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YOUR ADVOCATES

MEET YOUR ADVOCATES

The officers and staff of The Conservative Caucus represent and empower you in Washington and around the country to restore our Constitutional government.

Mr. Peter J. Thomas

Chairman

Peter J. Thomas was the National Field Director of TCC when the Caucus had chapters in most of the nation’s congressional districts. He served as director of communications for Papa Gino’s restaurants, founded and served as President of the Massachusetts Foundation for Economic Research, and was chief of staff to Congressman Peter Torkildsen. He was regional administrator of the General Services Administration under President Reagan, worked in the Small Business Administration under President Bush the elder, and was acting assistant secretary for administration in the Department of Agriculture under President Bush the younger.

Mr. Barry Goldwater, Jr. 

Honorary Chairman

Barry M. Goldwater, Jr. is Honorary Chairman of The Conservative Caucus. He served 14 years as a member of the U.S. Congress, representing a district in California, and is the son of the late Senator Barry Goldwater Sr., who was the first presidential candidate of the modern conservative movement.

 

Goldwater Jr. followed in his father’s footsteps as a conservative leader. In Congress, he co-authored the Privacy Act of 1974, one of the most important pieces of legislation protecting Americans’ privacy rights. He blocked the federal government from creating movies in-house, which would have taken jobs from the U.S. motion picture industry. On the Energy Research and Development Committee, he promoted energy independence in the wake of the OPEC embargo. He also served on the Space and Aviation Committee, which authorized and oversaw the historic Apollo 11 moon landing. An expert on aviation and transportation technology, he is a pilot with over 3,000 hours of flight time.

 

He campaigned for Ronald Reagan, a family friend whose emergence as a political figure came during the Goldwater for President campaign, and for other conservative candidates such as Ron Paul. He has won the Achievement Award from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, an award from the President’s Commission on Employment of the Handicapped, and the Conscience of the Congress Award of the American Conservative Union (the group behind CPAC).

 

Goldwater is a board member of the Goldwater Institute, a leading conservative think tank, which has an arm that sues government entities when they violate the Constitution and statutory law. He is also a member of the board of the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program, one of the most prestigious national undergraduate scholarships in the natural sciences, engineering, and mathematics; it is awarded to some 400 students per year.

Jim Pfaff

Mr. Jim Pfaff

President

Jim Pfaff is the President of The Conservative Caucus. Jim’s political career stretches over three decades. He served as a Chief of Staff in Washington, D.C. He has also been a communications, grassroots, and political consultant during that time. Through his company, he provided consulting in public policy and public relations; business research; media strategies; and on-the-ground consulting for political campaigns and grassroots organizations.

 

Jim served as Chief of Staff for two different Congressmen – Cong. Thomas Massie (R-KY) and Cong. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS). He also served as the Chief of Staff for the Colorado House Republican Caucus. He also served as Founder and Executive Director of Americans for Prosperity of Colorado, President of the Colorado Family Institute, and a National Representative for Family Policy Councils at Focus on the Family.

 

Jim is a seasoned grassroots and campaign operative having led major congressional, state legislative, and statewide ballot efforts.  As President/CEO of Innovative Research and Data Solutions, LLC and the Innovative Solutions Group, he provided consulting services, media consulting services, and communications products and services.

 

Jim is a nationally recognized public policy leader. He is known for his skills in strategic management, organizational development, and public outreach for government officials, political campaigns, and non-profit organizations.

 

He is a graduate of The Webb School in Bell Buckle, Tennessee. He studied English and Political Science at Indiana University.

Mr. Art Harman

Senior Vice President - Policy

Mr. Art Harman served as a Legislative Director in Congress where he developed the successful strategy to kill the 2013 Senate amnesty bill, wrote legislation and amendments, and learned from the inside how Congress really works. Harman is also President of the Coalition to Save Manned Space Exploration. Since 2010, he promoted the return to the Moon to decision makers, astronauts, and advised the 2016 Trump campaign on space policy, border security & international broadcasting as well as to the transition and White House. He was the advisor to Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX) on foreign affairs, border security, China and Taiwan, science & space. He also wrote the foundational bill for post-Brexit trade relations with the UK for Senator Mike Lee. His policy specialties include foreign policy, China, Taiwan, asymmetric deterrence, border security and NASA/space.

 

Mr. Harman produced TCC's long-running, nationally-televised public affairs television program, "Conservative Roundtable," and directed major grassroots lobbying and outreach programs. He is a veteran of many radio and TV interviews, and has been published on Red State, Epoch times, The Hill and more.

 

He’s served on the board of directors of three non-profits, and is an award-winning film producer and photographer. He has traveled extensively in the world and returned home each time with greater appreciation for other cultures as well as a renewed passion to defend the liberties and opportunities Americans often take for granted. He did a shocking inspection of our border with Mexico. Harman witnessed the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Soviet Union, was arrested by the KGB and stood in the footsteps of freedom fighters in Tiananmen Square.

Mr. Art Kelly

Director of Field Operations

Art Kelly is Director of Field Operations for The Conservative Caucus.  Prior to that, he served 7 years on the Board of Directors of TCC.

