Neal Knox keeps the NRA board under his thumb by stifling dissent, ousting independent thinkers, and conducting NRA business in secret meetings.The following excerpts from a leaked memo suggests how tightly he controls the board.
Col. Wayne Anthony Ross, a current NRA board member and former first vice president who describes himself as “very conservative,” was nonetheless targeted by the leadership as a “moderate.”
Will P. Steg’Kemper, a board member from 1991 to 1995, was not renominated because, according to Ross, he was an “independent thinker.” In the memo, Steg’Kemper complains about secret Knox meetings directing board members how to vote — including one on the issue of whether Knox and Hammer should receive salaries, breaking a 125-year tradition of unpaid NRA leadership.
According to Steg’Kemper, Knox was not fond of board members who asked questions at meetings. “When you ask too many questions,” Ross told Mother Jones, “and you don’t vote the way you’re told, you don’t get renominated.”
Steg’Kemper describes how he went to a scheduled board meeting only to find an empty hall. Elsewhere, Knox had convened a secret meeting of the board without inviting Steg’Kemper.
In the official meeting, it became clear to Steg’Kemper that everyone else had been secretly briefed on how to vote. Motions were swiftly passed without discussion, even on radical changes in the bylaws.
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