Dell’Aquila, a major NRA donor, announced that he will stop donating to the organization until its head, Wayne LaPierre, steps down, The New York Times reported Tuesday.
According to Dell’Aquila, the organization “has become a daily soap opera and it’s decaying and destroying the NRA from within, and it needs to stop.”
“Even if […] allegations regarding Mr. LaPierre and his leadership are false, he has become radioactive and must step down,” the prominent donor said, according to The New York Times.
Dell’Aquila has given roughly $100,000 to the association in cash and gifts, but pledged to stop his donations, including the pledge of his estate worth several million dollars, until LaPierre steps down.
The donor notes that he is part of a much larger network of financial backers who collectively withdraw about $134 million in pledges, much of which was earmarked years in advance.
At least one other donor, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed a decision to suspend a $2 million donation, the report says.
The rogue donor group has prepared a list of demands that it claims will be rolled in coming weeks. In the meantime, Dell’Aquila gave an insight into his own demands. In addition to LaPierre’s resignation, he wants the association’s entire senior leadership replaced before the 2020 US presidential elections race officially begins.
Dell’Aquila also wants Christopher W. Cox, who led the organization’s lobbying arm, placed into the position of chief executive.
“He brings continuity and stability,” Dell’Aquila said. “We can get consensus with Chris replacing Wayne.”
Dell’Aquila also wants Allen West, association board member and a former Tea Party congressman, installed as the group’s president.
The top donor is demanding that the board be reduced from 76 members to 30, consulting fees to board members be stopped, and past presidents removed from the board.
He also demands that costs be cut by holding meetings in US central locations, as opposed to upcoming board meetings like the one slated to be held in Alaska.
According to Dell’Aquila, allegations against LaPierre, whether true or not, are less important than the latter’s consistently bad publicity.
“I don’t know if these stories are true or not true,” he said. “My No. 1 concern, frankly only concern, is that our Second Amendment rights are preserved and the optics of negativity that are directly harming the NRA institution ceases.”
“Right or wrong, the buck stops with Mr. LaPierre, because this occurred underneath his leadership, and he’s ultimately accountable,” Dell’Aquila observed.
The NRA recently emerged from a power struggle between LaPierre and NRA president Oliver North. North announced his resignation as the group became bogged down in a legal battle against its contractor, Ackerman McQueen, over allegations that the former misused roughly $40 million in funding.
The lawsuit against North, who allegedly had financial relations with Ackerman, has been said to be spearheaded by LaPierre. The NRA is also in the middle of a New York attorney general investigation into the group’s tax-exempt status.