Grover Norquist Reelected To National Rifle Association Board In Spite Of Glenn Beck's Islamophobic Smear Campaign
Will Glenn Beck Now Quit The NRA?
UPDATE: The Blaze reported on April 14 that Grover Norquist circulated a letter to NRA board members last week indicating that he “has voluntarily suspended his Board activities pending the outcome of the investigation.”
Conservative activist Grover Norquist was reelected to the National Rifle Association's board of directors in spite of a campaign by Glenn Beck and others that baselessly smeared Norquist as a clandestine agent of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Beck, who frequently delivers the keynote speech at the NRA's annual meeting, previously said he would quit the NRA if Norquist was reelected.
During an April 11 member's meeting at the NRA's annual meeting in Nashville, Tennessee, NRA election committee chairman Bill Carter announced that Norquist was one of 25 individuals elected to a three-year term on the NRA's board, terminating in 2018:
After announcing the results, Carter added, “These are your boards ladies and gentleman and I ask that they be acknowledged ... and ladies and gentlemen, they are here for you, each and every one of you.”
For at least 15 years, Norquist has been targeted by Frank Gaffney, head of the Islamophobic think tank Center for Security Policy, with the claim that he is an agent of the Muslim Brotherhood. One high-profile conservative group investigated the claim in 2012 and found it to be meritless. Norquist has called Gaffney his “stalker” and has accused Gaffney of also spreading rumors that he is gay and a member of “the Jewish-Russian mafia.”
On March 11, Beck hosted Gaffney on his radio show and began to champion Gaffney's smear with threats that he would leave the NRA if Norquist was reelected to the board at the NRA annual meeting.
During a March 13 radio show, Beck revealed that he spoke at length with NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre and that LaPierre assured him that the gun group would start “an ethics investigation” into Norquist to determine “once and for all” whether he is an agent of the Muslim Brotherhood. Beck was definitive, stating that if Norquist “remains on the board of the NRA, I will to have resign my membership.” (In other discussions of Norquist, Beck has been less clear, suggesting that he is open to staying within the NRA to try to reform the organization from within if Norquist were to be reelected.)
The NRA confirmed the investigation on March 13 with a letter from Beck posted on the group's Institute for Legislative Action website that didn't mention Norquist by name but described an investigation into someone on the NRA board with alleged ties “to Islamist groups that have ill intent towards the United States and its allies.”
The spat between Norquist and Beck culminated with Norquist's March 26 appearance on Glenn Beck's show where Beck debated the merits of Gaffney's conspiracy theory with Norquist for an hour. While announcing the results on April 11, Carter said that the due date for ballots was March 22, meaning that Norquist had already prevailed at the time of his confrontation with Beck, although that information was not public at the time. Since announcing the investigation, the NRA has not made any updates concerning Norquist on its Institute for Legislative Action website.