About Us

Our Mission
The Commonwealth Policy Foundation (CPF) is dedicated to preserving the bedrock values of life, natural marriage, religious freedom and fiscal responsibility in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. It affirms as stated in the Kentucky Constitution that our civil, political and religious liberties come from God. To that end, it seeks to educate the general public on critical issues of the day, protect our freedoms, and work for policies that grow the Commonwealth. CPF is a 501c(3) non-profit, non-partisan organization.


"The vigilant protection of religious liberty is a value that all of us hold sacred.  Unfortunately, for many the incremental erosion of this freedom goes ignored until there is a sea change in our laws and cultural norms.  The Commonwealth Policy Foundation is a watchman on the wall when it comes to alerting churches and their members to the coming behemoth I call the “marginalization of the Christian world-view.” Having worked alongside Richard Nelson, I have witnessed his courage, commitment to Christ and his willingness to sacrifice in order to stand guard at the gate. We are indeed blessed to have this vital ministry."
             --Larry L. Crain, Founder and Senior Counsel for Church Law Institute, Nashville, TN   


"It is refreshing and most welcome to have Commonwealth Policy Foundation working in our state to provide valuable information and insight on the critical issues of our day. In a media world where there are many voices which espouse views and beliefs contrary to what we read in scripture, the availability of the Commonwealth Policy Foundation as a media resource is a wonderful asset. Its op-ed articles are very helpful to our newspaper and, as a result, to our readers."
            --Chip Hutcheson, President of the National Newspaper Association, Publisher of The Princeton Times Leader

"The longer I know Richard Nelson the more I appreciate his Christian faith, deep convictions, and tireless commitment to families and communities in the Commonwealth. Richard understands Kentucky values because he shares those values. And he has been a great help to people and churches all across the state who want to see our values preserved. As a fellow Baptist, I never have to wonder where Richard will stand on an issue. As a kind and thoughtful conservative, I never have to worry about how Richard will represent our people or positions. He continues to be a great help especially to those of us who are on the front lines in the religious liberty and right to life battles."
                  --Paul Chitwood, Executive Director of the Kentucky Baptist Convention

"I am grateful to God for Richard Nelson and CPF. He is a man of grace and truth, as is CPF. When the CPF speak on issues, they do so with clarity, fidelity to the teaching of Scripture, and with compassion. Richard has served me and the church I serve, our community, and the people of Kentucky for many years and is worthy of our support financially, prayerfully, and with words of affirmation."
                   --Pastor Jason Pettus, Living Hope Baptist Church, Bowling Green, KY

"We appreciate the dedication that Richard Nelson and Commonwealth Policy exemplifies to educate our community on issues that are of the greatest importance to the now generation and the future of our country.  We must act on truth and Commonwealth Policy stays the course daily in excellence keeping the commonwealth of Kentucky's citizens best interest their key focus.  Thankful to partner with them and recommend supporting Richard and his team."
                   -- Bridget Kerht-Groce, Executive Director Christian Family Radio, Bowling Green, KY

"Richard Nelson has been a regular monthly guest on my FEEDBACK talk show for several years.  I find him very professional in his discussions on the show.  He's interesting and informative, and although he remains true to hjs conservative positions, he presents them in a spirit of good will without being unnecessarily antagonistic.  My listeners, regardless of their political or religious views, respect him for his obvious sincerity which comes across in his broadcasts.  I heartily recommend his programs."
                   --Don Neagle, WRUS Radio station co-owner and member of KY Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame


“Pastors and churches often find themselves at a terrible disadvantage trying to stay abreast of the rapid changes in social policy and the constant assault on our religious freedoms. While we rightly busy ourselves with the main calling of the gospel, we often fail to notice that the liberties that enable that task are being systematically eroded and even attacked. Kentuckians of faith are blessed that we have the Commonwealth Policy Foundation not only to inform us, but also to stand guard and defend our most precious rights and to affect change consistent with our beliefs.”              
                        --Pastor Hershael York, Buck Run Baptist Church, Frankfort, KY



About the Director

Richard Nelson

Richard Nelson is the executive director of the Commonwealth Policy Center. He currently serves on the Pennyrile Christian Community Board and previously served on the Trigg County Hospital Corporation Board and also the Trigg County Fiscal Court as magistrate.

Richard’s articles and opinion pieces have appeared in several newspapers including the Lexington Herald-Leader, Cincinnati Enquirer, and Louisville Courier-Journal. He’s been a guest on Kentucky Educational Television’s (KET) Kentucky Tonight program. He hosts an hour-long, live weekly radio program that reaches much of Western Kentucky and produces the Commonwealth Minute—a daily radio commentary aired on dozens of stations. He is also a regular guest on radio shows throughout the state. He is available to speak to churches, governmental bodies and civic groups across the Commonwealth.

He served as a policy analyst with The Family Foundation of Kentucky from 1997-2012. Previous employment includes: Field biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Jamestown, ND; Research assistant in the Wisconsin State Capitol; Policy analyst for Family Research Institute of Wisconsin: and Board of Directors for Pro-life Wisconsin. He graduated with a BS in triple majors of biology, wildlife management and resource management from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point in 1992 and earned a Master of Arts in public policy from Regent University in 1995. He is certified by the Wildlife Society as a wildlife biologist and certified by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction as a secondary education teacher in environmental science.

Richard is an outdoors enthusiast and formerly ran an award-winning taxidermy studio in Cadiz, KY. In his free time, he enjoys hunting, fishing and camping with his family at Land between the Lakes. Father of three girls and a boy, he resides in Cadiz with his wife Kari of 28 years on their farm where they keep cattle, horses, two cats, and two dogs named Baby J and Copper.