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Cover: Twelve

Josh Powell, former chief of staff to longtime NRA leader Wayne LaPierre, writes in "Inside the NRA" — out Sept. 8 from Twelve — that the pro-gun group botched its response to the Parkland shooting of 2018, when "for the first time, parents and politicians began to fight back in a bigger, more organized way".

What they're saying: "Wayne went on the attack, blaming Democrats, the FBI, and socialism for the tragic shootings. ... Six years after Sandy Hook, it felt like we had done nothing to stop the violence and prevent shootings like Parkland from happening."

  • "And now the frustration boiled over, as the survivors of Parkland took to the airwaves to plead for an end to the violence, to plead on behalf of their slain classmates. ... [T]he NRA offered its standard playbook and the party line."

Powell says he realized he had "become the cover‑up, or at least an accomplice":

  • "[T]he waste and dysfunction at the NRA was staggering, costing the organization and its members hundreds of millions of dollars over the years. ... [T]here are so many ways that membership money went up in smoke. ..."
  • "I’d come to believe I’d failed the team. ... I’d lost the larger plot and was overtaken with just winning the fight at all costs. ... To me, the NRA has completely shirked its obligations to gun owners, citizens, and the children of our country."
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Go deeper

Sep 15, 2020 - Podcasts

The politics of evacuation orders

We know that our media diets can have an influence on who and what we trust. But now, researchers at UCLA found that even includes evacuation orders before a natural disaster, whether it's a hurricane, or a wildfire. Their study looked at evacuation patterns of Florida residents before Hurricane Irma in 2017.

  • Plus, misinformation may have met its match with Gen Z.
  • And, the NRA's dwindling political influence.

Guests: Axios' Bryan Walsh, Stef Kight, and Sara Fischer.

Credits: "Axios Today" is produced in partnership with Pushkin Industries. The team includes Niala Boodhoo, Carol Alderman, Cara Shillenn, Nuria Marquez Martinez, Sara Kehaulani Goo, Alex Sugiura and Naomi Shavin. Music is composed by Evan Viola. You can reach us at podcasts@axios.com.

Go deeper:

Wisconsin recount reaffirms Biden's victory in the state

Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images

The two recounts in Wisconsin requested by the Trump campaign were completed Sunday and confirmed that President-elect Joe Biden won the state, the Washington Post reports.

Driving the news: Biden won Wisconsin by more than 20,000 votes. Recounts in the state's most populous and liberal areas — Dane and Milwaukee counties — netted him an additional 87 votes.

15 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Congressional Hispanics want Lujan Grisham at HHS

Michelle Lujan Grisham arriving on Capitol Hill. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

Hispanic lawmakers are openly lobbying to have New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham be named Health and Human Services secretary, according to a letter obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: These members are now following the example some Black lawmakers have used for weeks: trying to convince Joe Biden his political interests will be served by rewarding certain demographic groups with Cabinet picks.