Council for National Policy
“”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 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". The full membership of the group has been secretive, but was estimated to be a few hundred. 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.
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, 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. The 2014 President, Vice President and Secretary/Treasurer were Stuart W. Epperson, Tony Perkins (president of Family Research Council), and John H. Scribante, respectively. 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.
Other notable past and present members include:
- David Bossie, president of Citizens United
- L. Brent Bozell III
- Brian S. Brown, president of National Organization for Marriage
- Benjamin W. Bull, chief executive of Alliance Defending Freedom
- Joseph Coors, founder of the Heritage Foundation
- Jerome Corsi of WND
- Brad Dacus, president of Pacific Justice Institute
- Jim DeMint, president of the Heritage Foundation
- Joshua Duggar
- Jerry Falwell
- Joseph Farah, CEO of WND
- Michael P. Farris, founder and chancellor of Patrick Henry College
- Steve Forbes
- Terry P. Jeffrey, editor-in-chief of CNS News
- David Keene, editor at Washington Times
- Tim LaHaye
- Wayne LaPierre, NRA
- Tim Macy, Gun Owners of America
- Tim Minnery, senior vice president of Focus on the Family
- Troy Newman, president of Operation Rescue
- Neil S. Patel, co-founder of The Daily Caller
- Paige Patterson, president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
- Timothy R. Phillips, president of Americans for Prosperity
- Christopher Ruddy, president of Newsmax
- R.J. Rushdoony
- Rick Santorum
- Allan E. Sears, president of Alliance Defense Fund
- Rick Scarborough
- Phyllis Schlafly
- Cherie Short, director at Concerned Women for America
- W. Cleon Skousen
- Matthew D. Staver, chairman of Liberty Counsel
- John M. Templeton, president of Templeton Foundation
- Richard A. Viguerie
- Tim Wildmon, vice president of American Family Association
- Charmaine Yoest, president of Americans United for Life
- Inside the Council for National Policy ABC News, May 2.
- Club of the Most Powerful Gathers in Strictest Privacy — New York Times. August 28, 2004.
- Taking Over the Republican Party — Theocracy Watch.
- Secretive Right-Wing Group Vetted Palin — The Nation. September 1, 2008.
- The Council for National Policy: Behind the Curtain by Heidi Beirich & Mark Potok (May 17, 2016) Southern Poverty Law Center.
- Council for National Policy 2014 Membership Directory