American Conservative Union Announces Inaugural Conservative Ratings of the New Jersey State Legislature

December 16, 2012

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Conservative Union (ACU) today announced its inaugural ACU Ratings of the New Jersey State Legislature honoring the Garden 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 New Jersey 2012 State Legislative Ratings Guide is now available online at conservative.org.

“On behalf of the American Conservative Union, I am pleased to present our 2012 State Legislative Ratings for members of the New Jersey State 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 Garden 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 New Jersey State Legislature will include scores for each individual member in both the State Senate and General 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 Garden 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 announced the winners of the “Defender of Liberty” award, given to those members of the New Jersey 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, these members included Anthony R. Bucco, Michael J. Doherty, Steven V. Oroho, and Joseph Pennacchio. In the General Assembly, winners were Jon M. Bramnick, Chris A. Brown, Anthony M. Bucco, Gary R. Chiusano, Sean T. Kean, Gregory P. McGuckin, Alison Littell McHose, Nancy F. Munoz, David P. Rible, Donna M. Simon, and Jay Webber.

The winners of the “ACU Conservative” award – given to those members who scored 80 percent or higher – in the State Senate are Dawn Marie Addiego, Gerald Cardinale, James Holzapfel, Joseph M. Kyrillos, Jr., Kevin J. O’Toole, and Samuel D. Thompson.

In the Assembly, winners include: Mary Pat Angelini, Christopher J. Brown, Michael Patrick Carroll, Jack M. Ciattarelli, Robert D. Clifton, Ronald S. Dancer, BettyLou DeCroce, John DiMaio, DiAnne C. Gove, Amy H. Handlin, Declan J. O’Scanlon, Jr., Erik Peterson, Scott Rudder, Scott T. Rumana, David C. Russo, Holly Schepisi, Robert Schroeder and David W. Wolfe.

In the Senate, the members who scored an atrocious “zero” on the ratings, earning “True Liberals of the Garden State” awards, include: James Beach Barbara Buono. Richard J. Codey, Sandra B. Cunningham, Nia H. Gill, Robert M. Gordon, Linda R. Greenstein, Raymond J. Lesniak, Fred H. Madden, Jr., Donald Norcross, Nellie Pou, ,M. Teresa Ruiz, Paul A. Sarlo, Nicholas P. Scutari, Bob Smith, Brian P. Stack, Stephen M. Sweeney, Shirley K. Turner, Joseph F. Vitale, Loretta Weinberg and Jim Whelan. “True Liberals” in the Assembly include: Peter J. Barnes III, Daniel R. Benson, John J. Burzichelli, Ralph R. Caputo, Marlene Caride, Upendra J. Chivukula, Herb Conaway, Jr., Sean Connors, Craig J. Coughlin, Albert Coutinho, Patrick J. Diegnan, Jr., Timothy J. Eustace, Angel Fuentes, Thomas P. Giblin, Jerry Green, Louis D. Greenwald, Reed Gusciora, Mila M. Jasey, Angelica M. Jimenez, Gordon M. Johnson, Pamela R. Lampitt, Charles Mainor, John F. McKeon, Paul D. Moriarty, Gabriela M. Mosquera, Sheila Y. Oliver, Vincent Prieto, Annette Quijano, Ruben J. Ramos, Jr., Celeste M. Riley, Troy Singleton, L. Grace Spencer, Linda Stender, Shavonda E. Sumter, Cleopatra G. Tucker, Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Connie Wagner, Bonnie Watson Coleman, Gilbert L Wilson, Benjie E. Wimberly, and John S. Wisniewski.

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 New Jersey 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 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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