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Council for National Policy

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The media should not know when or where we meet or who takes part in our programs, before or after a meeting.
—Council for National Policy's instructions to members.
Council for National Policy's logo.

Council for National Policy is a highly secretive umbrella organization of social conservative activists, described by ABC News as "the most powerful conservative group you've never heard of".[1] The full membership of the group has been secretive, but was estimated to be a few hundred.[2] Founded in 1981, the group has meet three times a year since, never disclosing the location beforehand. The group has been accused of being a leader of the Dominionist movement.[3]

The CNP is largely believed to be behind the choice of Sarah Palin as vice-presidential nominee of the Republican Party in the 2008 Presidential Election,[4] after the CNP had considered running a third party candidate, viewing John McCain as too pro-choice. In the Fall of 1999, George W. Bush spoke to the organization in secret in order to gain their support, promising only to appoint pro-life judges.


In 2016, the Southern Poverty Law Center released a redacted copy of the 2014 Membership Directory.[5] The 2014 President, Vice President and Secretary/Treasurer were Stuart W. Epperson, Tony Perkins (president of Family Research Council), and John H. Scribante, respectively.[6] Past presidents have included Becky Norton Dunlap, T. Kenneth Cribb, Jr., Donald Paul Hodel, James C. Miller III, Foster Friess, Edwin Meese III, Rich DeVos (founder of Amway), Paul Pressler, Pat Robertson, Nelson Bunker Hunt, and Tom Ellis.[6]

Other notable past and present members include:[6]

External links[edit]