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Secretive CNP weighs in on Ohio, Kansas races for State offices.

The ultra-secretive Council for National Policy (CNP), a coalition of far-fight leaders, is apparently gearing up for the 2006 election cycle.

Information about the CNP, which includes TV preachers as well as multimillionaire business executives, is normally difficult to come by. The group has no Web site and does not seek media coverage of its events. But a ray of light was recently thrown on the group from an unusual source: Religious Right activist Bill Murray.

Murray, writing to supporters of his Government Is Not God political action committee, sent a "Campaign Update" in February that summarized a CNP meeting at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Henderson, Nev., Feb. 10-! 1 that featured a reception for Ohio gubernatorial candidate Kenneth Blackwell.

Murray noted that he attended the reception and praised Blackwell as "a good, godly, conservative man." He stated that during the meeting, Morton Blackwell of the Leadership Institute (no relation), told attendees that Kenneth Blackwell's race is "the most important election for 2006."

Kenneth Blackwell at first seemed eager to trumpet his appearance before the CNP. Photos of him addressing the group appeared on his campaign Web site, www.kenblackwell.com, but were pulled after a few days.

Freepress.org, a progressive Web site, charged that Blackwell is trying to downplay his CNP involvement.

"Blackwell has ample reason to hide his ties to the CNP," Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman reported on the site. "When the Free Press investigated the CNP and its ties to the Republican Party, Chip Berlet of Political Research Associates told the paper that the CNP included 'a former Ku Klux Klan leader and other segregationist policies.' Berlet emphasizes that these 'shocking' charges are easy to verify."

Continued Fitrakis and Wasserman, "Berlet describes CNP members as not only traditional conservatives, but also nativists, xenophobes, white racial supremacists, homophobes, sexists, militarists, authoritarians, reactionaries and 'in some cases outright neo-fascists.'"

The CNP also seems interested in the re-election effort of Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline. Kline came under fire last year for demanding that abortion clinics in the state provide him with lists of clients. Kline attended the CNP event, and a photo of him with Murray appeared on Murray's Web site.
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Title Annotation:Council for National Policy
Publication:Church & State
Geographic Code:1U4KS
Date:Apr 1, 2006
Words:364
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