Republican Reason Caucus
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About the Republican Reason Caucus | Science, Secularism, Small Government

About the Republican Reason Caucus

Our Mission:

The Republican Reason Caucus seeks to:
1. Help the Republican Party adapt its messaging to remain competitive in the future.
2. Influence public policy in a way that respects sound science, the separation of church and state, and constitutionally limited government that upholds the liberties and equal treatment by the law of all individuals.
3. Promote and defend Republicans who will stand up for the aforementioned public policy goals.

Statement of Principles:

1. We stand for government limited to the few enumerated powers in the Constitution, and for maximum economic freedom.
2. We stand for a strong, efficient, and fiscally-prudent national defense.
3. We stand for equal treatment under the law of all individuals.
4. We stand for an open and tolerant society, for the full inclusion of all peaceful individuals in the public discourse, regardless of race, gender, nationality, sexual orientation, or religion (or lack thereof).
5. We stand for policy-making based on well-tested, peer-reviewed, empirical science, where applicable.
6. We stand for a health care system as free as possible from government interference, and a government that does not come between medical professionals and their patients.
7. We stand for a separation of church and state, a government that does not promote or display preference for any religious belief or institution, and a government that does not transfer taxpayer money to religious or religiously affiliated organizations or governments.

About the RRC:

The GOP has suffered politically in the recent past by failing to evolve to meet the challenges of the 21st century. More than ever, America needs the Republican principles of small government, free market economics, and personal responsibility. We can no longer allow this important message to be weighed down by divisive bigotry and unattractive anti-intellectualism.

The Republican Reason Caucus is pro-secularism but not anti-religion. All individuals who share our political goals are welcome in our organization.

Founded in November of 2012, the Republican Reason Caucus provides a philosophical home and action network for free-thinking Republicans of all backgrounds and belief systems who support sound science, secularism, and social tolerance, within the framework of a conservative, "small government" philosophy.

Agree with our cause? See the benefits of becoming an official member.

Leadership Committee

President: Josiah Schmidt

Josiah Schmidt is the manager of Liberty Torch Political Consulting, LLC, which serves Republican candidates and causes with a "small government" bent. In 2011, Josiah Schmidt was the social media director, endorsements coordinator, and a press liaison for Gov. Gary Johnson's campaign for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. Before that, he was an advance coordinator and event planner for the Our America Initiative, a grassroots leader and volunteer fundraiser for Ron Paul for President 2008, and the state chairman of multiple political advocacy groups. Josiah has also been a staff writer for several publications over the years, including Liberty Features Syndicate, RightOSphere, Liberty Movement HQ, and Josiah currently resides in Fairfield, California.

Executive Board:

Alex Knepper

Alex Knepper is a longtime political blogger who stands for fiscal prudence and social tolerance. His work has been featured or excerpted by outlets such as the New York Times, NPR, and the Atlantic. He holds a BA in Political Science from American University and is a student at the Graduate Institute at St. John's College - Annapolis.

Jeffrey Larson

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Jeffrey Larson is the Texas chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus. A native of Leavittsburg, Ohio, he graduated from Youngstown State University in Youngstown, Ohio with a degree in engineering in 1985, and graduated from the University of Houston in 1992. Jeffrey current lives in Webster, Texas with his wife and family.

Candice Marschke

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Candice Marschke is an experienced business consultant who has developed marketing, communications, and information systems for Ambleside Schools International, served as Vice President of Management Information Systems for International Food & Wine Company, and Senior Solutions Architect for another management consulting business. Candice is an active grassroots Republican in Virginia, having been a volunteer on the Romney-Ryan 2012 team.

Alex Witoslawski

Alex Witoslawski is a young conservative-libertarian activist living in the Detroit suburbs. Currently, he is a district coordinator for Campaign for Liberty, an organization that promotes the founding principles of this country, including free market capitalism, limited government, individual rights, and a non-interventionist foreign policy. Previously, he was a grassroots leader for both Kerry Bentivolio's 2012 congressional campaign and Ron Paul's 2012 presidential campaign.

Advisory Council:

Jillian Becker

Jillian Becker, born in 1932 in Johannesburg, South Africa, is a novelist, prize-winning story-writer, critic, journalist, lecturer, best known internationally as a writer, researcher, and authority on the subject of terrorism. Jillian served as an advisor to the British Parliament during the Margaret Thatcher administration, and in 1985, with former Defence Minister Lord Chalfont, she founded the Institute for the Study of Terrorism (IST) of which she was Executive Director from 1985-1990. Jillian recently published the fiction book, "L: A Novel History" (2005) and a memoir of the final days of her close friend Sylvia Plath, "Giving Up: The Last Days of Sylvia Plath" (2003). Jillian runs a blog website called The Atheist Conservative at

Daniel Bier

Daniel Bier is the publisher and executive editor of The Skeptical Libertarian. He writes on issues relating to science, skepticism, and economic freedom, focusing on the role of evolution in social and economic development. He also contributes to The Commentator and Students For Liberty's blog. He is pursuing his Master's degree in Economics at Rutgers University.

