The Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission is bringing out the big guns.
Former National Rifle Association President David Keene has joined the commission's advisory committee, expanding the ranks of a panel that now includes more than 25 prominent individuals, including broadcast journalist Tom Brokaw. Keene led the NRA for two one-year terms from 2011 to 2013, following a long tenure as chairman of the American Conservative Union. (Matt Schlapp, the current ACU president, also sits on the memorial advisory commission.)
“I’m honored to be part of the effort to build a fitting memorial to Dwight D. Eisenhower, a great American leader — in war and in peace," Keene stated Thursday. "This is an important moment for the Eisenhower Memorial — as it moves into a new phase of its mission and I’m looking forward to playing a role in ensuring that the completion of the memorial is accomplished in time for Ike’s troops to experience it!”
Opponents of the current plan to memorialize Ike on a four-acre site just off the National Mall are also loading for bear.
On July 28, Right by Ike spokesman Sam Roche comes to Capitol Hill to raise questions about the project. Roche wants to talk about the latest cost estimates for architect Frank Gehry's design, taxpayer funding and whether opposition from the Eisenhower family is affecting private fundraising.
Coming shortly after the announcement of a $1 million pledge from Taiwan for the memorial, Roche questions how much more money needs to be raised before construction can begin.
"The donation comes at an uncertain time for the current design, which Congress has refused to fund since 2012 over problems with its scale and cost and the architect’s selection and compensation," the group stated in a media advisory. "Before this donation the EMC had raised less than half a million dollars in private donations."
Related: Taiwan Likes Ike, but Congress Withholds Memorial Support Tom Brokaw Joins Ike Memorial Board See photos, follies, HOH Hits and Misses and more at Roll Call's new video site. Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.