A former executive for the National Rifle Association will release next week a tell-all book about his experience with the NRA titled, “Inside the N.R.A.: A Tell-All Account of Corruption, Greed, and Paranoia Within the Most Powerful Political Group in America.”
Josh Powell was fired in January after allegedly improperly using NRA funds. He was also accused of gender discrimination and sexual harassment.
The New York Times received an advanced copy of Powell’s book, and they outlined in a recent article his accusations against his former employer.
Powells claims the NRA has abandoned “its roots as an organization focused on gun safety and education” by turning its back on the majority of gun owners, who Powell claims support universal background checks and red flag laws.
“I was part of a message machine that helped to perpetuate the problem and exacerbate the extremism of the gun debate, something I wouldn’t fully appreciate for a long time,” he writes. “I would become lost. And my experience would ultimately convince me that the N.R.A. itself had lost its mission, and lost its way too.”
While Powell personally doubts the efficacy of universal background checks, he believes the NRA should take that issue off the table. He also believes they should support red flag laws that allow family members and friends to petition a court to confiscated a person’s firearms – “as long as there is a process” that “involves both medical doctors and psychiatrists, and some sort of bipartisan oversight.”
He also accuses the NRA, and specifically Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre, of significant financial mismanagement.
LaPierre “couldn’t run an organization on a fiscally sound basis to save his life,” Powell claims.
Powell was himself a businessman, but his previous ventures into men’s clothing catalogs were not successful. He was sued numerous times in connection with the catalogs over the nonpayment of debts, according to the New York AG’s lawsuit against the NRA.
Powell claims that LaPierre confided in him about quitting last year. According to Powell, LaPierre speculated that former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee or former House member Jason Chaffetz might replace him.
The NRA denied Powell’s version of that conversation in an interview with the New York Times. A spokesman claimed that LaPierre spoke to many people about succession planning “if, and when, he ever left the N.R.A.”
The Times also reports that, in the weeks before he was fired, Powell was seeking to restructure his contract and receive $1.7 million as a consultant.
“My loyalty to the Association is without question,” he wrote to LaPierre at the time.