In a lawsuit against the state of New York, the National Rifle Association (NRA) recently claimed that Governor Andrew Cuomo's campaign against the NRA had tilted the group toward bankruptcy, but is that actually true or did they lie in court?
According to Open Secrets, it's true. The NRA has continued to spend money, but they're putting it on their credit card.
Financial records obtained by Open Secrets show the NRA has been running a deficit ever since they dumped everything they had into getting Trump elected.
“Their current business model cannot be sustained the way it is going,” said Brian Mittendorf, an accounting professor from Ohio State University. “It can be sustained in the short term, but not the long term. The financial statements would indicate that.”
By the end of 2017, the group spent $26.1 million more than it brought in, expanding its existing deficit from the previous year to $31.8 million.
“The big takeaway is that there were some red flags about their long-term financial health in 2016,” Mittendorf told OpenSecrets, “and nothing alleviates those concerns in their 2017 financials. If anything, it shows they’re coming to fruition.”
There's a lot going on here.
First of all, this does not necessarily boost their case against Cuomo. The records obtained by Open Secrets show that the NRA has lost nearly $40 million per year in member dues as more people leave the group, not because Cuomo has pressured banks and financial institutions to stop doing business with the NRA.
It has also become fairly clear that the NRA's spending spree during the 2016 campaign season was fueled, in part, by Russian oligarchs who coordinated with the group through Maria Butina, the Russian spy recently indicted by federal prosecutors.
Considering everything we know, it's an open question to me if the NRA is running a deficit largely because their foreign donors dumped them after installing Trump in the White House.
But maybe it's more simple than that. Maybe they're running a deficit because their Infowars-lite TV channel is garbage and fewer and fewer people want to be associated with a domestic terrorist organization.
Whatever the case may be, I hope they eventually go bankrupt and dissolve. We can all piss on the ashes.