November 17, 2013
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Conservative Union (ACU) today announced its first annual ACU Ratings of the Arkansas General Assembly, honoring the Natural State’s true conservatives. The nation’s oldest and largest grassroots conservative organization began a new initiative to expand the highly touted ACU Congressional Ratings program to state legislatures, grading members on their votes on key conservative issues. The Arkansas 2013 State Legislative Ratings guide is now available online at conservative.org.
“On behalf of the American Conservative Union, I am pleased to announce the winners of our 2013 State Legislative Ratings for members of the Arkansas General Assembly,” said ACU Chairman Al Cardenas. “For 42 years ACU has set the gold standard for Congressional ratings, and we are now able to offer that same level of transparent information to the voters of Arkansas so they can hold their elected officials accountable at the state level as well. In our first year rating the Natural State, we applaud conservatives in the Arkansas General Assembly who continue to fight for the Second Amendment, pro-life initiatives, and property rights and to stop Obamacare implementation.”
In 2011, the American Conservative Union launched a new initiative to bring its annual Ratings of Congress – considered the gold standard of conservative voter education guides – to the state level, issuing inaugural ratings of state legislators in five battleground states: Florida, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia. Last year, ACU graded state legislators in 15 critical states and this year they are expanding their ratings to 20 states.
The ACU Ratings of the Arkansas General Assembly will include scores for each individual member in both the State Senate and House of Representatives, a description of the votes scored and lists of members receiving special recognition as “Defenders of Liberty,” “ACU Conservatives,” or “True Liberals of the Natural State.”
The ACU tracks a wide range of issues before state legislatures to determine which issues and votes serve as a clear litmus test separating those representatives who defend liberty and liberal members who have turned their backs on our founding principles – constitutionally limited government, individual liberty, free markets, a strong national defense and traditional values. The votes selected for Arkansas General Assembly Ratings were chosen to create a clear ideological distinction among those casting them.
ACU today recognized the winners of the “Defender of Liberty” award, given to those members of the Arkansas General Assembly who were present and cast a vote for each adjudicated roll call and scored 100 percent on the 2013 State Legislative Ratings. In the House of Representatives, the recipients are: Nate Bell, Jim Dotson, Justin T. Harris, Debra M. Hobbs, David Meeks, Stephen Meeks, Josh Miller, Richard Womack, Charlotte Vining Douglas, Kim Hammer, Lane Jean, and Bruce Westerman. In the Senate, the recipients are: Cecile Bledsoe, Jim Hendren, Bart Hester, and Bryan King.
The winners of the “ACU Conservative” award – given to those members who scored 80 percent or higher – in the House of Representatives are: John Payton, Bob Ballinger, Jonathan Barnett, Bruce Cozart, Robert E. Dale, Gary Deffenbaugh, Joe Farrer, Charlene Fite, Bill Gossage, Terry Rice, Randy Alexander, David L. Branscum, Mary P. Hickerson, and Allen Kerr. In the Senate, the recipients are: Alan Clark, Jane English, Gary Stubblefield, David J. Sanders, Eddie Joe Williams, Jimmy Hickey, and Missy Irvin.
The members who scored an atrocious “zero” on the ratings, earning “True Liberals of the Natural State” awards, are – in the House: Representatives Eddie L. Armstrong, Patti Julian, Greg Leding, Reginald Murdock, Jim Nickels, Warwick Sabin, Charles L. Armstrong, Mary Broadaway, Monte Hodges, Walls McCrary, Mark D. McElroy, George B. McGill, Perry, John W. Walker, and James L. Word. In the Senate, the recipients are: Joyce Elliott, Linda Chesterfield, and Uvalde Lindsey.
Founded in 1964, the ACU represents the views of Americans who are concerned with economic growth through lower taxes and reduced government spending and the issues of liberty, personal responsibility, traditional values and national security. ACU first began rating members of Congress on key conservative voting issues in 1971, and since then their ratings system has become the most important conservative measuring stick in American politics.
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