The National Rifle Association has directed money over the last few years to 18 people on its 76-member board of directors, the group charged with overseeing the organization's finances, The Washington Post reports.
The Post looked over the NRA's last three years of tax filings and state charitable reports, as well as NRA correspondence. The newspaper found that payments came from the NRA, NRA Foundation, or vendors, and included $50,000 to musician Ted Nugent for appearances; $610,000 for consulting and lobbying to lobbyist Marion Hammer; $400,000 to former NFL player Dave Butz for consulting; and $3.1 million to firearms executive Pete Brownwell for products; Butz and Brownwell are no longer on the board.
One board member who hasn't received any money is former basketball player Karl Malone, who told the Post he is concerned. "If these allegations are correct and 18 board members received pay, you're damn right I am," he said. "If it's correct, the members who pay their dues should be damn concerned, too." NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam told the Post that due to public pressure, more and more companies are cutting ties with the NRA, so "connections between employees or board members and partners are not unusual."
Tax experts say this could lead to conflicts of interest, as the board monitors finances. "In 25 years of working in this field, I have never seen a pattern like this," Douglas Varley, an attorney at Washington's Caplin & Drysdale, told the Post. He looked over the NRA's federal and state filings from 2016 through 2018, and said the "volume of transactions with insiders and affiliates of insiders is really astonishing." He did not note any violations of the law, "but the pattern raises a threshold question of who the organization is serving," Varley said. Read more at The Washington Post.