Adam Graham is a follower of Christ and a contributor at PJ Media. He is the author of the novel, Tales of the Dim Knight (with his wife Andrea), as well as, All I Needed to Know I Learned from Columbo. He has been an adult Sunday School teacher. He is a former President of his local American Christian Fiction Writers Chapter. In 2004 Adam ran for the Idaho House of Representatives.
Dr. Alieta Eck graduated from the Rutgers College of Pharmacy and the St. Louis University School of Medicine in St. Louis, MO. She studied Internal Medicine at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, NJ and has been in private practice with her husband, Dr. John Eck, MD in Piscataway, NJ since 1988, affordablehealthinc.org. She has been involved in health care reform since residency and is convinced that the government is a poor provider of medical care. In 2003, she and her husband founded the Zarephath Health Center, a non-government free clinic for the poor and uninsured that currently care for about 300 patients per month utilizing the donated services of volunteer physicians and nurses. Dr. Eck was the 2012 President of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons and serves on the board of Christian Care Medi-Share, a faith based medical cost sharing ministry. In 2014 she was the Republican nominee for the US Congress in New Jersey's 12th Congressional District.
The American College of Pediatricians is a national organization of pediatricians and other healthcare professionals dedicated to the health and well-being of children.
Amy K. Frantz is the Vice President of Public Interest Institute in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. Frantz graduated from Central College with a BA in Political Science, and her research interests include Research interests include taxation, education policy, and the regulatory burden of government.
Iowa State Senator Amy Sinclair (R-Allerton) represents Iowa Senate District 14 (Clarke, Decatur, Lucas, Marion and Wayne Counties). Prior to her election to the Iowa Senate in 2012 she was on the Wayne County Board of Supervisors for six years.
Amy Skalicky is Caffeinated Thoughts' correspondent for Colorado political news. She is a freelance writer, a Louisiana native who now lives with her family outside of Denver, CO.
Anita Morrill is an adjunct professor of U.S. History and Western Civilization at a local community college. She is a graduate of Grace University in Omaha, NE, attended the Focus on the Family Institute in Colorado Springs, CO and earned an M.A. in Military History from Norwich University. Anita, her husband and their two young sons reside in Des Moines, IA.
Ann Trimble-Ray is Vice President of Opportunities at Heartland Marketing Group who works with clients in the agribusiness, public policy and advocacy sectors. An Iowa farm girl, Ann graduated from Morningside College with a degree in Mass Communications, Print Emphasis. Ann serves on district and statewide committees for the United Methodist Church and was nominated by Governor Terry Branstad to serve on Judicial Nominating Commission, District 2B. She and her husband, Roger, are parents of one daughter, Becca, and have one amazing grandson, Ethan. Ann is also an active member of the Early United Methodist Church.
Antonia Okafor is one of the country’s foremost advocates of concealed carry on campus. In 2015, Antonia made a permanent mark in the second amendment community, when she became the Southwest Regional Director for Students for Concealed Carry on Campus(SCCC), where she advocated for the passing and successful implementation of the concealed carry on campus in Texas law known as, “campus carry.”
Latest from Antonia Okafor
Bart Munson studied Youth Ministry and Christian Education at the Pacific Coast Baptist Bible College in San Dimas, California. He served as a Christian school teacher, coach and athletic director for three years and as a lay youth pastor for 10 years in Southern California. He has continued to actively serve in various ministry positions… Sunday School Superintendent, teacher, pulpit supply, etc… in churches in California and Iowa, his native state. Bart and his wife of more than 33 years, Jeana, currently reside in Northeast Ohio. They have five children and six grandchildren. Bart is the Supply Chain Manager of a manufacturing and product development company. He has worked in the arena of materials management in a manufacturing environment for 30 years. Bart is passionate about his faith first and also sports and politics. He has spent most of the last 35 years coaching in one fashion or another. He also served as a high school sports radio color commentator for 10 years in east central Iowa.  Feel free to connect with Bart on Facebook.
Becket defends religious liberty for all—in principle and in practice.
Becky is a Mexican living in one of the most crowded cities in the world, Mexico City. She has been happily married to an incredible man for almost 17 years. They have four children and homeschool them following a Classical Christian Education. Becky grew in a typical Evangelical Arminian church, but after much prayer from her Dad and reading A.W Pink's book entitled God's Sovereignity she came to love the Reformed faith. Becky enjoys the big books and the small books, she loves to study God's word and read mostly, from dead authors, like the Puritans. She says that her real education began when she started homeschooling her children. She currently teaches Spanish at Veritas Press Scholars; loves to take out her watercolors on a sunny Saturday and paint. She is learning photography from her husband. She loves to make pancakes for her family, and drink strong coffee. You can also find Becky on Daily On My Way to Heaven and on her blog in Spanish, Delicias A Tu Diestra Para Siempre.
Bernard James Mauser, Ph.D, has a diverse background in many areas. His Bachelor’s in Science focused on exercise science, psychology, and biology (Youngstown State University). For his Master’s (Southern Evangelical Seminary), the focus was in Christian Apologetics, theology, religious studies, and philosophy of religion. During this time he discovered that most errors in thinking about reality resulted from having a philosophy built on the wrong foundation. This provided motivation to pursue a doctorate in philosophy from Marquette University. The Master’s in Philosophy was complete in 2007, and the doctoral work in philosophy was finished in the spring of 2011 with a concentration in the history of philosophy, ethics, natural law, Thomas Aquinas, and medieval philosophy. His doctoral dissertation is titled The Ontological Foundations of Natural Law and Contemporary Naturalism.. Dr. Mauser has taught students at the graduate, undergraduate, secondary, and primary levels of school in various forums. He has been a youth pastor at several churches, martial arts instructor, and swing dance instructor. In addition to being a professor at Rivendell - San Diego Christian College, he has also taught at Marquette University, Southern Evangelical Seminary, Liberty University, Cardinal Stritch University, and Bethlehem Bible College and Seminary. Dr. Mauser’s loving and supportive wife, Amber, not only fits the description of the Proverbs 31 woman, but also is a key component of the effectiveness of his ministry. Dr. and Mrs. Mauser have been blessed with four sons.
Latest from Bernard James Mauser
Blake Pool is an elder in the Presbyterian Church of America and lives in Eden Prairie, MN.
Bob Klaus is a retired executive of Lamar Outdoor Advertising from Cedar Rapids.
Governor Bobby Jindal (R-LA) is the 55th Governor of Louisiana, former member of Congress representing Louisiana's 1st Congressional District and a 2016 Republican candidate for President. Connect with him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.
Brenna Bird is the Fremont County (Iowa) Attorney after being appointed in 2016. She is running for County Attorney in Guthrie County in 2018. She also maintains a private law practice. She also is a member of the Republican Party of Iowa State Central Committee. Previously, Bird was Chief of Staff and Counsel for Congressman Steve King and Counsel to Governor Terry Branstad, and was the Republican Party’s nominee for Attorney General of Iowa in 2010. She has also taught at the University of Iowa Law School. Bird received her undergraduate degree at Drake University and her J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School.
Latest from Brenna Bird
Brian Darling is a former counsel for former U.S. Senator Bob Smith (R-NH), former U.S. Senator Mel Martinez (R-FL) and U.S. Senator Rand Paul. He is the author of a Heritage Foundation (where he served as a senior fellow) policy paper titled “The Filibuster Protects the Rights of All Senators and the American People."
Latest from Brian Darling
Brian is a Senior Contributor at Caffeinated Thoughts and was the co-host of Caffeinated Thoughts Radio heard on the Truth Network 99.3 FM in Des Moines, IA from 2014 to 2017. Brian owns and operates a manufacturers’ representative firm, Myers & Associates, LLC, and has been involved in sales and business management for over thirty years. He is a former member of the Board of Directors at the Des Moines Christian School. He is also a charter member of Trinity Presbyterian Reformed Church in Johnston, IA, and has been an ordained elder there since 1988. He and his wife Debbie have been married thirty-eight years and have four children and twelve grandchildren. His passions are politics, history, theology, economics, business, and basketball!
Brian S. Brown is the President of the National Organization for Marriage. Prior to co-founding NOM in 2007, Brown served as executive director of the Family Institute of Connecticut. During the five years he was with the Family Institute, he developed it into one of the largest statewide pro-family organizations in the Northeast. Brown is also the founder and Chairman of ActRight.com, a clearinghouse for conservative action which has helped raise over $7 million from grassroots activists to support conservative causes and candidates. Brown is a C. Phil. at UCLA in American History, earned his B.A./M.A. in Modern History at Oxford University, and received his B.A. in History from Whittier College. He and his wife Susan have eight young children.
