may claim to be all about Freedom but the first two board members seem to be closer to Dick Cheney and the Patriot Act than they are to anyone who truly cares about freedom.
Many of us have heard from the gun enthusiasts on this site that there are many Democrats in the NRA, if you believe them then you might hold out hope that the third member on my list of the NRA leadership is not quite so rabidly right-wing. Sadly however, there is not much hope for that wish to come true.
Scott Bach is living proof that the Tea Party has absolutely nothing in common with the original Boston Tea Party, unless you think the Boston Party would be fans of King George, the man who Bach apparently wishes was leading America today:
In a July 3 interview with Adam Toxin, the interim communications manager of Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership (JPFPO), Bach asked, “Are we trending towards more individual freedom, which, of course this country was founded on, or less?” Referring to a recent Supreme Court decision upholding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, he answered, “And what I see, and which is, um, echoed and amplified by the recent, um, health care decision is, my conclusion is it’s less … The Obamacare decision is, to me, it’s the final nail in the coffin … It is the ultimate attack on the Republic. The last vestige of freedom that’s left.” Toxin, referring to the King of Britain at the time of the Revolution, stated, “King George wasn’t anywhere near this tyrannical. The Stamp Act was nothing like Obamacare.” Bach replied, “I agree with that … This is a…case of public officials who have an agenda, who have exceeded their mandate, who have violated their trust and Constitution and the principles on which the country was founded”link
Yes, Scott Bach may be a Tea Party guy, but that does not stop him from taking a stand to call for the return of King George just like the original Tea Party from the 18th century would have wanted. Bach has a very deep desire to move us back to the 18th century, a time in which believes our founders were shooting .50 caliber sniper rifles.
In an October 10, 2007 editorial in the Star-Ledger, Bach addressed New Jersey state legislation that sought to ban private ownership of firearms of .50 caliber or greater, like the Barrett .50 caliber sniper rifle, a weapon that can take out armored targets up to a mile away. Claiming that the legislation would ban “hundreds of common hunting and historical firearms, including the flintlocks and muskets that won the American Revolution and the Civil War,” Bach mocked the legislation as “a clear solution to the urban problem of drive-by musketeering, no doubt...”
You know, for all the grief NRA supporters have given to gun control advocates over not knowing the technical details of gun features, it would seem the NRA would keep members off their board who can't understand the difference between a musket and a modern high-tech sniper rifle. I wonder how many people George Washington sniped from a mile away with his .50 caliber musket.
These are just the first three members on my list folks, I shudder for what is to come in future installments of this blog.
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