American Conservative Union Announces Conservative Ratings of the North Carolina General Assembly

November 15, 2012

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Conservative Union (ACU) today announced its ACU Ratings of the North Carolina General Assembly during an event in Raleigh, North Carolina, honoring the Tar Heel 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 North Carolina 2012 State Legislative Ratings Guide is now available online at

“On behalf of the American Conservative Union, I am pleased to announce the winners of our 2012 State Legislative Ratings for members of the North Carolina 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 Tar Heel State so they can hold their elected officials accountable at the state level as well.”

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, North Carolina, 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 North Carolina 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 Tar Heel 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 inaugural 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 North Carolina 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 Austin Allran, Tom Apodaca, Stan Bingham, Harris Blake, Andrew Brock, Harry Brown, Peter Brunstetter, Chris Carney, Warren Daniel, Don East, Rick Gunn, Kathy Harrington, Brent Jackson, Wesley Meredith, E. S. Buck Newton, Louis Pate, Bill Rabon, David Rouzer, Bob Rucho, Dan Soucek, Jerry Tillman, Tommy Tucker, and Wes Westmoreland. In the House of Representatives, the recipients are Hugh Blackwell, James Boles Jr., Justin Burr, Jeff Collins, Jimmy Dixon, Mark Hilton, Bert Jones, Jonathan Jordan, Darrell McCormick, Tom Murry, Shirley Randleman, Norman Sanderson, Paul Stam, Mike Stone, Thom Tillis, and John Torbett.

The winners of the “ACU Conservative” award – given to those members who scored 80 percent or higher – in the State Senate are Phil Berger, Jim Davis, Thom Goolsby, Fletcher Hartsell, Ralph Hise, Neal Hunt, Jean Preston, and Richard Stevens. In the House of Representatives, the recipients are Marilyn Avila, John Blust, Glen Bradley, William Brawley, William Brisson, Larry Brown, Rayne Brown, Harold Brubaker, George Cleveland, Bill Cook, James Crawford, William Current, N. Leo Daughtry, Jerry Dockham, Nelson Dollar, John Faircloth, Dale Folwell, Phillip Frye, Mitch Gillespie, Mike Hager, Kelly Hastings, Mark Hollo, Bryan Holloway, D. Craig Horn, Julia Howard, Pat Hurley, Frank Iler, Dan Ingle, Linda Johnson, Carolyn Justice, Ric Killian, Stephen Laroque, David Lewis, Daniel McComas, Pat McElraft, Wm. C. “Bill” McGee, Grey Mills, Tim Moffitt, Tim Moore, Larry Pittman, G. L. Pridgen, Efton Sager, Jason Saine, Ruth Samuelson, Mitchell Setzer, Phil Shepard, Edgar Starnes, Fred Steen, Sarah Stevens, Trudi Walend, Harry Warren, and Roger West.

In the House of Representatives, the members who scored an atrocious “zero” on the ratings, earning a “True Liberals of the Tar Heel State” award, are Alma Adams, Marth Alexander, Larry Bell, Alice Bordsen, Jean Farmer-Butterfield, Susan Fisher, R. Phillip Haire, Verla Insko, Maggie Jeffus, and Joe Tolson.

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 North Carolina 2012 State Legislative Ratings Guide, please visit our website at


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