Bryan grew up in Madrid, Ia., and is a 1997 graduate from Simpson College in Indianola with a degree in criminal justice. He is currently working on "the Journey", a network of simple/organic churches that meet in the Des Moines Metro area. Prior to that Bryan was the youth pastor at Adventure Life Reformed Church in Altoona, IA. Bryan describes himself: "I'm actively seeking to find "The Way" that Jesus talked about. I haven't been able to find it in the religion and structure of modern 'Churchianity', and the church sometimes seems more intent on helping themselves than being the servants that Jesus called us to be. I want to follow Him, and I want to seek and find the better life that He promised. I want to be a force of change for the world that will point all glory and honor to my savior, and I want to walk so closely with Him that I can't move unless He tells me to. I want to have a rich, full, friend-filled life that shows people what it means to really live the life of Love. I yearn and long for the authentic Jesus to be put on display, and all the religious "crap" to be stripped away so that the world will truly understand who He was and is."
Casey Shutt (PhD, Durham University) is headmaster at Morning Star Academy, a classical Christian school in Bettendorf, Iowa. He has published articles, papers and reviews in a number of publications, including Princeton’s Faith and Work Initiative, Christian Scholar’s Review, and the Christian Education Journal.
Charlie has been married to Julie for more than 20 years; is dad to two boys: Ethan and Zion. He serves as a minister of Teaching/Preaching at Refuge Long Beach. Before re-launching Refuge in Oct of 2011, Charlie was the Assistant Pastor at Olive Branch Calvary Chapel in La Mirada, CA for 6 years after serving in various ministry roles in 12 years at Calvary Chapel Downey. He has led numerous international mission trips to Russia, South America, and the Caribbean, and taught 2 semesters at Calvary Chapel Bible College in Torrance, CA. Charlie is a graduate of Biola University and pursuing a Masters of Theology form Liberty Seminary in Lynchburg VA. He loves theology, preaching the Word of God, wakeboarding and vacationing with the family. He is passionate about writing, blogs at impactedbygrace.com and has a day job as an aerospace engineering manager.
Chelsen Vicari serves as the Evangelical Program Director for the Institute on Religion and Democracy. She earned her Masters of Arts in Government from Regent University and frequently contributes to conservative outlets.
Chris Gorman is a homeschooling dad of two who lives near Altoona, IA.
State Representative Chris Hagenow (R-Windsor Heights) represents Iowa House District 43.  He is the House Majority Whip and is serving his third term in the Iowa House.  Chris grew up in Cedar Falls, graduating from Northern University High School and the University of Northern Iowa Magna Cum Laude in 1994. Chris earned his JD from the University of Iowa College of Law in 1997  and is a member of the Iowa State Bar Association.  Chris is a founding partner of the Des Moines law firm Whitaker, Hagenow & Gustoff, LLP. Chris sits on the steering committee for the Iowa Federalist Society.  Chris serves on Iowa Prayer Breakfast Committee and is a member of the Windsor Heights Lions Club.  Chris is married to his wife Amanda and they have two young sons.  The Hagenow’s attend Westkirk Presbyterian Church in Urbandale.
Chris Rohloff is the station manager at The Truth 99.3 FM in Des Moines, IA.
Christopher is the husband of one, a father to five, a Christian, a churchman, and a Presbyterian elder. As a homeschooling dad, he is deeply involved in the activities that interest his children, including soccer, scouting, and music. Christopher has experience in farming, trucking, warehousing, and management. He currently works as a counselor to troubled youth as he pursues a new career as a math teacher. Christopher is a member of the Lion's Club and serves on the local Habitat for Humanity board. He also blogs at rightonlife.org
Dr. Christopher Peters ran for Congress in Iowa's 2nd Congressional District in 2016 and 2018. A thoracic surgeon, he operates his clinic in Coralville, Iowa where he and his family moved after he served nine years in the U.S. Army Medical Corps as a general surgery resident and staff general surgeon.
U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) has served as U.S. Senator representing Iowa since 1981. He is currently the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. In 2019 he will become President Pro Tempore of the U.S. Senate and take over the chairing the Senate Finance Committee
Chuck Utech is a sports contributor at Caffeinated Thoughts, and has resided in Iowa since before Hayden Fry was coach of the Iowa Hawkeyes. He is a graduate of Newton High School. He has a great love for the entire Hawkeye state (do we have to guess which state school he roots for?). He currently resides in Ankeny, IA with wife Suzy and their two furry children, Lacey and Vince. Chuck is the home and away voice of the Mid-Iowa Rollers, Iowa's first women's roller derby team. An avid fan of all types amateur and professional, Chuck supports the Cubs, Packers, Bulls and Blackhawks.
Coleen grew up in California attending an Evangelical Free Church. She has always been interested in theology and politics from a young age. It was that interest that took her on a spiritual journey in which she became Reformed. She attended Vennard College near Oskaloosa, IA to study Bible and music afterwards moved to the Chicago area. It was there where she met her husband of now 14 years. They now live in Denver, Colorado where she homeschools her four boys, one of whom has cerebral palsy. You can find Coleen on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.
Collin Brendemuehl is a graduate of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and Grace College of the Bible (now Grace University).  His ministry involvement has included extensive local church educational improvement and inner city work with World Impact. He speaks on apologetic issues of science, church education, and the changing role of evangelism in the local church.  His writing has also been featured on First Things and Servants of Grace. He is married to his beautiful wife Virginia, and has two great sons.  He and his family reside in Ohio.
Daniel L. Davis is a Senior Fellow for Defense Priorities and a former Lt. Col. in the U.S. Army who retired in 2015 after 21 years, including four combat deployments. The views shared in this article are those of the author alone and do not represent the views of Defense Priorities.
Dave Funk is a retired Northwest Airlines Captain and Iowa Army National Guard pilot, is heavily involved in county and state Republican politics as a volunteer and activist. He is the former co-chair of the Polk County Republican Party and has run for Polk County Supervisor and ran for Congress in Iowa's 3rd Congressional District.
Dave is the morning host and program director at Life 107.1 KNWI in Des Moines. He has been there since 2005, prior to that the was the Program Director for Q99.5 KZZQ in Des Moines where he worked from 2001-2005. He is a graduate of Augustana College.
David Lantz is a self-published author, adjunct college professor, and leadership consultant from Indiana.  He served as State Director of the Christian Coalition in the early 1990s. To learn more about his new book, The Unraveling of We the People, go to his web page at www.theunraveling.us.
David Randall joined the National Association of Scholars as their Director of Communications in 2015. He earned a Ph.D. in history from Rutgers University, an M.F.A. in fiction writing from Columbia University, a master’s degree in library science from the Palmer School at Long Island University, and a B.A. from Swarthmore College. Prior to working at NAS he was the sole librarian at the John McEnroe Library at New York Studio School.
God has blessed David and his wife Judy with 5 boys, and 19 wonderful grandchildren.  His book entitled "With Christ in the Voting Booth: Casting Down Imaginations" Before Casting Your Vote", was published by Calvary Press/ His wife also ows a business selling antique and collectible postcards on eBay since 1999.  David was an activist with Operation Rescue in the early 1990s. He is a member of Trinity Presbyterian Reformed Church in Johnston, Iowa.  David suffered a stroke in 2012, but has begun to recover after almost four years of complications. To God be the Glory, I believe he is continuing a work in me, that he began when I was a child (Philippians 1:6)
David Wallace, an entrepreneur, is president of the FAIR Energy Foundation and a Maryland Tea Party activist. He is also a political consultant and a former Republican nominee for Congress.
Congressman David Young (R-Iowa) proudly represents the 16 counties in Iowa's 3rd Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives. He is dedicated to working hard for you every day to bring Iowa common-sense to our nation's federal government. He is a member of the Committee on Appropriations and Subcommittees on Agriculture, Homeland Security, and Transportation, Housing and Urban Development.
This is my story; a strange and sanctified twist of the already arrived and the not-yet-but-I’m-coming. What I’ve mainly learned about myself can be summarized in five words (oddly enough, the number most often identified in the New Testament with grace). Ihave learned am learning that “I am not the Christ” (John 1:19-20) What remains is an eclectic collection of paradoxes, ironies, and awkward twists of tonal diversity (thrown in, just for fun). By His grace and I am a: child of the living God (John 1:12-13) sinner redeemed by the blood of Christ (Ephesians 2:4-10) book lover voracious reader I read or I die lover of theology, rainy days and a cup pots of hot coffee, consummate techie with a zest for wannabe photography seminary student with a penchant for (loving) debate companion of broken things and wounded hearts I am a wife and mother — a twice-failed Martha often found quailing at the base of Mount Washmore, clinging to the patchwork grace woven for me from before the foundation of the world (Romans 8:28-30, Ephesians 1:3–10, 2 Timothy 1:9). In short, I am a Sinner, a scholar; a sometime blogger living in the shadowlands, somewhere between doubt and doxology.
