American Conservative Union Announces Inaugural Conservative Ratings of the California State Legislature

August 7, 2012

SACRAMENTO, CA – The American Conservative Union (ACU) today announced its inaugural ACU Ratings of the California State Legislature during an event in Sacramento, California honoring the Golden 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 California 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 California Legislature,” 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 Golden State so they can hold their elected officials accountable at the state level as well. Conservatives in this year’s California Legislature fought for worker’s rights, and against union sponsored bills who tried to make it almost impossible for non union businesses to get state contracts.”

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 California State Legislature will include scores for each individual member in both the State Senate and Assembly, a description of the votes scored and lists of members receiving special recognition as “Defenders of Liberty,” “ACU Conservatives,” or “True Liberals of the Golden 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 California State Legislature 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 only recipient is Joel Anderson. In the Assembly, they are Tim Donnelly, Linda Halderman, Steve Knight, Allan Mansoor, Mike Morrell and Jim Silva.

The winners of the “ACU Conservative” award – given to those members who scored 80 percent or higher – in the State Senate are Tom Berryhill, Sam Blakeslee, Anthony Cannella, Jean Fuller, Ted Gaines, Minority Leader Bob Huff, Doug LaMalfa, Sharon Runner, Tony Strickland, Mimi Walters and Mark Wyland. In the Assembly, winners include: Katcho Achadjian, Bill Berryhill, Republican Leader Connie Conway, Paul Cook, Beth Gaines, Martin Garrick, Jeff Gorell, Shannon Grove, Curt Hagman, Diane Harkey, Kevin Jeffries, Brian Jones, Dan Logue, Jeff Miller, Brian Nestande, Jim Nielsen, Chris Norby, Kristin Olsen, David Valadao and Don Wagner.

In the Senate, the members who scored an atrocious “zero” on the ratings, earning “True Liberals of the Golden State” awards, include: Elaine K. Alquist, Ron Calderon, Ellen M. Corbett, Kevin de León, Loni Hancock, Ed Hernandez, Christine Kehoe, Mark Leno, Ted W. Lieu, Carol Liu, Gloria Negrete McLeod, Alex Padilla, Curren D. Price, Jr., Darrell Steinberg, Juan Vargas and Leland Yee. “True Liberals” in the Assembly include: Luis A. Alejo, Toni Atkins, Jim Beall, Marty Block, Bob Blumenfield, Susan Bonilla, Steven Bradford, Julia Brownley, Joan Buchanan, Betsy Butler, Charles M. Calderon, Nora Campos, Wilmer Carter, Gilbert Cedillo, Mike Davis, Roger Dickinson, Mike Eng, Mike Feuer, Paul Fong, Felipe Fuentes, Warren T. Furutani, Isadore Hall, Mary Hayashi, Edward P. Hernandez, Ben Hueso, Ricardo Lara, Bonnie Lowenthal, Fiona Ma, Tony Mendoza, Holly Mitchell, Richard Pan, John A. Pérez, V. Manuel Pérez, Anthony Portantino, Nancy Skinner, Jose Solorio, Sandré R. Swanson, Norma Torres, Bob Wieckowski and Das Williams.

Recently 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

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 California 2012 State Legislative Ratings Guide, please visit our website at


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Founded in 1964, the American Conservative Union (ACU) is the oldest and largest grassroots conservative organization in the nation. For more than forty 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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