How cover ups led to financial turmoil

Senior+Sakshi+Lawande+looking+at+the+NRA+donor+website+featuring+CEO+LaPierre.

Maddy Licea

Senior Sakshi Lawande looking at the NRA donor website featuring CEO LaPierre.

Maddy Licea, Editor in Chief

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez asked the National Rifle Association if it was broke after it ran a $10.8 million deficit in its past fiscal year.

The NRA has consistently been at the center of controversy. However, the lobbyist group’s latest issues could result in more consequences. While donors turn a blind eye to sexual harassment claims, financial trouble is not as easy to ignore. 

Through many questionable financial decisions, the NRA’s 2018 financial report shows just how much trouble it is in. The organization ended its financial year with a $10.8 million deficit. Executive director of general operations, Joshua Powell, was exposed for using NRA funding to pay off two sexual harassment claims. 

Junior Emmie Peters emphasized her loss of respect for the organization. “I’ve respected the NRA as a group of people united for a common interest, but the respect I had has now been extremely lessened because of the executive’s actions,” she said. 

Chief executive Wayne LaPierre was billed for $267,000 in personal expenses after originally having the NRA’s advertising firm head, Ackerman McQueen, pay for it. The presidency of the NRA was typically an unpaid position until LaPierre reaped a contract with Ackerman that paid him millions. The effect of LaPierre’s actions was a loss of a contract with their main advertising partner, which Ackerman won. 

The NRA could soon face problems if it loses its tax-exempt status. During the 2016 election, unidentified members of the NRA made a trip to Moscow, Russia to meet with government officials, the Washington Post reported. The Internal Revenue Service has recently launched an investigation regarding that trip.

Peters does not have a problem with the NRA’s donors; however, “misusing the tax benefits of an organization to engage in highly corrupt activity should not be ignored,” she said. 

If the NRA were to declare bankruptcy, certain members of Congress would feel the impact. Over $15 million of NRA PAC money circulates on the floor of Congress. President Trump’s campaign received a generous donation of $30 million from the lobbyist group.  

Iowa senator Charles Grassley has been received $232,337 from the NRA. While Grassley acquired a large sum, Sen. Joni Ernst collected 3.1 million from the NRA. Class of 2019 member Vashi Chintalapalli expressed his concern with the NRA’s influence on Iowa’s representatives. “It leaves us to question how much power is within the people compared to votes based off of capitalist agendas,” he said. 

The NRA’s financial status will come into factor with upcoming elections, local and presidential, however these donations are not only going to the second amendments defense.