Dean Butterfield is the founder of Reclaiming the Home and has been involved in vocational ministry for 9 years working in children’s & family ministry.  HIs passion is encouraging and equipping families to disciple their children in their homes.  Along with that, is doing the same for churches.  "I believe God's primary plan for evangelism and discipleship is with multi-generational faithfulness centered in the home.  I have a BA from Anderson University in Family Science and a Master's in Children & Family Ministry from Bethel Seminary (where he blogged for the Cory Center for Children’s Ministry)." He is also the owner of RTH Marketing and lives near Detroit, MI with his wife Lori and their five children.
Deborah Thornton currently consults as a public policy researcher, analyst, and writer under contract primarily with the Public Interest Institute, based in Mount Pleasant, Iowa. The Public Interest Institute (PII) is a non-profit, non-partisan, free-market, limited-government think-tank. She is an accomplished writer having her articles appear in over 100 newspapers She was formerly the chairwoman for the Republican Party of Johnson County. She holds an MBA from the University of Maryland, and a BA degree from Indiana University with a double major in Political Science and Journalism.
State Senator Dennis Guth (R-Klemme) represents Iowa Senate District 4 which includes Emmet, Kossuth, Winnebago, Hancock and Wright counties. He farms just north of Klemme his home since he was born. He graduated from Klemme Community School in 1973 and from Iowa State University in 1977 with a degree in Agricultural Mechanization. He is married to his high school sweetheart, Margaret Campbell and have five children who they homeschool. He is currently serving on the Elder board of the Britt Evangelical Free Church and am active with LUV Iowa.
Latest from Dennis Guth
Donald Bohlken is an attorney, retired administrative law judge, and member of the Warren County Republican Central Committee.
Douglas Gebbie was educated at Glasgow College of Technology and the Free Church of Scotland College, Edinburgh. He has served conservative Presbyterian congregations in Scotland, the United States of America, and Canada. Beyond the work of the ministry, his interests include historical theology, Presbyterian principles, hunting, fly fishing, and reading golden age British detective fiction. Currently, he lives with his wife and two children in South Western Ontario, where he aspires to the genteel poverty of the rural manse.
Dr. Elizabeth Lee Vliet, MD is a past president of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons and Ellis Island Medal of Honor recipient. Dr. Vliet has been a leader in patient-centered, individualized medical care. Since 1986, she has practiced medicine independent of insurance contracts that interfere with patient-physician relationships and decision-making. Dr. Vliet focus is medical freedom and free-market approaches to healthcare. Dr. Vliet is the founder of Vive Life Center and Hormone Health Strategies with medical practices in Tucson AZ and Dallas TX, specializing in preventive and climacteric medicine with an integrated approach to evaluation and treatment of women and men with complex medical and hormonal problems from puberty to late life. She received her M.D. degree and internship in Internal Medicine at Eastern Virginia Medical School, and completed specialty training at Johns Hopkins Hospital.  She earned her B.S. and Master’s degrees from the College of William and Mary in Virginia.
Jane M. Orient, M.D. obtained her undergraduate degrees in chemistry and mathematics from the University of Arizona in Tucson, and her M.D. from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1974. She completed an internal medicine residency at Parkland Memorial Hospital and University of Arizona Affiliated Hospitals and then became an Instructor at the University of Arizona College of Medicine and a staff physician at the Tucson Veterans Administration Hospital. She has been in solo private practice since 1981 and has served as Executive Director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) since 1989. She is currently president of Doctors for Disaster Preparedness. Since 1988, she has been chairman of the Public Health Committee of the Pima County (Arizona) Medical Society. She is the author of YOUR Doctor Is NotIn: Healthy Skepticism about National Healthcare, and the second through fourth editions of Sapira's Art and Science of Bedside Diagnosis published by Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins. She authored books for schoolchildren, Professor Klugimkopf’s Old-Fashioned English Grammar and Professor Klugimkopf’s Spelling Method, published by Robinson Books, and coauthored two novels published as Kindle books, Neomorts and Moonshine. More than 100 of her papers have been published in the scientific and popular literature on a variety of subjects including risk assessment, natural and technological hazards and nonhazards, and medical economics and ethics. She is the editor of AAPS News, the Doctors for Disaster Preparedness Newsletter, and Civil Defense Perspectives, and is the managing editor of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons.
Kristin Story Held, M.D. is a board certified ophthalmologist and ophthalmic surgeon. She is a Phi Beta Kappa Graduate from the University of Texas at Austin and received her medical degree from the University of Texas Medical School at San Antonio where she was elected to AOA. Following her internship in internal medicine and residency in ophthalmology, Dr. Held joined the faculty at the Univ. of TX Health Science Center at San Antonio where she taught residents and medical students and served as Director of the County Ophthalmology Clinic. She maintains an academic affiliation as a Clinical Professor in the Department of Ophthalmology. For the past 20 years she has been in private practice in San Antonio. On October 1, 2015 her practice became completely third party free. Kris is actively developing an “alternate universe” with a group of San Antonio physicians, where physicians can practice through a direct patient care model called BridgeTwoHealth.com. Dr. Held served on the healthcare policy advisory team for Dr. Ben Carson during his presidential campaign. She is on the Board of Directors of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), Co-Founder of AmericanDoctors4Truth.org, and serves on the National Physicians Council for Healthcare Policy. Dr. Held has read and reported on the Affordable Care Act, MACRA, and the proposed MACRA rules. She served as a member of the Physicians’ Healthcare Workgroup, working with physicians from across the country, including physician Congressman, to draft a template for true patient-centered, market-driven healthcare reform. She received The Shining Scalpel Award from AAPS “In recognition of her outstanding service to the American people and the profession of medicine by ‘cutting’ through the political rhetoric regarding healthcare reform.” She was a cofounder of rebel.md , a site featuring articles written by physicians related to the practice of medicine from the trenches of real life experiences.
Dr. Marilyn Singleton is a board-certified anesthesiologist and Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) Board member. She graduated from Stanford and earned her MD at UCSF Medical School. Dr. Singleton completed 2 years of Surgery residency at UCSF, then her Anesthesia residency at Harvard’s Beth Israel Hospital. While still working in the operating room, she attended UC Berkeley Law School, focusing on constitutional law and administrative law. She interned at the National Health Law Project and practiced insurance and health law. She teaches classes in the recognition of elder abuse and constitutional law for non-lawyers. Dr. Singleton ran for Congress in California’s 13th Congressional District in 2012, fighting to give its 700,000 citizens the right to control their own lives.
Drew Klein is the state director for Americans for Prosperity-Iowa.
Dustin Krutsinger is a physician at the University of Iowa.  He met his wonderful wife, Derricca, at church when they were 16 and were united in marriage at 19. He is the proud father of one daughter, Abigail and two sons, Jacob and Levi. He and his wife attended nursing school together before he started medical school. They plan on using their medical training to serve others. They have gone on several construction and medical trips to South Africa, Namibia, Zambia, Peru, and most recently Afghanistan in 2009. Dustin considers himself to be a “Christian Libertarian.”  He is unapologetically, and absolutely 100% pro-life.  Dustin credits Ron Paul's run in 2008 for revitalizing Dustin's interest in politics. He has recently been an activist for liberty in the Iowa City area. He also ran for the Iowa House in 2010 as a Libertarian. It was a somewhat symbolic run, as no third party has ever been elected to the Iowa legislature, but it allowed him to discuss limited government solutions to our current problems as well as gave people another option, as the incumbent was running unopposed. His career interests include medical ethics, critical care medicine and organ transplantation. He serves on the University of Iowa's ethics committee.
Although she grew up in Illinois, Emily attends school and works in the lovely city of St. Paul, MN. She attempts to do what God calls her to do in each moment of her life and loves adventure. She's obsessed with biking, coffee, listening to Christmas music all year round, and Ron Paul.
Emmett McGroarty is the executive director of Preserve Innocence with American Principles Project. He graduated from Georgetown University with a B.A. in Philosophy (minor in theology). He then earned his J.D. from Fordham University School of Law in New York, NY.  He is a native of Washington, DC and currently resides in the Beltway with his family.
