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American Conservative Union Announces Conservative Ratings of the Indiana General Assembly

November 19, 2012

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Conservative Union (ACU) today announced its ACU Ratings of the Indiana General Assembly during an event in Indianapolis, Indiana, honoring The Hoosier 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 Indiana 2012 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 2012 State Legislative Ratings for members of the Indiana 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 The Hoosier State so they can hold their elected officials accountable at the state level as well. As we highlighted at our regional CPAC in Chicago earlier this year, we applaud conservatives in the Indiana Legislature who continue to fight for the rights of the unborn and against tax increases and government waste.”

Last year, 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 the battleground states of Florida, Nevada, Indiana, Ohio and the Commonwealth of Virginia. In the second year of this new program, the ACU is issuing these ratings in fifteen states, based on the legislators’ votes on conservative issues.

The ACU Ratings of the Indiana 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 Hoosier 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 our State 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 Indiana General Assembly who were present and cast a vote for each adjudicated roll call and scored 100 percent on the ACU 2012 State Legislative Ratings. In the State Senate, the recipients are Jim Buck, Doug Eckerty, Susan Glick, Travis Holdman, Dennis Kruse, and Jean Leising. In the House of Representatives, the recipients are Jim Baird,Wesley Culver, Bill Davis, Steve Davisson, Jeff Espich, William Friend, Douglas Gutwein, Cindy Kirchhofer, Thomas Knollman, Eric Koch, Don Lehe, Matthew Lehman, L. Jack Lutz, Kevin Mahan, Robery Morris, Cindy Noe, Rhonda Rhoads, Kath Richardson, Greg Steuerwald, and Timothy Wesco.

The winners of the “ACU Conservative” award – given to those members who scored 80 percent or higher – in the State Senate are Jim Banks, Phil Boots. Richard Bray, Ed Charbonneau, Mike Delph, Beverly Gard, Ron Grooms, Randy Head, Brandt Hershman, Luke Kenley, Connie Lawson, Davis Long, James Merritt, Patricia Miller, Ryan Mishler, Allen Paul, Scott Schneider, Jim Smith, Brent Steele, Greg Walker, Thomas Wyss, Carlin Yoder, Michael Young, and Joseph Zakas. In the House of Representatives, the recipients are Robert Behning, Bruce Borders, Brian Bosma, Timothy Brown, Woody Burton, Bob Cherry, Edward Clere, Suzanne Crouch, Thomas Dermody, Richard Dodge, Sean Eberhart, Sue Ellspermann, Ralph Foley, David Frizell, Randy Frye, Bob Heaton, Kathy Heuer, Phillip Hinkle, Mike Karickhoff, Rebecca Kubacki, Dan Leonard, Richard Mcclain, Jud McMillin, Wendy McNamara, Mark Messmer, Tim Neese, Phyllis Pond, Milo Smith, Edmond Soliday, Mike Speedy, Jeff Thompson, Jerry Torr, Randolph Truitt, P. Eric Turner, Matt Ubelhor, Heath Vannatter, David Wolkins, and David Yarde.

In the House of Representatives, the members who scored an atrocious “zero” on the ratings, earning a “True Liberals of The Hoosier State” award, are John Bartlett, Charlie Brown, William Crawford, John Day, Edward Delaney, Nancy Dembowski, Phil Gia Quinta, Matt Pierce, Gregory Porter, Cherrish Pryor, and Vanessa Summers.

Chairman Cardenas announced that the legendary Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) is going back on the road this fall, hosting the second in a series of 2012 regional CPACs in Denver, Colorado. Scheduled for Thursday, October 4, 2012, at the Crowne Plaza Denver International Airport, CPAC Colorado will energize and mobilize Mountain West conservatives, giving them the tools needed to defeat the liberal agenda in 2012, while also highlighting rising conservative stars and issues in the region. Online registration is now available 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.

For more information on the American Conservative Union or to download the full Indiana 2012 State Legislative Ratings Guide, please visit our website at conservative.org.


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Founded in 1964, the American Conservative Union (ACU) is the original conservative organization in the nation. For more than fifty years, ACU has served as an umbrella organization harnessing the collective strength of conservative organizations fighting for Americans who are concerned with liberty, personal responsibility, traditional values, and strong national defense. As America's premier conservative voice, ACU is the leading entity in providing conservative positions on issues to Congress, the Executive Branch, State Legislatures, the media, political candidates, and the public. Read More

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