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Jeff's Endorsements for NRA Directors

Category: The Knox Update
Published Date
Written by Jeff Knox

2015 NRA Board of Directors Election

By Jeff Knox

(February 16, 2015) It’s time again for my annual pronouncement on NRA elections.  Actually it’s past time, but for some reason I didn’t receive a ballot this year.  Since the NRA insists on keeping election information and their board of directors shielded from public scrutiny, it is impossible to comment on the elections without first reviewing the rather scant information NRA provides with the official ballot.  Since I didn’t receive one this year, I have had to collect the information from others who did, thus I’m running a bit late.

For 2015 I am endorsing the following seven candidates:

$11.       Timothy Knight, Durango, Colorado is a proven, effective, grassroots activist who orchestrated the stunning recalls of anti-rights senators in Colorado.  He is not an NRA insider, and was nominated by petition of the members, not the Nominating Committee.

$12.       Sean Maloney, Liberty Township, Ohio is an attorney who has an extensive record of grassroots activism and comes highly recommended by people I trust.


$13.       Virginia McLemore, Socorro, New Mexico, is an active competitive shooter and youth training volunteer.  She has served in leadership in her state association which I feel has been neglected by NRA in the past.  Rural, western, and competitive shooting representation is needed on the Board.

$14.       Maria Heil, New freedom, Pennsylvania, was on my endorsement list 3 years ago and she has proven herself a worthy pick.  I’d like to see her continue on the Board for another term now that she knows the ropes.

$15.       Robert Viden, Glassboro, New Jersey, has served on the Board off and on for a number of years.  He knows how to get things done and does a lot when given the opportunity.  I have endorsed Bob in the past, and think he’s earned my support.  For whatever reason, he tends to come in low in the vote totals, so a little extra support could make all the difference for him..

$16.       Joseph DeBergalis, West Seneca, New York, has demonstrated much more willingness to communicate with the membership and take action on their behalf than most of the directors.  I endorsed him in his first run and he won handily.  When he ran for reelection, I did not consider him to be in jeopardy of losing, so I did not offer an endorsement.  That came close to being a big mistake as he barely made the cut that year.  This year I don’t want to take that chance.  I’d like to see Joe continue on the Board.

$17.       Scott Bach, Newfoundland, New Jersey.  Scott is a good friend who is doing yeoman’s work deep in enemy territory.  Normally Scott comes in high in the voting, but whenever there is more than one candidate from the same state, voters tend to choose one or the other.  With my endorsement of Bob Viden, I want to reinforce support for Scott.

I urge eligible voters to cast ballots marked for only these seven candidates.  The fewer candidates you vote for, the more weight your vote carries.  For those who want to cast a true “bullet vote,” I recommend marking the ballot only for Tim Knight.

This endorsement list is not comprehensive, and should not be taken as negative toward any other candidate.  Most of the candidates nominated – whether by petition or the Nominating Committee – are well qualified and would serve the members well.  These seven are the candidates that I consider to be both top-tier and at risk of not making the cut.  There are other candidates that I consider to be top-tier, but whom I believe will easily win reelection, and therefore do not need my endorsement.  There are a few whom I would not miss if they lost reelection, but will easily win regardless of what I say or do, and still others whom I simply don’t know enough about to offer an opinion one way or the other. 

There are also a very few whom I would prefer were not on the Board, and are not guaranteed a seat.  Specifically, John Milius, the movie writer and director who has served on the Board off and on for the past two decades.  By all accounts Mr. Milius is a fun and interesting guy, but in 1997 he bragged in a Washington Post interview about actively lying to fellow Board members during an internal struggle over NRA contracting.  I do not believe that conduct should be rewarded. 

There are also some disquieting accusations circulating about John Brown, the president of the NFA Trade and Collectors Association.  Mr. Brown is a neighbor of ours in Virginia, but I have never met him.  While I can understand the challenges of dealing with the government as a representative of machinegun collectors and manufacturers, I’ve yet to hear a credible response from him regarding the accusations, and I was very disappointed with his and NFATCA’s handling of the CLEO and Trust issue.  I am also uncomfortable with the conflicting interests of NFATCA and NRA.  I think the organizations should work closely when appropriate, but do not believe they should intermingle leadership.  

Finally, there are also accusations going around about someone I do know fairly well, and for whom I have a great deal of respect; Grover Norquist, the founder of Americans for Tax Reform.  While I find the suggestions that Grover is connected to terrorist organizations ludicrous, I do feel that his loyalties are stronger toward political issues beyond the Second Amendment, and that, while his political connections and acumen are valuable to the NRA, that it would better serve the organization to have him as a friend and supporter, than as a member of the NRA’s governing body.

If you are eligible to vote in this election – have been a member for at least 5 consecutive years or are a Life Member – you should have received a ballot in your February edition of your NRA magazine or directly in the mail if you receive your magazine online.  If, like me, you are eligible, but did not receive a ballot, contact NRA and request one.  Hopefully mine is on the way.