Eric Goranson is a native of Lake Mills, Iowa. After moving to Austin, Texas and Southern California (attending 9 public schools in the process), he returned to Iowa where he graduated from Des Moines Christian School and earned his Associate’s and Bachelor’s degrees at William Penn University. Eric is Principal at Goranson Consulting in Des Moines, specializing in Government Relations and Nonprofit Consulting. Eric has more than sixteen years’ experience in state government and nonprofit organizations including the roles of Development Director at Iowa Christian Academy and Des Moines radio station Q99.5 KZZQ/Pulse 99.5. Eric has also worked in Governor Terry Branstad’s office during his fourth term and in the Division of Criminal Investigation. Eric ran for Iowa State House in 2004. Eric serves as a Curriculum Committee Member at the Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute, is President of Iowa Advocates for Choice in Education, and is Chair of the Iowa Educational Opportunities PAC. He is a thinker, hunter, hiker, backpacker, movie watcher, traveler, soccer-lover/player, and music fanatic with a predilection for theatre and art; especially photography. His two children keep him and his wife very busy and very grateful. Eric also can be found on Twitter.
Erin Tuttle is a parent activist in Indiana and co-founder of Hoosiers Against Common Core.
Faith McDonnell is the Director of Religious Liberty Programs and of the Church Alliance for a New Sudan at The Institute for Religion & Democracy. She writes and speaks on the subject of the persecuted church and has organized rallies and vigils for Sudan in front of the White House, the State Department, the Canadian Embassy, and the Sudanese Embassy. She has drafted legislation on religious persecution for the Episcopal Church and for the United States Congress. In June 2007, her book, Girl Soldier: A Story of Hope for Northern Uganda’s Children, was published by Chosen Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group. Faith has a BA in English from Eastern Nazarene College, Quincy, MA. She received her master’s degree in English from the University of Maryland. Faith is a member of Church of the Apostles, Anglican, and serves on the church’s international missions committee. She serves as a board member for several human rights organizations. Faith is married to Francis John McDonnell, and they have a daughter, Fiona.
First Liberty Institute is the largest legal organization in the nation dedicated exclusively to protecting religious liberty for all Americans.
Dr. G. Keith Smith is a board certified anesthesiologist in private practice since 1990.  In 1997, he co-founded The Surgery Center of Oklahoma, an outpatient surgery center in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, owned by over 90 of the top physicians and surgeons in central Oklahoma.  Dr. Smith serves as the medical director, CEO and managing partner while maintaining an active anesthesia practice. In 2009, Dr. Smith launched a website displaying all-inclusive pricing for various surgical procedures, a move that has gained him and the facility, national and even international attention.  Many Canadians and uninsured Americans have been treated at his facility, taking advantage of the low and transparent pricing available.  His most recent effort is the launch of the Free Market Medical Association which provides a platform where those seeking to obtain high quality and affordable health care can find free market-minded providers, both physicians and facilities. Operation of this free market medical practice, the standard for all who have embraced this practice approach, has gained the endorsement of policymakers and legislators nationally.  More and more self-funded insurance plans are taking advantage of Dr. Smith’s pricing model resulting in significant savings to their employee health plans.   His hope is for as many facilities as possible to adopt a transparent pricing model, a move he believes will lower costs and improve quality of care for all. He has made appearances on the John Stossel Show, CNBC, Huffington Post, The O’Reilly Factor, Capital Account, The Ron Paul Channel, NBC Nightly News and has been featured by Reason Magazine’s TV division.   The New York Times, Time Magazine, ABC news, Forbes and many others have written articles featuring Dr. Smith’s revolutionary approach to the pricing of health care and uncompromising free market principles.
George has been following American politics extensively for the last 10 years. He has a passion for defending the Second Amendment and is a constitutionalist. Having traveled to many parts of the world, including many gun-controlled communist states like Cuba and China, he has learned firsthand the importance of the 2nd Amendment.
State Representative Greg Heartsill (R-Melcher-Dallas) represents House District 28 in the Iowa House of Representatives.
Heather Stancil is a telecom engineer who is co-chair of the Madison County (Iowa) Republican Party.
Holly Williams is a licensed professional counselor and elementary school teacher. She has a Master of Arts in clinical psychology, and has worked in hospitals, residential treatment facilities, private practice, and the public school system. Holly lives in the Houston area with her husband and two teenage kids.
Jack Whitver is the Iowa Senate Majority Leader. He was first elected to the Iowa Senate in 2011 he represents Senate District 19. A lifelong Iowan, Jack is a small business owner and law student who lives in Ankeny, IA with his wife Rachel and daughter Ella. An entrepreneur at heart, is the owner of two small business - CrossFit Des Moines and Acceleration Iowa. Whitver is a graduate of Drake University's Law School and is an attorney with the Law Firm of Hagenow and Gustoff. Jack is a graduate of Iowa State University where he was a three-year starter at wide receiver for the Iowa State Cyclones football team. He finished his eligibility ranked in the top ten in all-time receiving yards and all-time receptions.
Jake Porter is the Libertarian nominee for Iowa Governor.
James Wanliss, Ph.D., is Professor of Physics at Presbyterian College in Clinton, SC. He is a Senior Fellow and Contributing Writer for The Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation, and author of Resisting the Green Dragon: Dominion, Not Death. He has published over 50 peer-reviewed physics articles, has held the NSF CAREER award, and does research in space science and nonlinear dynamical systems under grants from NASA and NSF.
Jane Robbins is a senior fellow at American Principles Project, an attorney, and the co-author of Deconstructing the Administrative State: The Fight for Liberty. She and her family reside in Georgia.
Jason Schmidt is the CEO of Quality Mountain Corporation, a software and process quality assurance company. He is also the President of Leolore Enterprises, a slowly growing company dedicated to providing educational resources for people to sieze ownership of their learning/education. Prior to this, Jason has worked as a software engineer and product manager. Jason and his wife have been married since 1995, and have seven children, which they raise on an acreage near Des Moines, IA.
Jenifer Bowen is the president of Life Right Action. She was formerly the executive director and spokesperson for Iowa Right to Life. She is a graduate of Baptist Bible College in Pennsylvania, and in her words: "an ordinary girl LOVED by an Extraordinary God!"
Jenn Jones is a Christian wife, mother of three and grandmother of one. She is a stay at home mom and homeschooler. She is passionate about Christ, the Constitution and Conservatism and is on a mission to teach more and more people about all three – and how they relate to each other. Jenn is the coordinator for the Jones County (Iowa) 9.12 group and has worked as a volunteer on various political campaigns over the past couple of years. Her ever supportive husband Freddie is a truck driving instructor at a local community college.
Jenna Ellis is a constitutional law and criminal defense attorney, a law professor at Colorado Christian University, where she directs the legal-studies program, a fellow at the Centennial Institute, and the author of The Legal Basis for a Moral Constitution.
Jennifer L. Crull is an IT Specialist with Public Interest Institute in Mount Pleasant, IA.  She graduated with a BA in Mathematics and a MA in Business from the University of Iowa.  Her research interests include transparency in government spending, education policy, and internet regulations.  She is married to husband Matt, they have two small children, Emma and Elizabeth.
Jesse Van Der Molen is a husband and father of four. He teaches college English courses at Des Moines Christian High School, shepherds a few Latin students, and happily helps his wife homeschool their young children. He enjoys writing fiction, playing finger-style hymns, drinking coffee, and losing to his students at chess.
Joel Kurtinitis was a Regional Director for Ron Paul 2012 and served on the State Central Committee of the Republican Party of Iowa. Joel co-founded Liberty Iowa in the wake of the Ron Paul campaign, and organized the Free DC Project during the government shutdown of 2013. Joel is also a contributing writer to TheBlaze, SteveDeace.com, and other online publications, and maintains an independent blog covering a wide range of sociopolitical topics. When not busy setting the virtual world aflame with controversy, Joel is actually an okay guy who enjoys reading,cooking, chess, bluegrass music, and an occasional foray into writing fiction.  Joel and his family live in West Des Moines, IA.
John Gustavsson is our Economic and European analyst. John holds a MSc in Behavioral economics from the University of Nottingham and is currently pursuing a PhD in Economics at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth. He was born in 1991 in Sweden and grew up in Örnsköldsvik, a city in one of the most left-winged regions in one of the most left-winged countries of the world. Despite - or maybe because of - having been raised in this environment, John grew up to become a fiscal, social and foreign policy conservative. He became interested in politics at the young age of 10 and has followed American politics since 2004. Here at Caffeinated Thoughts John provides commentary on a wide range of economic and European issues
John Hendrickson is a Policy Analyst with Iowans for Tax Relief. (The opinions in this article may not reflect the views of Iowans for Tax Relief.) He formerly worked as a research analyst with Public Interest Institute. Henderickson earned a B.A. and M.A. in History from the University of North Dakota.
