American Conservative Union Announces Inaugural Conservative Ratings of the Colorado General Assembly

June 28, 2012

DENVER, CO – The American Conservative Union (ACU) today announced its inaugural ACU Ratings of the Colorado General Assembly during an event in Denver, Colorado, honoring the Centennial State’s true conservatives. The nation’s oldest and largest grassroots conservative organization recently announced a new initiative to expand the highly touted ACU Congressional Ratings program to state legislatures for the first time ever, grading members on their votes on key conservative issues. The 2012 Colorado Legislative Ratings Guide is now available online at

“On behalf of the American Conservative Union, I am pleased to present our 2012 State Legislative Ratings for members of the Colorado General Assembly,” said ACU Chairman Al Cardenas. “Just as Colorado is an important battleground state in November’s presidential election, it is vital for its voters to receive unbiased and transparent information so they can hold their elected officials accountable.”

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 Colorado 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 Centennial 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.

Chairman Al Cardenas today recognized the winners of the “Defender of Liberty” award, given to those members of the Colorado General Assembly who scored 100 percent. In the State Senate, these members included Minority Leader Bill Cadman, Kevin Grantham, Ted Harvey, Kent Lambert, Kevin Lundberg, Shawn Mitchell, Tim Neville, and Scott Renfroe. In the House, they are Cindy Acree, David G. Balmer, Mark Barker, Randy Baumgardner, Don Beezley, Brian DelGrosso, Bob Gardner, Janak Joshi, Marsha Looper, Carole Murray, Majority Leader Amy Stephens, Spencer Swalm, Libby Szabo, and Mark Waller.

The winners of the “ACU Conservative” award – given to those members who scored 80 percent or higher – in the State Senate are Greg Brophy, Keith King, Steve King, Ellen Roberts, Mark Scheffel, Nancy Spence, and Jean White. In the House, winners include Jon Becker, Laura Bradford, J. Paul Brown, Kathleen Conti, Don Coram, Cheri Gerou, Chris Holbert, James Kerr, Larry Liston, Speaker Frank McNulty, B.J. Nikkel, Kevin Priola, Robert Ramirez, Ray Scott, Jerry Sonnenberg, Ken Summers, Keith Swerdfeger, and Glenn Vaad.

In the Senate, the members who scored an atrocious “zero” on the ratings earned “True Liberal of the Centennials” awards, including: Irene Aguilar, Bob Bacon, Morgan Carroll, Angela Giron, Rollie Heath, Evie Hudak, John Morse, and Jeanne Nicholson. “True Liberals” in the House included: Lois Court, Crisanta Duran, Minority Leader Mark Ferrandino, Rhonda Fields, Randy Fischer, Dickey Lee Hullinghorst, John Kefalas, Jeanne Labuda, Beth McCann, Dan Pabon, Su Ryden, Sue Schafer, Nancy Todd, and Angela Williams.

Earlier this month, 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 2012 Colorado Legislative Ratings Guide, please visit our website at


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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