Vice President Dick Cheney will speak to a super-secret, conservative policy group in Utah on Friday during his second trip to the state this year.
The group is called the Council for National Policy, and its mission is to plot ways to advance the right-wing agenda. The council was founded in 1981 by conservative luminaries such as the Rev. Tim LaHaye (author of the “Left Behind” series) and Paul Weyrich (who helped found the Heritage Foundation).
The council reportedly has 500 or members who pay several thousand dollars a year to “hear private, unvarnished presentations.” Some members include Dr. James C. Dobson of Focus on the Family, the Rev. Jerry Falwell of Liberty University, and Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform.
“The media should not know when or where we meet or who takes part in our programs, before of after a meeting,” a list of rules obtained by The New York Times advises the attendees.
The membership list is “strictly confidential.” Guests may attend “only with the unanimous approval of the executive committee.” In e-mail messages to one another, members are instructed not to refer to the organization by name, to protect against leaks.
The group apparently keeps its agenda secret for a reason — it appears to understand it would have little support if it were shown in the light of day. From what is known about its views, CNP is vehemently anti-immigration, anti-same-sex marriage, and anti-tax. “CNP seeded Pat Buchanan’s protest presidential candidacy in 1992.” George W. Bush spoke before the group in 1999, reportedly committing “to appoint only anti-abortion-rights judges to the Supreme Court.” (The Bush team and CNP refused to release the audio from the event.)
Marc Ambinder reports that Mitt Romney will be attending the gathering as well.