John Hitchcock is a Christian first, Conservative second, Republican third (but only because there is not a viable Conservative party). He's the proprietor of Truth Before Dishonor, a contributor at the now archive-only Common Sense Political Thought, and a contributor at The First Street Journal. He has two daughters. His second daughter is already awaiting him in Heaven. His first daughter was invited by the US Army to guard a prison in northern Iraq, which she did for 15 months. He spent time in the mid-80s at Malone College, studying to become a high school math teacher, but couldn't complete my education due to financial constraints. He home-educated his first daughter 4 grades in 3 years. He has spent time as an Over-The-Road trucker, a local trucker, a shift supervisor of local truckers; an industrial worker making precast concrete forms, business labels, fiberglass insulation, heating and cooling ductwork; a union steward, and most recently producing garbage bags for an international corporation.
John Lomperis is the United Methodist Director with the Institute on Religion & Democracy. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Religious Studies from the University of Chicago, and has an M.Div from Harvard University. He has devoted much of both his undergraduate and graduate studies to tracing the rise of theological liberalism within American Methodism. His articles have been published by The Washington Post, The Christian Post, Good News Magazine, OrthodoxyToday.org, National Right to Life News, LifeNews.com, and The American Spectator. John has been a member of the United Methodist Church since his confirmation as a teenager. Through the various geographical chapters of his life, he has been active in United Methodist congregations in four jurisdictions, and is currently on the roster of supply preachers for his district of the denomination. He and his wife live in Chicago.
Jonas Cutler is an attorney that grew up in Des Moines, IA and Minneapolis, MN. As a youth he attended Des Moines Christian School and Hoover High School in Des Moines for a couple of years before completing his primary education in Minneapolis. Jonas joined the Marine Corps, serving as a Combat Engineer spending most of his enlistment overseas. He is combat vet, and is named on the wall at the Beaverdale VFW along with his father and grandfather. After serving our country he worked full time while attending the University of Minnesota. He studied Law at Franklin Pierce Law Center (now New Hampshire School of Law) earning a JD as well as an additional Master’s Degree. He worked for the New Hampshire Bureau of Securities regulation as an enforcement attorney prosecuting fraud. Jonas has experience teaching Western Civilization and Contract theory to undergrads and MBA candidates. He returned to Iowa to be able to spend more time with family in our Midwestern tradition. Jonas is married, raising two daughters, ages 13 and 6, and is a member of Heartland Presbyterian Church in Clive, IA
I am a Reformed Christian, Exegetical (as opposed to a eisegetical) Constitutionalist, who doesn't have a liberal bone in his body, but considers himself to be more of a Paleo-Conservative rather than a Neo-Con. I am a member of these Organizations: The League of the South; Gun Owners of America; National Rifle Association; The Westminster Fellowship; Presbyterian Church in America; I love the Early Church Fathers, The Reformers, The Puritans, and John Calvin is my favorite theologian. I am currently a seminarian, studying to be a missionary and I enjoy writing - especially about things that rock boats...
JP earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of North Florida and spent six years ministering to college students with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship as campus staff. She now travels throughout the Southeast leading worship and speaking at discipleship events. JP calls the sunny beaches of Florida her first home, but now resides in beautiful, Music City, USA with her husband of 14 years. Most days consist of homeschooling her four children, juggling laundry, and keeping up with hungry appetites. However, JP insists that writing helps her maintain her sanity - well, that and her guitar. In her spare time you might find JP singing at a coffee shop, playing guitar, commenting on current events, or capturing humorous slices of life through essay, poetry and song. As a singer/songwriter JP writes from her own spiritual journey through prayer and Scripture study. She plans to release a collection of songs and an accompanying Songbook/Bible Study Guide this summer. aConnect with JP on Facebook.
Dr. Karen Effrem is trained as a pediatrician and serves as president of Education Liberty Watch and the executive director of the Florida Stop Common Core Coalition.
Katherine Wells Anderson has been a freelance journalist since 2003. Her passion is to see God’s manifest Presence (Glory) fill the earth. She grew up in Iowa as a pastor’s kid as her father was a pastor in the Methodist Church and her mother was a psychiatric nurse. She attended the University of Iowa, but graduated from Victory Bible Institute in Tulsa, OK. She lives with her husband Roger, who is a small business owner, in rural Washington, IA. She has one son and daughter-in-law and three grandchildren who are missionaries to Malta. She enjoys writing, the arts, ministry and travel. She is currently working on a novel. She loves coffee.
Keith is a native of Nebraska and has served as a prison religious coordinator and pastor. He is presently looking for work as a pastor.
Kelsey Lamb is an identical twin and college sophomore. She graduated high school in June of 2012 after being homeschooled from pre-school through twelfth grade. Her journey as a homeschooler took place in Southern California and included a solid Christian education, along with frequent beach trips. She currently attends California Baptist University and is a student leader there; working to ease incoming freshmen in their transition to college. Her passions include college academics, people-oriented activities, and Jesus, her Lord and Savior.
State Representative Ken Rizer (R-Marion) proudly served 27 years as an Air Force commander, fighter pilot, and non-profit senior leader. Elected to the Iowa House in 2014, he serves as the District 68 Representative for Marion, Bertram, Ely, and the surrounding parts of Linn County. Rizer was a distinguished graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, earning a B.S. in Foreign Affairs and recognition as the top graduate in Political Science. He was a Barry Goldwater Scholar to Georgetown University’s Institute on Comparative Political and Economic Systems, during which he served as a U.S. House of Representatives intern. Selected as an Olmsted Scholar, he learned Swedish at the U.S. State Department’s Foreign Service Institute prior to studying International Security at the University of Stockholm, Sweden. He completed an M.S. with Highest Academic Distinction in Strategic Studies at Air University’s Air War College, as well as an MPA in Leadership, Politics, and National Security from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and an MBA from the University of Iowa. Rizer is a published author and speaker, military division-winning Ironman triathlete and RAGBRAI rider.
Kenric Ward is a veteran journalist who has worked on three Pulitzer Prize-winning newspapers. A California native, he received a BA from UCLA (Political Science/Phi Beta Kappa) and holds an MBA. He reported and edited at the San Jose Mercury News and the Las Vegas Sun before joining Watchdog.org in 2012 as Virginia Bureau Chief.
I’m a sinner saved by grace. I’m simultaneously justified and a sinner. I’ve been called by God’s grace to be a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I’m joyfully the husband of one wife and the father of three children. I was born in central Iowa, raised in a godly home with two first generation Christian parents. The Evangelical Free Church of Madrid, Iowa was where I heard the teaching of the Word of God all my “growing up” years. There were some of the most dear and faithful servants of our Lord serving there, who will never be known around the world, but will hear (or, as is the case for some already, have heard) their Lord say, “Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into your rest.” When I was between the ages of 12 & 13, I attended Bible camp at Twin Lakes in northwest Iowa. Pastor Don Stover (another of those saints who has entered God’s rest) was telling us the story of Pilgrim’s Progress using blacklight flannel graph (really cool high-tech in 1970!). When Christian gets to the foot of the cross and his burden of sin rolls away into the empty tomb, God had me. I was gloriously converted to Jesus Christ, my Savior. God’s call to the ministry was a long, gradual process through which He used many people to lead me and confirm within me His will to be a minister. He also used one or two key people to bring me to the doctrines of grace. I had been in ministry for about 6 years when the light of these truths were shown so brightly to me. I trust that I have grown in my understanding of them and have caused others to rejoice in the absolute free sovereign grace of our God. I have been married for 29 years and have three children. I have earned a B.A. from Trinity College (now Trinity International University) in Biblical Studies, and later earned a MDiv from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, have served four Evangelical Free churches since 1986, and am currently the Senior Pastor of Cornerstone Evangelical Free Church in Rochester, MN since 1997.
Kevin Subra has served as a bi-vocational pastor for over 25 years. He has worked in the IT field for over 18 years, starting as a software instructor, then progressing from help desk, to network administrator, to an IT manager, and now he works in the IT cybersecurity field. Kevin and his wife Jane have been married over 33 years. They have been blessed with 15 children, and are enjoying their ever-growing number of grandchildren. They have always home schooled their children, nine having graduated from high school and seven still being schooled. Besides enjoying his family, studying the Bible, home improvement projects, and reading, Kevin enjoys the ongoing pursuit of researching family genealogy.
Kim Lehman began her career as an activist 20 years ago when she was told that her 5 year old son would be forced to learn about homosexuality in school because of an Iowa law called Human Growth and Development. This led Kim to join Concerned Women for America of Iowa and she successfully lobbied to increase state funding to fight pornography. Soon Kim became their State Director to lead the organization. In 2000 Kim was hired as the Executive Director and President for Iowa Right to Life (IRLC). In her role as director for IRLC, Kim was the chief lobbyist, spokesman and ran the day to day operations. In 2008 Kim was elected as Iowa’s Republican National Committeewoman and served as Resolutions Chairman. In her work on the RNC, she cofounded a conservative group to fight the National Popular Vote and was part of the original founders for the Conservative Caucus on the RNC. Kim was part of the team to help elect Chairman Reince Prebious in his first term. Kim Lehman was very active in advancing conservative issues on the Committee, however she chose not to run for a second term as National Committeewoman in order to focus her attention on Give Cures-- a campaign to raise funding for the John Paul II Medical Research Institute’s ethical research. Kim Lehman is currently the State Director for Patriot Voices and sits on the board of Iowan’s for Tax Relief and the John Paul II Medical Research Institute. Kim has been a strong conservative Christian voice that has consistently spoke the truth while encouraging others to do the same. Kim Lehman is married to Rand Lehman and they have 6 children and 6 grandchildren.
