Lid Blown On Secret Meeting Of Hard Right ‘Who’s Who’ At GOP Convention

August 09, 1996

In a first-ever major press report today in USA Today, The Council for National Policy (CNP), little known in the media but arguably the most powerful Far Right policy group, was exposed for its behind-the-scenes leadership fo the GOP and its dominance of the Republican Convention. The Council is conducting a closed meeting at the Loew's Coronado Bay Resort in San Diego Aug. 9 and 10 immediately preceding the GOP Convention.

The CNP's leadership reads like a who's who of the hard Right, with many, if not most, of its members key players in the GOP Convention and national politics, business and religious affairs. CNP members include:

  • Ralph Reed, Christian Coalition
  • Pat Robertson, Christian Coalition
  • Gary Bauer, Family Research Council
  • James Dobson, Focus on the Family
  • Ed Meese, Heritage Foundation
  • Bill Bright, Campus Crusade for Christ
  • Reed Irvine, Accuracy in Media
  • Beverly LaHaye, Concerned Women for America
  • Phyllis Schlafly, Eagle Forum
  • Richard Viguerie, American Target Advertising
  • Paul Weyrich, Free Congress Foundation
  • John Whitehead, Rutherford Institute
  • Donald Wildon, American Family Association

Conservative business leaders in the group include Howard Ahmanson, Holly and Jeffrey Coors, and Rich DeVos of Amway, which is a major underwriter of the GOP Convention. At least 12 members of the U.S. Congress are affiliated, including Rep. Dick Armey (R-TX); Sen. Jesse Helms (R-NC); Rep. Dan Burton (R-IN); Sen. Trent Lott (R-MS), Senate Majority Leader; Sen. Don Nickles (R-OK); and Rep. Barbara Yucanovich (R-NV), among others.

"If 'rapture' were to strike at the meeting of the Council for National Policy this week at the GOP Convention, the major leadership of the hard Right would evaporate," said Suzanne Pharr of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF) and a noted author and researcher of the hard Right. "They have championed most of the significant arch-conservative policy now part of the GOP platform. One might ask why they are attending both the Republican National Convention and their own secretive gathering. Surely it is not to support the GOP's posturing on moderation."

Skipp Porteous, a leading researcher of the hard Right, in Freedom Rider Magazine (Jan./Feb. 1996) says about the CNP, "[their] goal is to make the members' 'shared moral values' dominant in domestic and foreign policy. If there is one group in the U.S. that serves as an umbrella for the hard right, it is the CNP." Visit the IFAS home page at for a complete list of CNP's membership.

"The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is working to expose and oppose the Far Right's dominance of mainstream American politics, especially in the Republican Party and at the GOP Convention," said NGLTF executive director Melinda Paras. "NGLTF organizers have travelled thousands of miles to every state to organize against the Radical Right. NGLTF is organizing rallies, protests and other activities in San Diego.

For more information on the Council for National Policy and other Right Wing groups at the Convention, contact Suzanne Pharr, NGLTF, (619)595-7949.


The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the political power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community from the ground up. We do this by training activists, organizing broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and by building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.