Approximately 375 members of the secretive Council for National Policy (CNP) held closed-door meetings at the Ritz-Carlton Tysons Corner hotel in McClean, Virginia on May 12 and 13, 1995. Founded in 1981, the CNP membership is a virtual who's who of the religious and political right-wing in the United States.
The meetings are so secretive that the press is not allowed, and no public announcements of the meetings are ever made. Plainclothes security guards carefully watch who comes and goes at the hotels where the meetings are held.
The CNP is a networking vehicle for right-wing leadership. CNP meetings enable members to become acquainted with one another, speak freely, and to plan short and long-term strategies.
At each meeting, CNP Action Inc. sponsors standing committee workshops, which provide a vehicle for members to work together to influence crucial public policy decisions. According to a CNP memo, at these workshops members "formulate strategies and execute plans to make a difference on the issues where we can have a real impact." The six permanent standing committees are:
Two members of the House of Representatives who were swept into office last November, Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX) and Rep. Helen Chenoweth (R-ID), spoke on "Oklahoma City, militias, and terrorism."
Stockman, a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association, is a new CNP member. In the June 1995 issue of Guns & Ammo magazine, Stockman wrote: "Bill Clinton and the gun control lobby were not unhappy with the fiery end of the siege at Waco. Waco was to be a lesson to gun owners all over America: Don't own firearms that the government doesn't like."
Dr. James Dobson led a workshop called "Abortion and the Republican Party," and spoke about "the attitude of Haley Barbour." This past spring, Dobson sent a letter to Barbour, the head of the Republican National Committee (RNC), saying, "If the RNC abandons its clear pro-life position, then you leave us and millions like us with no recourse but to consider a third party candidate for president in 1996."
According to an informed source, during a question and answer session with Sen. Bob Smith, who appeared on behalf of Sen. Phil Gramm, Dobson proceeded to lecture the group about Gramm's waffling on "family values." Moderator Ed Meese cautioned Dobson that this was a question and answer session, not a debate. According to our source, Meese finally said, "Jim, I've told you before that this is not a debate, it is a question and answer period. Now please sit down so we can have the next question."
The CNP's last conference was held in February in Palm Springs, California. Discussions included capital punishment, school prayer, "defunding the left," and English as the official language of the United States.
Richard Viguerie said that the battle to defund the left "will be won primarily in the committees and subcommittees." In other words, kill funding in committees, before items come up for a vote in Congress.
Phyllis Schlafly claimed that last year Congress gave more than $1 billion to feminist organizations. She also spoke about the need to abolish the National Endowment for the Arts and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
Howard Phillips called for a constitutional amendment to make English the official language. His proposal was inspired by the passage of California's Proposition 187.