Kris Ranney is a full-time wife and mom of three almost done children and a professional volunteer. She serves currently as an organizer and volunteer with LoveCB, a network of churches and ministries working together to encourage an atmosphere of life and love in their city of Council Bluffs, Iowa. She also works with Pottawattamie County COAD (Community Organization Active in Disaster), Pottawattamie County GOP, Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition and works to organize the Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast for National Day of Prayer. Along with gardening, she finds writing about relevant issues to be a cheap form of therapy.
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Liberty Counsel is an international nonprofit, litigation, education, and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and the family since 1989.
Lisa Bourne has earned her degree in Communications from the University of Iowa, and has attended the School of Church Communications, Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome, Italy. She is currently a self-employed communications specialist, and was a writer for the Press Citizen Newspapers in Des Moines, the Florida Catholic Newspaper, and recently worked for the Diocese of Des Moines as a communications specialist and staff writer. She lives in the Des Moines area with her husband Chris and their five children where they attend the Basilica of St. John in Des Moines, IA.
Lora Hubbel is a former member of the South Dakota House of Representatives and is currently running for Governor in South Dakota.
Mark Hahn, is the host of “Drive Time Live” on 1360 KSCJ in Sioux City, Iowa.
Prior to joining The Institute on Religion & Democracy  in 1994, Mark Tooley worked eight years for the Central Intelligence Agency as an analyst. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and is a native of Arlington, Virginia. A lifelong United Methodist, he has been active in United Methodist renewal since 1988, when he wrote a study about denominational funding of pro-Marxist groups for his local congregation. He currently attends Washington Street United Methodist Church in Alexandria, Virginia. Mark Tooley became president of the Institute on Religion and Democracy (IRD) in 2009. He joined IRD in 1994 to found its United Methodist committee (UMAction). He is the author of Taking Back The United Methodist Church, published in 2008, and Methodism and Politics in the 20th Century, published in 2011.
Mary Merritt is the End-of-Life Issues Director for Iowa Right to Life.
The season of my life is in a perpetual "back to school" mode. I would describe myself as a lifelong learner due to the fact that I home school my four children and must remain smarter than them! My husband Russ and I have decided to remain married for at least 98 years or until death do us part. I think there is a warranty involved?!!!? I hold a bachelor’s degree from California State University Long Beach in Political Science with an emphasis in Constitutional Law. I am excited to be part of Caffeinated Thoughts and hope to contribute substantially to the Conservatism foundation that America was built upon. My love of country drives me to write in order to get others thinking, and perhaps agitated at times, that they too may join the conversation and therefore help make a difference “Righting” the wrongs in our country before it is too late. I love music with every extra ounce of my body and if there are any ounces left at the end of the day, I enjoy unwinding with my guitar. I am a worship leader for a small church in my town and I teach guitar as well. I also am an American and World History with Art and Government and Economics instructor for the Biola STAR Academics, a home schooling program in Southern California. And most of all, should the Lord tarry, and if I live to see my 98th wedding anniversary, I choose to love, serve and honor Jesus Christ while I have breath in my body. You can find Mary on Twitter as @1Theosebes (Theosebes is Greek for Worshipper of God) and also on Facebook.
Matt Lamb is the Midwest Regional Coordinator for Turning Point USA.
State Representative Matt Windschitl (R-Missouri Valley) serves Iowa House District 17. Matt received his formal education at home before attending college for gunsmithing in 2004. Matt is a trained gunsmith and occasionally does gunsmithing at the family-owned gun store in Missouri Valley. He also works full-time as a switchman for Union Pacific Railroad. Matt and Ivelisse were married in 2003 and together have two daughters, Anna and Addy. Matt joined the United States Marine Corps in 2001 at the age of 17. He proudly served eight years in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves as a mechanic and armorer. He served a tour of duty in Iraq in 2005 and was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps Reserves as a Sergeant in 2009. Matt was first elected to the House in 2006 at the age of 22, becoming the youngest legislator serving in the General Assembly at that time. Additionally, he was chosen by his colleagues to serve as an Assistant Leader being elected to the position three times starting in 2009 through 2013. In 2014, he was elected to serve as the Speaker Pro-Tempore and reelected to this position in 2015.
Latest from Matt Windschitl
Matthew Ung works in healthcare administration, and is also serving his first term as Woodbury County Supervisor. A 2nd generation immigrant with a (legal) immigrant wife, he holds a master of business administration degree from Creighton University, and a master of theology degree from Life Christian University. Matthew is an SSI-certified Advanced Open Water Diver, but can’t seem to find any good reefs in Sioux City, Iowa.
State Representative Megan Jones (R-Sioux Rapids) represents Iowa House District 2. She is also an attorney with Hemphill Law Office, PLC in Spencer. Megan graduated from Drake University with degrees in Law, Politics and Society and Business. She then earned her J.D. from William Mitchell College of Law. Megan and her husband, Will, have one son, Anchor. They have made their home on Will’s family farm in southern Clay County. Megan is a member of the Spencer Daybreakers Kiwanis group and also serves on the Keep Iowa Beautiful Board. Megan has been a recipient of the Spencer Volunteer of the Year Award and has been recognized by the Governor and Legislature for her volunteer activities.
Melody lives near Fairbanks, AK, and has lived in Alaska for 20 years (which she calls the greatest state, but we can agree to disagree).  She’s a “a professional ski instructor, counselor, educator, nurse, food-prep specialist, financial advisor, purchaser, dog-walker, house-cleaner, coach, dishwasher, repair lady, seamstress, landlord, book keeper, and Day-care worker.”  Usually they call her mom   She has been a Christ follower since the age of 13 and grew up in a Christian home.  She is actively involved in ministry to soldiers based at Ft. Wainright and is a member of a local independent Baptist church.  You can also find Melody on Facebook.
Michael Ives is a Presbyterian minister serving a congregation in Rhode Island.  He graduated from Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary (M.Div.) in 2005 and is presently doing postgraduate research on the parish model of urban missions in the thought of Thomas Chalmers, 19th century Scottish minister and social reformer.  In addition to his passion for all things Chalmers, he is very interested in the pastoral theory and practice of the Reformed tradition, with special interest in catechisms and catechetical practice.  He enjoys blogging about these topics here.  Michael has the distinct honor of being happily married to the most beautiful woman in the world and has been blessed with a son and three daughters.
Michael Ramey is the Director of Communications and Research with ParentalRights.org
Michael T. Snyder is a graduate of the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia and has two law degrees from the University of Florida.  He is an attorney that has worked for some of the largest and most prominent law firms in Washington D.C. and who now resides outside of Seattle, Washington.  He is a very active blogger and is also a respected researcher, writer, speaker and activist.  Michael and his wife Meranda publish a number of very well-connected blogs including The Economic Collapse, The Most Important News and The American Dream. You can connect with Michael on Facebook amd follow him on Twitter.
Michelle McCormick is a naative Texan currently residing in Fort Worth, Texas. She earned her B.A. from Purdue University and J.D. from Texas Wesleyan University School of Law. She also received a degree in grassroots 101 from the lovely state of Iowa, Summer 2011.
Mike Ericson has been the pastor of Trinity Presbyterian Reformed Church in Johnston, IA since 2001. Prior to that he served in the Presbyterian Church of America. Ericson holds degrees from Covenant College, Baylor University, and Reformed Theological Seminary.
Latest from Mike Ericson
Moira Crooks is a Christ-follower, wife, and mom to six children. She has a degree in Computer Science from Marquette University and has spent much of her pre-mom time working as a Technical Writer and Web Site Coordinator.  In 2009, her book Strength in A Smile was published. In it she details how her husband and her relationship with God grew and changed through the birth of their daughter who was born with a cleft lip and palate.  She currently contributes articles to Conservatives4Palin.com and Prayers4America.org and lives with her family in Central Iowa.
Montse Alvarado is the executive director of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, a non-profit, public-interest legal and educational institute with a mission to protect the free expression of all faiths, located in Washington, DC. Ms. Alvarado holds a B.A from Florida International University and an M.A. from George Washington University School of Political Management.
