Maryland – -(Ammoland.com)- It was announced last week that a few past and resident National Rifle Association Board members intend to ask the Board to replace long time NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre with former Congressman Allen West
Allen West … really?
The fact that those who would take Wayne down have settled on Allen West as their preferred replacement tells a person more than anything else. It tells you that while professing an interest in the future success of the NRA, their real interest is simply to get rid of Wayne regardless of the consequences.
They repeat unproven and spurious allegations about Wayne and then argue that regardless of all he’s done for the association we’d be better off if we just send him packing.
By backing West, they are telling us that it really doesn’t matter who replaces Wayne. While questioning Wayne’s abilities, they would put their faith in a man who has failed at virtually everything he’s done and is now simply available and looking for a job.
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Putting Allen West into a position, which requires managerial competence, would amount to malpractice. Perhaps in choosing Allen West, their intent is simply to destroy NRA and all that Wayne has worked over these many years.
It has been said that in politics and business there are “show horses” and “work horses.” Allen West is a “show horse.” He makes a great first impression, but he’s not there when the work needs to be done. Wayne is and always has been a “work horse.”
It is due to Wayne’s vision and hard work over decades that gun owners have come to rely on the NRA in the continuing struggle to preserve our constitutional rights. No one is perfect. Wayne has sometimes trusted people who didn’t deserve that trust. I doubt if he or any of us can claim we’ve always been right about everything. But no one could have done a better job for us over years of service, or for America’s gun owners and the Second Amendment, than Wayne.
Wayne more than anyone else is responsible for what we have accomplished and while he can give a fairly good speech when he has to, it’s the long hours of dedicated service to our cause that has made him virtually indispensable.
On the other hand, after leaving the military, West, an accomplished orator, has proven that he can give a good speech … but little else.
We chose him to keynote CPAC while I was running it in 2010 precisely because he was a good orator. He wowed the crowd and that appearance helped him launch his political career.
Conservatives rallied around West in his effort to win a second term in Congress. They poured millions into a race he could have won and watched him not only lose but abandon Florida in search of new adventures elsewhere.
In July of 2016, West was offered and accepted the appointment as Executive Director of The National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA), a Texas-based conservative non-profit founded in 1983, which the late Senator Phil Gramm once observed: “does more with fewer resources than any other think tank in America.”
West had impressed the Board with a speech and on that basis, they turned the affairs of the NCPA over to him. They expected that as a chief executive officer he would run the organization efficiently and that as something of a celebrity he would be able to raise the funds needed to meet its annual budget. A year later, the NCPA was history.
Those familiar with what happened claim that West rarely if ever showed up for work and raised little if anything to keep the organization healthy. Instead, he hired a fund raiser who stole some $600,000.00 dollars from the non-profit in a matter of months which, combined with West’s managerial and fund-raising failures, forced the NCPA to close its doors forever.
Next, West set his sights on the Chairmanship of the Texas Republican Party and was elected …once again based on a couple of good speeches.
Those who served with West describe a less than successful Chairmanship during which he began sniping at Texas Governor Greg Abbot in preparation for a primary challenge that West hoped would end up with him in the Governor’s office. It didn’t happen.
Although conservatives around the country were bombarded for months with email fundraising appeals from West, claiming that his polls showed him close or even ahead of Abbot, the election was never close. When the polls closed the Governor garnered roughly 66% of the vote compared to West’s paltry 12%.
Greg Abbot won that primary because Texas conservatives knew him to be a staunch conservative and gun owners applauded his oft demonstrated support of the Second Amendment. They couldn’t quite figure out why West was challenging one of our own except, of course, that he wanted the job.
So now West finds himself searching for another gig. For Wayne’s opponents, he is the available man; available to be used by those who have convinced themselves that they and they alone know what the NRA needs. Several of those behind this effort have never liked Wayne and were involved in previous attempts to take him down. They didn’t succeed then and won’t now.
I’m not going to go on and on about all Wayne has done for the modern NRA but would remind everyone that when he received word that the newly elected New York Attorney General was going to initiate an unprecedented campaign to destroy this Association, he took the necessary steps to protect the NRA and the Second Amendment.
Motives are important. New York Attorney General Letitia James and her progressive cohorts know that to gut the Second Amendment, they will have to first neutralize or destroy the NRA and to do that they will have to get Wayne LaPierre.
That’s what’s behind their effort. Allen West is all about Allen West. That’s what’s behind his role in all this … and those behind him have been after Wayne for so long that “getting” him has become more important to them than the truth, the NRA, or even the Second Amendment. They are clearly willing to sacrifice the NRA and the Second Amendment to get Wayne.
And Wayne? His motive is to continue the fight to protect our rights and further strengthen the Association to which he has devoted his life.
David A Keene
NRA President from 2011-13