August 12, 2013

For Immediate Release: August 13, 2013

Contact: Laura Keehner Rigas, (202) 347-9388, lrigas@conservative.org

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Conservative Union (ACU) today announced its second annual ACU Ratings of the Georgia General Assembly, honoring the Peach 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 Georgia 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 Georgia General Assembly,” said ACU Chairman Al Cardenas. “For 40 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 Georgia so they can hold their elected officials accountable at the state level as well. In our second year rating the Peach State, we applaud conservatives in the Georgia General Assembly who continue to fight for Second Amendment rights, the right to life, and against Obamacare.”

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 Georgia 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 Peach 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 Georgia Legislative 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 Georgia General Assembly who were present and cast a vote for each adjudicated roll call and scored 100 percent on the ACU 2013 State Legislative Ratings. In the House of Representatives, the recipients are Buzz Brockway, Mark Hamilton, Donna Sheldon, Chuck Martin, and Sam Teasley.  In the State Senate, the recipients are Buddy Carter, Ronnie Chance, Tyler Harper, Hunter Hill, Steve Gooch, William T. Ligon, Jr., Jack Murphy, and Lindsey Tippins.

The winners of the “ACU Conservative” award – given to those members who scored 80 percent or higher – in the House of Representatives are Stephen Allison, Alex Atwood, Mandi Ballinger, Timothy Barr, Paul Battles, Ellis Black, Jon G. Burns, Michael Caldwell, John Carson, David Casas, Joyce Chandler, Mickey Channell, Valerie Clark, Brooks Coleman, Kevin Cooke, Christian Coomer, Sharon Cooper, Katie M. Dempsey, Robert Dickey, Matt Dollar, Mike Dudgeon, Geoff Duncan, Delvis Dutton, Earl Ehrhart, Barry Fleming, Rich Golick, Micah Gravley, Ben Harbin, Buddy Harden, Brett Harrell, Matt Hatchett, Lee Hawkins, Dustin Hightower, Bill Hitchens, Susan Holmes, Doug Holt, Penny Houston, Mike Jacobs, Rick Jasperse, Jan Jones, Trey Kelley, Tom Kirby, David Knight, Edward Lindsey, Eddie Lumsden, Howard Maxwell, Greg Morris, Chad Nimmer, Randy Nix, Larry O’Neal, Don Parsons, Allen Peake, John David Pezold, Jay Powell, Jimmy Pruett, Matt Ramsey, Lynne Riley, Jay Roberts, Carl Rogers, Terry Rogers, Jason Shaw, Barbara Sims, Lynn Smith, Jason Spencer, David Stover, Brian Strickland, Willie Talton, Jan Tankersley, Darlene K. Taylor, Scot Turner, Ben Watson Andrew J. Welch, Tom Weldon, Bruce Williamson, and John P. Yates. In the State Senate, the recipients are Don Balfour, Brandon Beach, Charlie Bethel, Dean Burke, Bill Cowsert, John Crosby, Frank Ginn, Bill Heath, Jack Hill, Bill Jackson, Rick Jeffares, Burt Jones, Barry Loudermilk, Fran Millar, Jeff Mullis, David Shafer, Cecil Staton, Jesse Stone, Ross Tolleson, Renee S. Unterman, and Tommie Williams.

The members who scored an atrocious “zero” on the ratings, earning “True Liberals of the Peach State” awards, are – in the House of Representatives – Simone Bell, Karen Bennett, Pam Dickerson, Karla Drenner, Winfred J. Dukes, Gloria Frazier, Carolyn Hugley, Quincy Murphy, Dexter Sharper, Brian Thomas, “Able” Mable Thomas, and David Wilkerson. The true liberals in the State Senate are Gloria Butler, Gail Davenport, Steve Henson, Freddie Powell Sims and Horacena Tate.

For more information on the American Conservative Union or to download the full Georgia 2013 State Legislative Ratings Guide, please click here or visit our website at conservative.org.

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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