It's that time of year again. All Life Members (and higher) plus 5-year members of the National Rifle Association should have gotten their ballots for the 2016 Board of Director elections. Mine came with my March 2016 edition.
It is my understanding that there are somewhere north of 500,000 members eligible to vote. If this board election is like those in the past, about 75,000 or less than 20% of those eligible will bother to vote. This is a shame. If you've gone to expense to become a Life Member or continually renewed your membership for the last five years or more, you ought to take advantage of that and vote!
This year there are 39 candidates running for 25 spots. The Nominating Committee nominated 31 candidates while the remaining eight are on the ballot by petition. In addition, there is a recall election to remove Grover Norquist from the Board of Directors.
The slate includes both what I call the show horses such as ex-NBA star Karl Malone, rock star Ted Nugent, and actress Susan Howard and the work horses like Sean Maloney, Tom King of NYSRPA, Sandy Froman, and a number of others. I guess both are needed. However, a board composed of 75 members is unwieldy and much of the work is actually done in committees. Committee work is the province of the work horses and they should be give more consideration.
I'll start with Second Amendment scholar and attorney Dave Hardy. He divides the candidates into the essentials and the good but not essentials. He notes that if you vote for 25 candidates some of the essentials might get left out. He considers the following essential:
Jim Porter: lawyer, past president, chairs Legal Affairs Committee, sits on four other committees.Dave also recommends a "No" vote on the recall of Grover Norquist.
Carol Bambery, pro-gun attorney, chairs Bylaws Committee and the National Firearms Law Seminar, vice-chair of two committees, member of two more.
Sandy Froman, pro-gun attorney, past President, sits on three committees.
Tom King, State activist, chairs Small-Bore Rifle, sits on four more committees.
Lance Olson, State activist, chairs Gun Collectors, sits on three more.
Bob Sanders, pro-gun attorney, sits on Legal Affairs and on the Civil Rights Defense Fund.
Steve Shreiner, busy Colorado activist, sits on GrassRoots, holds Bronze Star with V for valor and Silver Star, both from Vietnam.
I'm probably biased -- four out of seven are pro-gun attorneys, and I have more opportunity to see them in action. On the other hand, I know they all show up for each meeting unless there is a compelling reason otherwise.
Next up is Sebastian of Shall Not Be Questioned. In the past, he notes, he has endorsed Tom King, Carol Bambery, Sandy Froman, and Graham Hill. He says, "I would not change my vote." He also will NOT be voting for Ted Nugent though he presumes Uncle Ted will do just fine without his vote.
With regard to the Norquist recall, he is a solid "No" on the recall. Sebastian points out that the person who started the drive didn't even bother showing up to the hearing on the recall. Moreover, some who are advocating Norquist's recall are doing it due to his position on immigration. As Sebastian notes, he is steadfast against the NRA taking any position on immigration.
Lt. Col. Robert K. Brown, a NRA board member and publisher of Soldier of Fortune magazine, always comes out with a list of candidates he endorses. His list from Facebook (with spelling corrections) is below. Note he does say to vote "Yes" on the recall of Grover Norquist.
To All NRA voting members. SoF is endorsing the following candidates for election to the NRA Board of Directors. They are:The list published in the magazine omits Robert Thornton.
2. Tom King
3. Richard Kussman
4. Sean Maloney
5. James W. Porter
6. Sgt. Steve Reichert
7. Robert Tony Sanders
8. Cpt. Steve Schreiner
9. Cpt. Robert Thornton
10. Lt. Col. Allen West
I am voting for the recall of Grover Norquist.
Robert K. Brown
State level organizations such as the NY State Rifle and Pistol Association have also made endorsements. Their list is below:
The NYSRPA strongly suggests that you follow the advice of the NRA Nominating Committee when casting your ballots in the 2016 NRA Board of Directors Election. All the people on this list are good hard working dedicated advocates for the 2nd Amendment.The last two endorsements that I'll list name the same person - Sean Maloney. Sean is currently the 76th Director serving a 1-year term. Jim Irvine of Buckeye Firearms Association has this to say about Sean in his endorsement:
Listed below are a few of the current board members we regularly work with and therefore endorse their reelection. Please support them:
James W. Porter II
Steven C. Schreiner
Dwight D. Van Horn
Many an energetic person is compared to the Energizer bunny. A better comparison for Sean is a nuclear submarine. He seemingly can run continuously for 30 years without refueling, stopping briefly every 6 months to take on food and nourishment. He spends most of his time quietly helping ensure our rights are safe, but has the ability to deliver extremely effective influence anytime and anywhere it is needed.The last endorsement - and one of the most important in my opinion - comes from Jeff Knox of The Firearms Coalition. Jeff, son of the late Neal Knox, is one of the more thoughtful leaders of the gun rights movement. He brings to the table a sense of history as well as his family's long legacy of fighting for the Second Amendment. He, too, is endorsing Sean Maloney. While I am only printing an excerpt of his endorsement, I believe you should read the whole thing including his analysis of the race, his rationale for a single endorsement and his reasoning for voting "No" on the recall of Grover Norquist.
Gun owners need a strong NRA, and the NRA needs Sean Maloney. You can vote for up to 25 people, but you don’t need to vote for that many. If you only vote for one person, vote for Sean. He’s great for the NRA, great for the cause, and is a great person.
With a presidential race and impending Supreme Court Justice nominations, gun owners will cast many important votes this year. Don’t overlook the importance of the NRA BOD.
Vote for Sean Maloney.
The one incumbent I strongly support, and who I see as most vulnerable, is Sean Maloney. I endorsed Maloney and his fellow Colorado Recall architect Timothy Knight last year. Knight made the cut, but Maloney did not. Thankfully, he was able to win election to the one-year, “76th Director” seat that is voted on each year at the NRA’s Annual Meeting of members. During his year on the board, he obviously impressed folks because he has gotten the nod from the Nominating Committee this year, as well as being nominated by petition. That’s pretty unusual but doesn’t surprise me. Maloney is an impressive guy and a workhorse for the cause. He’s an Ohio attorney, where he is very active in local battles, but he virtually moved to Colorado to assist with the recall effort. And that’s not the first, or last, time he’s simply shown up on the front lines with his work gloves on asking how he can help. He’s a firebrand and he’s smart. We need people like Maloney on the NRA Board.To reiterate, you must be either a Life Member or an Annual Member with five years of consecutive, unbroken membership to vote in this election. If you meet that criteria and haven't received a ballot, I suggest you contact the NRA. Finally, your ballot must be received by the accounting firm of Deloitte and Touche by May 1st.
I am going to vote only for Maloney, because if I cast a vote for any one of the other 19 candidates actually competing for the last few seats, that person – who I like but don’t support as strongly as I support Maloney – could bump Maloney out of the running, meaning I would be negating my own vote.
Therefore, I am asking NRA voting members to join me in casting a single “Bullet Vote” for Sean Maloney.
This is a strange election year. A lot is at stake for the Second Amendment and our gun rights. We need a solid NRA Board of Directors if we are to withstand the well-funded forces against us. So, if you are eligible to vote, then do it. Don't sit on your hands and let others make the decision for you. Take charge and make it yourself.