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You may have heard that New York’s attorney general, Letitia James, filed a lawsuit Thursday to dissolve the National Rifle Association. The suit argues years of corruption and millions of dollars of misspending undermine the NRA’s ability to operate as a nonprofit.
Never one to shy away from a legal challenge, D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine is suing the NRA too. Separate from James’ suit, Racine’s suit alleges that the powerful gun rights group and the NRA Foundation, an independent group incorporated in D.C., misused charitable funds to support non-charitable purposes, violating District law. The Office of the Attorney General investigation found that the NRA exploited the NRA Foundation through multimillion dollar loans and unjustified fees to subdue financial woes stemming from low membership and lavish spending.
“Because the Foundation’s Board of Trustees and executives are dominated by the NRA, and the NRA had subverted the Foundation’s independence,” the lawsuit says, “the Foundation has allowed itself to be financially exploited through, among other things, unfair loans and management fee payments to the NRA.”
It’s no secret that the NRA is in dire financial straits. In an April recording obtained by NPR, NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre says the group’s legal troubles cost it $100 million.
The NRA has hit back, filing its own lawsuit against the New York attorney general. The suit argues her move was politically motivated. No action has been taken against D.C., whose attorney general says other nonprofits “should be on notice” with his lawsuit.
“Charitable organizations function as public trusts—and District law requires them to use their funds to benefit the public, not to support political campaigns, lobbying, or private interests,” says Racine in a press statement. “With this lawsuit, we aim to recover donated funds that the NRA Foundation wasted.”
—Amanda Michelle Gomez (tips? email@example.com)
CITY DESK LINKS, by Amanda Michelle Gomez (tips? firstname.lastname@example.org)
As of Aug. 7, D.C. reported two additional deaths related to COVID-19 and 71 new positive cases, bringing the total number of people to 589 and 12,589, respectively. [EOM]
Coronavirus cases plateau in the region, and surpass 200,000. [Post]
Virginia will begin using a smartphone application for contact tracing. Maybe the move will inspire D.C., which is already “actively assessing” app-supported contact tracing? [Washingtonian]
By September, D.C. will have 22 miles of “slow streets” to accommodate pedestrians. There will be none in Ward 8 because the ward’s councilmember, Trayon White, requested there be none. [DCist]
Black Swan Academy trains young people to be activists. [WUSA9]
LOOSE LIPS LINKS, by Mitch Ryals (tips? email@example.com)
A D.C.-based nonprofit mailed ballot applications to Fairfax County voters with the wrong return address on them. [DCist]
Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton is on Kojo this afternoon to talk D.C. statehood. [Kojo]
YOUNG & HUNGRY LINKS, by Laura Hayes (tips? firstname.lastname@example.org)
Michelin-starred Chef Elias Taddesse is opening two restaurants in one in Mount Vernon Triangle influenced by his upbringing in Ethiopia. [WCP]
These restaurants are raising money for Lebanon following the catastrophic blast. [Eater DC]
Three stars leave the Bon Appétit Test Kitchen. [Post]
ARTS LINKS, by Kayla Randall (tips? email@example.com)
Speculative newsletter Dispatches from 2120 imagines D.C. a century from now. [WCP]
She Dies Tomorrow is an unsettling, fascinating film, our critic writes. [WCP]
Also happening in the world: Humane Rescue Alliance helped out a fox that got its head stuck in a gate. [Washingtonian]
SPORTS LINKS, by Kelyn Soong (tips? firstname.lastname@example.org)
D.C. United wants to host matches with fans at Audi Field this season. Its Buzzard Point neighbors are not happy about that plan. [WCP]
The Caps showed plenty of rust in their 3-1 loss to the Flyers. [Russian Machine Never Breaks]
The Wizards, who are so far winless in the NBA restart, take on Zion Williamson and the Pelicans tonight. [Bullets Forever]
Emma Sarappo is away from her desk. She’ll be back next week.