The Dark side of the American Dream

S2: The NRA | EP4: The Big Game

April 8, 2020 - 37:15
A dream job slowly becomes something very different for a former NRA fundraiser, as ethical questions come to light.

S2: The NRA | EP3: Man on the White Horse

April 1, 2020 - 35:51
A financial surplus becomes a deficit once Wayne LaPierre is elevated to EVP, and he is questioned about the relationship with Ackerman...

S2: The NRA | EP2: A Clear Crisis

March 25, 2020 - 40:59
Lines are drawn, as Wayne LaPierre’s supremacy is tested, and the rift spills out into public.

season 2: the nra

Gangster Capitalism is back. This season, the NRA is in the crosshairs. This past year has rocked the country’s most powerful special interest organization like none other. Internal power struggles have exposed the group’s questionable, and possibly illegal practices which now threaten the nearly 150 year old nonprofit like never before. We’re pulling back the curtain to reveal that this has little to do with guns. It’s about money.

the players

wayne lapierre

66
age
Vice President and CEO
NRA

A former lobbyist with a taste for fine Italian suits, Wayne LaPierre joined the NRA in 1978 and took over as Executive Vice President and Chief Executive in 1991. He has been criticized for knowing his way around Capitol Hill better than he knows his way around a gun. A staunch hard-liner, he is credited with revitalizing the NRA and shaping it into the formidable powerhouse that it is today. Last April, he was unanimously re-elected as the group’s CEO.

Wayne LaPierre

William Brewer III

67
age
NRA Outside Counsel
Brewer Attorneys & Counselors

An audacious Dallas lawyer, William Brewer III represents the NRA as outside counsel. He is a close ally of Wayne LaPierre. Brewer had no prior experience in Second Amendment litigation prior to being hired by the NRA. Leaked documents show that over a thirteen month period, between 2018 and 2019, Brewer’s firm billed the NRA $24 million in fees. That is, $97,000 a day, seven days a week. He has been sanctioned for ethics violations in Texas.

William Brewer III

Tony Makris

66
age
President
The Mercury Group

Once a close friend of Wayne LaPierre, Makris serves as the president of the Mercury group, a wholly owned subsidiary of Ackerman McQueen, the NRA’s longtime PR and advertising firm, as well as president of a corporate entity called Under Wild Skies, which received more than $18 million from the NRA over a period beginning in 2010. The two are currently embroiled in a legal battle over unpaid fees, with Under Wild Skies alleging the nonprofit owes them millions. Makris hosts a show called Under Wild Skies on the Outdoor Channel. It previously aired on NBC Sports, but was pulled by the network after Makris likened his detractors to Hitler.

Tony Makris

Angus McQueen

Deceased
Former CEO
Ackerman McQueen

A powerful Oklahoma ad executive, Angus McQueen is credited with shaping all aspects of the NRA’s image. His firm, Ackerman McQueen, worked closely with the NRA for close to 40 years until their unceremonious separation in 2019, with both parties filing suit against the other. Amid the legal battle, McQueen passed away after a fight with lung cancer.

Angus McQueen

Letitia James

66
age
Attorney General
New York State/span>

New York's first African-American attorney general, Letitia James is leading an investigation into financial misconduct within the NRA's ranks and the organization's tax-exempt status.

Letitia James

Aaron Davis

39
age
Former Fundraiser
NRA

"A lifelong gun enthusiast, Aaron Davis spent ten years fundraising for the NRA, courting high value donors. He saw first-hand where funds were being allocated and became disillusioned with the organization he once revered. Hailed as a whistleblower by some, Davis has accused the NRA's executives of enriching themselves at the expense of their members.

Aaron Davis

extras

season 2 episode 1

NRA Complaint

view

North Resignation Letter

view

NRA 990

view

season 2 episode 2

North and Childress Letter about Brewer Finances

view

North Crisis Committee Letter

view

LaPierre’s response to North’s Crisis Committee Letter

view

Millie Hallow Resume

view

Millie Hallow Article

view

season 2 episode 3

Blue Sky Productions M1 Rifle

view

The Cincinnati Revolt

view

Wayne LaPierre in College

1996 Mercury Group Corporate Filing

view

season 1
The College admissions scandal

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About C13Originals

C13Originals

C13Originals is the division of Cadence13 focused on original storytelling and developing a slate of IP through a new premium level in-house production studio, and creators of top podcast series Root of Evil: The True Story of the Hodel Family and the Black Dahlia and the white-collar crime docuseries Gangster Capitalism.

Credits

Written and Directed By: Zak Levitt and Andrew Jenks

Executive Producers: Chris Corcoran, Zak Levitt and Andrew Jenks

Producers: Lloyd Lockridge and Perry Crowell

Edited By: Perry Crowell

Sound Mixing and Mastering: Bill Schultz

Research and Production Support: Ian Mandt

Production Management: Terence Malangone

Studio Coordination: Sean Cherry

Artwork and Design: Curt Courtenay

Marketing and PR: Josefina Francis and Hillary Schupf

Original Score: Joel Goodman

Theme Song: “Your Sins Will Find You Out,” by Eli “Paperboy” Reed

Web Development: Ben Messer and Ken Lenga

Gangster Capitalism is a production of C13Originals, a division of Cadence13.

About C13Originals

C13Originals

C13Originals is the division of Cadence13 focused on original storytelling and developing a slate of IP through a new premium level in-house production studio, and creators of top podcast series Root of Evil: The True Story of the Hodel Family and the Black Dahlia and the white-collar crime docuseries Gangster Capitalism.

Credits

Written and Directed By: Zak Levitt and Andrew Jenks

Executive Producers: Chris Corcoran, Zak Levitt and Andrew Jenks

Producers: Lloyd Lockridge and Perry Crowell

Edited By: Perry Crowell

Sound Mixing and Mastering: Bill Schultz

Research and Production Support: Ian Mandt

Production Management: Terence Malangone

Studio Coordination: Sean Cherry

Artwork and Design: Curt Courtenay

Marketing and PR: Josefina Francis and Hillary Schupf

Original Score: Joel Goodman

Theme Song: “Your Sins Will Find You Out,” by Eli “Paperboy” Reed

Web Development: Ben Messer and Ken Lenga

Gangster Capitalism is a production of C13Originals, a division of Cadence13.