Jonathan Bydlak

Jonathan Bydlak is the current president of the Coalition to Reduce Spending, an organization dedicated to researching and advocating for reduced federal spending and balanced budgets. Jonathan is the former Director of Fundraising for Ron Paul's 2008 Presidential campaign, where he managed a fundraising operation that raised over $35 million, chiefly online via the application of social media. He is also the founder of the independent consulting firm, Bydlak & Associates, LLC, with clients ranging from federal and state political candidates to advocacy organizations and other non-profits. Jonathan began his career in the financial services industry as a hedge fund investment analyst. Originally from Massachusetts, he holds a bachelor's degree in economics from Princeton University, and currently resides in Alexandria, VA.

Jimmy LaSalvia

Jimmy LaSalvia is the co-founder of GOProud, a conservative gay rights advocacy group, and serves as its full-time Executive Director. A long- time conservative activist, Jimmy has held volunteer and professional staff positions in Republican campaigns and party organizations in South Dakota and Kentucky, including serving on the campaign staff of former South Dakota Governor Walter D. Miller. He previously worked as a development officer for Kentucky Opera and as a real estate broker in Louisville, Kentucky. In 2006 he joined the national staff of Log Cabin Republicans, first as Grassroots Outreach Director then as Director of Programs & Policy. He helped to build the organization across the country and lobbied to pass legislation in state capitols and in Washington, DC. LaSalvia has appeared on the FOX News Channel, FOX Business Network, CNN, MSNBC and other television networks. He has been quoted in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today and other newspaper and media outlets. His public speaking engagements have included speeches at Columbia University, Princeton University, Tufts University, George Washington University, Smith College and other colleges and universities.

David Nalle

David Nalle is the former national chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus, an organization that promotes individual liberty, limited government, and free market economics within the Republican Party. He is currently the Director of Campaign Mechanics, a campaign consulting firm for local political campaigns, and the senior politics editor of Blogcritics, an online news and opinion magazine. Dave has advised many successful Republican campaigns, including recently serving as strategy advisor to Ted Cruz's 2012 Senate campaign. With a B.A. in English and History from Franklin and Marshall College, and graduate degrees from the University of Texas, Dave taught college history in Austin for more than a decade. He currently resides in Manor, Texas with his wife, Patricia, and their two daughters.

Edwina Rogers

Edwina Rogers is the Executive Director of the Secular Coalition for America. She boasts two decades of experience on Capitol Hill as a lobbyist and attorney. In her recent role as Executive Director of the Patient Centered Primary Care Collaborative, she organized a coalition that successfully implemented the Patient Centered Medical Home model around the country. She served as Vice President of Health Policy for The ERISA Industry Committee in Washington, D.C. From 2001-2002, Edwina served as an Economic Advisor for President George W. Bush at the White House. She also advised President George H. W. Bush from 1989 until 1991. Edwina served as General Counsel to the National Republican Senatorial Committee in 1994. She worked for Senator Lott while he was Majority Leader in 1999 and she handled health policy for Senator Sessions in 2003 and 2004. Edwina received her B.S. in Corporate Finance from the University of Alabama and a J.D. from Catholic University in Washington D.C. She has been a regular contributor to several newspaper columns, health and policy journals and has appeared as a regular guest on cable news television channels including MSNBC and FOX News.

Corie Whalen

Corie Whalen is a political consultant with clients ranging from non-profits, Super PACs and candidates to public figures, columnists and advocacy organizations. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Coalition to Reduce Spending. A figure in the tea party movement, at the age of 20, Corie organized and spoke at what Senator Rand Paul has called "the first tea party" on December 16th, 2007 at Faneuil Hall in Boston, Massachusetts. She later organized the Boston Tax Day Tea Party in April of 2009, and her activism has led to a political career that embodies engaging on a grassroots level as a means to hold elected officials accountable. Corie now resides in Houston, Texas and is currently the Political Director of both the Alliance For Self-Governance as well as the Campaign For Primary Accountability. She is also the South Central Regional Director of Young Americans For Liberty and the National Secretary of the Republican Liberty Caucus. She holds a degree in political science and history from Simmons College.



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