INDIANAPOLIS — Legendary rocker Ted Nugent, a National Rifle Association board member, says the board owes it to the gun-rights group’s rank-and-file members to provide more information about its finances and activities.
“Whether you’re a family or a company or…a civil rights organization, accountability is job one,” Mr. Nugent said in an interview this weekend at the NRA’s annual meetings. “We’ve been less than accountable at the NRA - not as unaccountable as the government or the media, but we’re better than that.”
The NRA is facing scrutiny from New York’s attorney general over its nonprofit status. It has sued its own ad agency and has posted troubling financial numbers in recent years, leading to unprecedented turmoil over the last week.
Mr. Nugent, one of the NRA’s most prominent members, says the board, which is meeting on Monday to discuss next steps, owes transparency and accountability to dues-paying members who believe in the mission of the organization.
“Only the guilty need to feel guilty. I’m not sure there is anybody guilty, but if there is we will hold them accountable,” he said. “I’m not afraid of what the spotlight shows. I know I ain’t guilty, and I’m going to demand from my fellow NRA board members the same thing I demand from my management, and my family and my sons and daughters - it’s accountability.”
He said he doesn’t know the “gory details” of the abrupt departure of NRA President Oliver North, but acknowledged that the organization can get a better handle on its finances.
“Well, let me put it this way. I’m just a guitar player, but see if I have this right. When I make $5 million on tour, I can’t spend six,” he said.
The NRA had run cumulative deficits of close to $64 million in 2016 and 2017, and the New York attorney general recently launched an investigation into its finances.
“My criminal government is 20-some trillion in debt - criminal. I won’t let that happen to the NRA,” he said. “We may be a little out of control currently, but I think it’s remedial. I think we can find those wasteful spendings, and I think we can end them.”
• David Sherfinski can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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