He was previously Director of Research and Legislation for American Target Advertising and its subsidiaries, ConservativeHQ.com and My60SecondScoops.com.  As part of his duties, he wrote the online newsletters, What’s Happening With Seniors Benefits and What’s Happening With Conservatives and the Tea Party.  

Prior to that, he was Vice President for Field Operations at United Seniors Association (USA), where he developed a nationwide network of grassroots leaders to educate the public and influence governmental policies.  According to Michael Murphy, President of Direct Mail Processors, USA was the only organization, liberal or conservative, which delivered its petitions on issues to members of Congress through its local grassroots leaders.

He served in the Reagan Administration in senior management positions at the U.S. Department of Education, including Director of Interagency Operations and the Secretary’s Regional Representative for a 5-state region, in which he received several special cash awards from different supervisors for outstanding achievements.

Before coming to Washington, D.C., Kelly spent 10 years as Chief of Staff to Texas State Senator Walter Mengden (R-Houston).  He managed the 1976 re-election campaign of Senator Mengden, who received more votes for state senator at that time than anyone else in Texas history.

Kelly has been extremely active in Toastmasters and has won numerous speech contests, including unprecedented championships in speech evaluation in two different Toastmasters districts.  He is the President Emeritus of the National Press Club Toastmasters in Washington, D.C.  During his term as President, that club was ranked #32 out of over 8,000 Toastmasters clubs worldwide. 

Melissa Ortiz

Mrs. Melissa Ortiz

Government Relations Manager

Melissa Ortiz identifies as a “happy warrior” and is enthusiastic about driving a dialogue between people living with disabilities or chronic illness and policy makers across the political spectrum. She has worked in the classroom in Nashville, Tennessee and in the nonprofit sector in New York City and Washington, DC. She was honored to serve as President Trump’s Commissioner of the Administration on Disabilities. Melissa is the Founder of Capability Consulting and was the first female board member of TCC. She currently resides in Washington, D.C. with her husband Tony and her retired Service Dog, Annie Oakley the Dachshund. When she isn’t working on disability policy issues or giving a motivational speech, her hobbies include reading historical fiction and doing crossword puzzles in ink. 

Mark Vargas

Mr. Mark Vargas

Strategic Communication & Donor Engagement

Mark Vargas is a trusted advisor and close confidante to some of the highest profile political and business leaders in America. He is widely respected as a political opinion writer and media strategist and appears regularly on local and national media. 

 

As an advisor with close ties to senior West Wing staff during the Trump Administration, Mr. Vargas, and as The Wall Street Journal reported, successfully “engineered the campaign to get Presidential clemency for Mr. Blagojevich,” the former Democratic Governor of Illinois who was serving a 14-year prison sentence. 

 

From 2007 to 2010, Mr. Vargas served as a civilian within the Office of the Secretary of Defense on a special Iraq Task Force, traveling to Baghdad 14 times. In 2009, he was awarded the Secretary of Defense Global War on Terrorism Civilian Service Medal.

 

A dedicated writer, Mr. Vargas is a columnist for Newsmax.com. He also appears regularly on Newsmax TV and The Stone Zone with Roger Stone offering insights and analysis on the top news stories of the day. He’s also co-owner and editor-in-chief of Illinois Review – the leading perspective and source of conservative news, opinion and information in Illinois. 

Ms. Donna Jackson

Board Member

Donna Jackson is director of membership development for Project 21, the national leadership network of African-American conservatives. 

 

She served as deputy controller for the Export-Import Bank of the United States, and worked in recruiting and communications for the successful campaigns of Governor Mike Huckabee, Senator Tim Hutchinson, and Congressman (now Governor) Asa Hutchinson. In the Huckabee administration, she recruited African-American candidates for executive-appointed boards and commissions and helped create job-training programs for community college and the Arkansas Office of Workforce Development. Her articles have appeared in more than 30 news outlets, and she appears frequently on such channels as One America News, Newsmax, PBS, and CNN.

Mr. Jim Weber

Board Member

Jim Weber is a veteran communications and campaign professional with extensive experience in public affairs, public relations, and political campaigns.  He has an extensive background in campaigning, advertising, direct response marketing and communications, polling, and journalism.

 

Jim has staffed Governors, state legislatures, Members of the U.S. House and Senate, and also served as the Regional Political Director for the Kemp for President Committee and for the National Republican Congressional Committee.

 

As a private political consultant, he has provided services for numerous Republican campaigns at the state and federal level.  Of note is his involvement in 1991 and  1995, when he developed the plans and strategies that helped Kirk Fordice become the first Republican ever elected, and re-elected Governor of Mississippi.  Outside the US, he has consulted for campaigns and political organizations in the US Virgin Islands and the Cayman Islands.

 

In 1995, he co founded the Weber Merritt Company, a national grassroots consultancy.  Several years later, he co founded the successful DC public relations firm, Qorvis Communications.  Today, he is  partner and founder of Bedrock Communications LLC, a grassroots consultancy in the image of his first firm, Weber Merritt.

 

He owned, edited, and published a small weekly newspaper early in his career.  And, in addition to “putting the paper out” every week, Jim is also a journeyman printer by trade.    

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Board Member

Senator Dick Black

Mr. Mark Weaver

Board Member

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