Dr. Oran Smith is the President and CEO of Palmetto Family Council.  Dr. Smith is a graduate of Clemson University where he received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, and the University of South Carolina, where he received a Masters and Doctorate. His doctoral dissertation, later published by New York University (NYU) Press, was entitled The Rise of Baptist Republicanism. He has written numerous journal articles and book chapters on politics, government, and the role of Christians in politics. His areas of expertise are research, communications, politics and public affairs. He is a former member of Gov. Carroll Campbell's economic development staff and the staff of the Business & Industry Political Education Committee (BIPEC). A native of Greer, Dr. Smith lives in Leesville with his wife Kristin and their three children Stephen (14), Elizabeth (11) and Margaret (8). He is a member of First Presbyterian Church (ARP), Columbia where he has served as deacon, Sunday School teacher and editor of First Pres Magazine. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of Coastal Carolina University in Conway, SC where he chairs the Academic Affairs and Student Committee and is Chairman of the Board of ARP Magazine.
Pat Nicklaus got her start in gun rights activism as the Communications Manager for a State level, grassroots, gun rights group. She is a former Election Volunteer Coordinator for the National Rifle Association, a former, registered gun rights lobbyist and was on the Board of Directors of Gun Rights Across America. Her wheelhouse is the second amendment, and conservative leaning politics. Her professional career encompasses Public Relations and Senior Executive Search. She is the happy wife to her husband of 24 years, and the proud mom of a US Army veteran.
Paul Pate is currently the Iowa Secretary of State. Pate recently served as Mayor of Cedar Rapids from 2002 –2006. While Mayor, Pate was elected President of the Iowa League of Cities representing over 870 municipalities and served as Co-Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ Committee on Homelessness. Previously, he served as Iowa Secretary of State from 1995-1999 and represented NE Cedar Rapids, Marion and parts of Linn, Buchanan and Delaware Counties in the Iowa Senate from 1989-1995.
Paul Porter is the pastor of Van Meter Baptist Church in Van Meter, IA and the Executive Director of The Network, a Christian organization for families deeply engaged in the homeschooling process that offers classes on a weekly basis to be used as a supplement for home education. Porter holds a bachelors degree in Secondary Education/Math from the University of Missouri and a Masters of Divinity from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.
Penny Nance is the CEO and President of Concerned Women for America.
Quin Hillyer is a Contributing Editor of National Review magazine, a Senior Editor for The American Spectator magazine, and a nationally recognized authority on the American political process. He has won mainstream awards for journalistic excellence at the local, state, regional and national levels. He has been published professionally in well over 50 publications, including the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the Houston Chronicle, the San Francisco Chronicle, Investors Business Daily, National Review, the Weekly Standard, Human Events, and The New Republic Online. He is a former editorial writer and columnist for the Washington Times, the Washington Examiner, the Mobile Register, and the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, and a former Managing Editor of Gambit Weekly in New Orleans. He has appeared dozens of times as a television analyst in Washington DC, Alabama, Arkansas, and Louisiana, and as a guest well over a thousand times on national and local radio shows. Hillyer also has worked in professional or volunteer capacities in dozens of political campaigns and served for five years as press secretary for U.S. House Appropriations Committee Chairman Bob Livingston of New Orleans. He was an original executive board member of the internationally acclaimed Louisiana Coalition Against Racism and Nazism, formed to halt the then-meteoric political rise of former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke. Hillyer also has volunteered in leadership roles for numerous church, civic, and educational organizations. He is a cum laude graduate of Georgetown University, and is a Fellow of the Loyola University (New Orleans) Institute of Politics and of Leadership Coastal Alabama. He is married to the former Therese Robinson of Mobile.
Quinn Hooks is the pastor of Evergreen Baptist Church in Effingham, SC. He has served in several capacities at the Associational and State levels of the Southern Baptist Convention. He is currently the Treasurer for the South Carolina Baptist Pastors Conference. He is a graduate of The Citadel, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Liberty University, and Covington Seminary. He holds a D.Min from Covington and is working on a PhD at Liberty University. He has some political experience having served 6 years on the town council of Cope, SC. He is married with one child.
State Representative Ralph Watts (R-Adel) represents Iowa House District 19 (Dallas County) in the Iowa House of Representatives.
Rich Danker directs initiatives on monetary policy and public pension reform for American Principles Project. His work has been featured in publications such as Investors Business Daily, Forbes Opinions, and the Weekly Standard. He is a board member of the Lehrman Institute’s Gold Standard Now project and of the Utah Precious Metals Association. He has a master’s degree in public policy and business administration from the Pepperdine School of Public Policy and Graziadio School of Business and Management and an undergraduate degree from Lynchburg College.
Latest from Rich Danker
Rich Hilgemann was born and raised in Aberdeen, SD. He graduated Central High School in 2003 and left for the Army just a couple months after graduating. He chose the infantry as his MOS and Ft. Campbell as a duty station. He is an air assault school graduate, and earned the Expert Infantry Badge. He was deployed to Iraq in Oct. ’05 – Sept. ’06. There he played various roles from machine gunner, squad designated marksman, and team leader for multiple air assault missions, patrols, and over watches. While deployed his hearing was badly damaged and he now suffers from tinnitus. He earned an associates degree in general studies from Northern State here in Aberdeen and is currently working in a lumber yard doing the drafting/design of new homes and additions. He is currently the Secretary for the Brown County Republicans.
Rick Manning is the President of Americans for Limited Government. longtimeme public affairs professional, Rick served as the Public Affairs Chief of Staff at the U.S. Department of Labor during the George W. Bush Administration, where he was twice recognized by the Secretary for Exceptional Achievement. Born and raised in southern California, Rick graduated from the University of Southern California working his way through school running political campaigns. Shortly thereafter, he became a state lobbyist for the National Rifle Association for nine years responsible for the southeastern United States, Maryland and New Jersey. At NRA, Rick worked closely with local groups to pass the groundbreaking concealed carry law in Florida which has subsequently served as a national model. A veteran of dozens of corporate communications and grassroots campaigns, Manning has emerged as a leading voice in the conservative community with columns appearing in The Hill, Investor’s Business Daily, FoxNews.com and other major publications across the nation. A resident of Chesapeake Beach, Maryland where he is a former town council member, Rick is active in his local church and is married to his college sweetheart.
Rob Faircloth is the pastor of Covenant Grace Baptist Church in Troy, AL.  He also is an attorney with Calhoun, Faulk, Curits & Faircloth in Troy, AL.  He is a church consultant, and has been a columnist for various local papers.   He has been a Case Law Editor for Lexus-Nexis and was for a short time an adjunct professor of Business Law at Troy State University.  He is an MDiv candidate at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and holds a J.D. from the Cumberland School of Law of Samford University.
Robert Romano is the Senior Editor of Americans for Limited Government. He grew up in a suburban Long Island township, Rocky Point, where he graduated from high school. He studied and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Stony Brook University with the Class of 2008. In his free time, he composes music on piano, paints oil on canvas, and writes fiction. Robert lives in Manassas, Virginia and is a father of one.
Congressman Rod Blum (R-Iowa) represents Iowa's 1st Congressional District. A business owner from Dubuque, Blum was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2014. He serves on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, as well as, the House Small Business Committee. As part of his role in the Small Business Committee, he serves as a chairman for the Subcommittee on Agriculture, Energy, and Trade.
Sam Clovis is a successful businessman, college professor, political advisor and military officer who hosts IMPACT with Sam Clovis every Sunday afternoon on LATalkRadio. His resume is lengthy and impressive. As a 25 year Air Force fighter pilot, a highly successful private sector business operator, distinguished Fellow at a prestigious think-tank, top-rated radio talk show host, national co-chair and chief policy advisor to a successful presidential campaign, policy director for the presidential transition team and Senior White House Advisor to the U.S. Department of Agriculture
State Representative Sandy Salmon (R-Janesville) represents Iowa House District 63.
Latest from Sandy Salmon
Sarah Abdouch is the Iowa State Director for the Convention of the States Project.
Sarah Bowman was born and raised in Glidden, Iowa on a Century Farm. She earned her Associates Degree from DMACC in Carroll, and in 2002, a Bachelor of Science Degree in English from Iowa State. She served as an assistant to the House Majority Leader in 2003, and then Communications Director for Senator Chuck Grassley's campaign. She worked for the Agribusiness Association of Iowa and Principal Financial Group when her husband was deployed to Iraq. Upon his return she has worked as a campaign consultant and is busy being the mom of four boys.
Sarah Palin is the former Governor of Alaska and 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee.  She was formerly a contributor to Fox News, and is the best selling author of Going Rogue: An American Life and America By Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith and Flag.
