The National Rifle Association has been (mercifully) hounded by bad press this year: the organization has been hemorrhaging money for decades, they’re in a legal feud with their longtime PR firm, and NRATV has been dissolved. So news that tens of thousands of dollars worth of donor funds were spent making sure that CEO Wayne LaPierre’s wife got the full beat of her dreams with a traveling glam squad is just another layer of shit on the massive shit cake that the right-wing gun lobby has spent years baking.
The Daily Beast reports that LaPierre’s wife, Susan LaPierre, is very particular about her glamour entourage, favoring two Nashville-based stylists to do her hair and makeup when she travels across the country for events and speaking engagements:
The NRA Women’s Leadership Forum [which Susan LaPierre co-chairs] hosts many of its events in major metropolitan areas where local hair and makeup talent abounds. But because of LaPierre’s preference for the Nashville artists, the gun group has paid a premium to fly them around the country, and put them up in style.
These expenses also included luxury hotel stays.
It goes without saying that this shit racks up. So when the New Yorker’s bombshell story about the NRA’s finances broke in April, there was an awkward (and fruitless) attempt at frugality in response to the Nashville-based glam squad:
According to one of the sources, the stylists were booked to provide hair and makeup services for LaPierre at its member gathering in Indianapolis this past April. But as media reports emerged with allegations of extravagant spending by the gun group, NRA officials worried the Nashville stylists’ presence could attract scrutiny. So they canceled on them at the last minute. Because the cancellation came so late, the NRA still had to pay their fees.
The NRA is blaming their newly estranged PR firm, Ackerman McQueen, for the reports of extravagant expenses, calling it a “smear campaign” that “shamelessly targets the wife of the Association’s CEO.” But considering the fact that NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre himself is a big fucking spender, is this really that much of a stretch?
Susan LaPierre just wanted a country-star inspired full beat on demand by people she trusted, fully funded by America’s gun nuts. They should just own it. NRA, hire me as your PR now.