Scott Bailey is married and a father of eight kids, ranging in ages from 8 to 24.  He’s been employed in the surety industry for 29 years and works for a top 15 surety company.  Scott occasionally updates his own blogs at “Hedgeapple Farm,” about life as a part time farmer, and at “…and then it died”, a sometimes humorous look at the lives, challenges and adventures of a large family living in rural Iowa.  Scott had grown a heart as a college student and for a while as a rookie in the real world.  Then, after getting married and having several children, he grew a brain and became a conservative.  Since then he’s been actively annoying, and sometimes even outraging, liberals and moderates with his fact laced opinions.
Scott A. Woodruff, Esq. is senior counsel for Home School Legal Defense Association. Woodruff has been a follower of Christ since 1971. He earned his juris doctor degree from the University of Virginia in 1980. After working for John Ashcroft, and subsequently a major regional insurance company, Scott joined HSLDA's staff in 1998. He is a licensed attorney in Missouri and Virginia. He has represented HSLDA members in court, and appeared before many state legislatures to fight against repressive homeschool legislation. Woodruff is a frequent speaker at homeschool conferences and on radio programs across the country.
Shane Vander Hart is the founder and editor-in-chief of Caffeinated Thoughts.  He is also the President of 4:15 Communications, LLC, a social media & communications consulting/management firm.  Prior to this Shane spent 20 years in youth ministry serving in church, parachurch, and school settings.  He has also served as an interim pastor and is a sought-after speaker and pulpit fill-in.  Shane has been married to his wife Cheryl since 1993 and they have three kids.  Shane and his family reside near Des Moines, IA.
Shaun Broyhill is a resident of Sioux City, IA and is currently the Republican nominee running in Iowa House District 13. He software engineer with a computer science degree from Briar Cliff University and Master of Science degree from Iowa State University. He has also served in the Nebraska Army National Guard.
Shawn Barr is the Lead Pastor for Grace Fellowship in Des Moines, IA.  He is an Iowa native, graduate of Iowa State University in Ames, IA and has received seminary training at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, MO.  Prior to Grace Fellowship he served as the Adult Ministries Pastor and then Executive Pastor of Antioch Bible Baptist Church in Gladstone, MO.  He and his wife Delana have four adult children.
Shawn Dietz is the chairman of the Frankly County Republicans of Iowa, a former State Senate candidate, and the former mayor of Hampton, IA.
Shawn Mathis is pastor at Providence Presbyterian church in Denver, CO.  He is a conservative essayist with ten-years experience. His six-year stint as a reliable news and opinion writer at Examiner.com ended after one too many anti-Obergefell articles. He specializes in Christian apologetics, early American history and education. He wrote a book on homeschooling (Uniting Church and Family) and writes at PastorMathis.com and Barbwire.com.
Congressman Steve King (R-IA) represents Iowa's 4th Congressional District.
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Steve Myers is a graduate of Des Moines Christian School and William Penn University. While at Des Moines Christian School, he participated in basketball, soccer, track, and cross-country. He was a participant in the boys state basketball tournament in ’97, ’98, and ’99 and was co-captain of the ’99 state runner up team. An avid ISU Cyclone fan, Steve is currently a Home Equity Specialist for Wells Fargo and resides in Ankeny, IA, with his lovely wife Christa and their four boys, Braxton, Trenton, Devon & Leon. Steve's focus at Caffeinated Thoughts will be primarily blogging about sports.
Steven Lonegan is Director of Monetary Policy for the American Principles Project.
Sue Wilson Native of Michigan (Traverse City); transplanted temporarily to San Diego area for husband's deployment to Vietnam; then off to Arkansas for thirteen years and then to Des Moines, IA where they have lived for most of the last seventeen years. Sue majored in Bible and History at Central Baptist College in Conway, AR. Among my 130 hours or so, she has several semesters of Greek and Hebrew. Her favorite area--Old Testament history and theology. After a position as a tech writer for a local manufacturer disappeared in January of 2009, she decided to settle down and pursue freelance writing. She has served on staff for the Iowa District West – LMCS (Lutheran Church Missouri Synod) offices as a writer and editor; also served on staff as a Director of Christian Education at a church in West Des Moines, IA and as a communications assistant to a pastor in Arkansas. Sue is politically conservative, socially conservative, culturally conservative--at least according to current definitions. She is a Lutheran Christian committed to the Lordship of Christ. Fan of Deitrich Bonhoeffer and Ravi Zacharias. Jesus calls us to a personal relationship with Him, and the Holy Spirit is working within us to make that possible. She has written weekly devotions for Iowa District West of the LCMS for ten years; she teaches adult Bible studies and always writes her own materials; I write two blogs which are basically verse by verse Old and New Testament commentaries (she’s currently on break from these and plans to reevaluate in September); She also writes devotions for Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Urbandale, IA and has rewritten (with author's permission) a course called "Divorce Care" to better fit some Lutheran doctrinal differences. Sue is married with two adult children and four grandchildren, and a beagle that rules their lives. She is working diligently right now on her family history and getting their historical photography scanned and distributed to cousins; she also enjoys nature photography, golf, shooting, computer gaming, hiking, reading, biking, working out, and driving (as odd as that may sound). Someday she would really like to get organized.
Tamara Scott is the Iowa State Director for Concerned Women of American and Iowa's National Committeewoman for the Republican National Committee.
Rafael Edward "Ted" Cruz has been the junior United States Senator for the state of Texas since 2013. He is a member of the Republican Party and was Solicitor General of Texas from 2003 to May 2008, after being appointed by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott. He was the first Hispanic Solicitor General in Texas, the youngest Solicitor General in the United States, and had the longest tenure in Texas history. Cruz was a partner at the law firm Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, where he led the firm’s U.S. Supreme Court and national appellate litigation practice. He previously served as the director of the Office of Policy Planning at the Federal Trade Commission, an Associate Deputy Attorney General at the United States Department of Justice, and as Domestic Policy Advisor to U.S. President George W. Bush on the 2000 Bush-Cheney campaign. In addition, Cruz was an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Texas School of Law in Austin, where he taught U.S. Supreme Court litigation, from 2004 to 2009.
As an “Eastern-Iowa Connection” here at Caffeinated Thoughts, Terry Tesar lives in Marion, IA. He is a Chiropractic Physician in Tipton, IA . He was Information Director for Christopher Reed's Congressional Primary run for the 2nd District in 2010. He enjoys time with his Stock Broker wife and his 4 children, and they attend First Assembly of God in Cedar Rapids.
A non-profit law firm restoring respect in law for life, marriage, and religious liberty since 1997.
Tim Overlin has served as the Executive Director for Personhood IOWA since its conception in 2014. He credits the passion he brings to his job to his father, who passed away in 2012 after a lengthy battle with cancer. From his father, he inherited a passion for life and an intolerance towards bullies and he views the fight for life to be a marriage of these two qualities. Along with his position at Personhood IOWA, Tim has also recently spearheaded a Fellowship of like-minded Pro-Life and Pro-Family organizations from across the state of Iowa to band together as a united front. No matter what hat he is wearing, Tim has a central message: Bringing The Church Back To Life. He is married to Jas, a teacher in West Des Moines, and he is the father of two adult children TJ and Whitney who both live in Oregon.
Tom Hill is President of Master Ministries International in Grand Rapids, MI.  Tom began writing a newsletter in 1981 for a small audience of friends. In 2008, he began to write a blog on his web site. Every month, thousands of visitors from all over the world come to his web site and view his blogs.  In 2009, he published the book, Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing, available online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and his web site, www.masterministries.org. Published with permission. © Thomas P Hill.
Tom Richards is a Master Residential Carpenter working in Story County. He teaches Sunday School and is active in jail ministry. He graduated from Iowa State in 1974 with a BA in Sociology. He ran for public office in the 1970's. He later served as Director of Public Information for a multi county Community Action Agency in Central Iowa. He writes on politics occasionally, and is known for letters to the editor. He is a folk singer and songwriter. He is a life long resident of Story County.
Dr. Tony Beam is Vice-President for Student Services and the Director of the Christian Worldview Center at North Greenville University in Tigerville, South Carolina, Dr. Tony Beam received his Master of Divinity from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina, and his Doctor of Ministry from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. Dr. Beam is the host of Christian Worldview Today heard M-F from 7 to 9am on Christiantalk 660AM and 92.9FM in Greenville, SC.
Walt Rogers is a State Representative for Iowa House District 20 representing Waterloo, Cedar Falls, Hudson, and Voorhies.  Prior to that he worked with youth for over twenty years at Orchard Hill Church and Prairie Lakes Church, both in Cedar Falls, IA.  He has also worked Rath Packing Company, Northland Products, and Mudd Advertising, and has served as a leadership consultant.  Walt is a graduate of the University of Northern Iowa  He and his wife Jenny live in Cedar Falls and have three adult children.