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

August 6, 2012

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Conservative Union (ACU) today announced its inaugural ACU Ratings of the Wisconsin State Legislature honoring the Badger 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 Wisconsin 2012 State 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 Wisconsin 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 Badger 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 Wisconsin 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 Badger 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 Wisconsin 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 Robert Cowles, Alberta Darling, Michael Ellis, Scott Fitzgerald, Pam Galloway, Glenn Grothman, Sheila Harsdorf, Neal Kedzie, Frank Lasee, Mary Lazich, Joe Leibham, Terry Moulton, Luther Olsen, Leah Vukmir, Van Wanggaard and Rich Zipperer.  In the Assembly, they are Tyler August, Joan Ballweg, Kathy Bernier, Garey Bies, Mike Endsley, Paul Farrow, Jeff Fitzgerald, Mark Honadel, Andre Jacque, Chris Kapenga, Samantha Kerkman, Steve Kestell, Joel Kleefisch, John Klenke, Joe Knilans, Dan Knodl, Dean Knudson, Dale Kooyenga, Bill Kramer, Scott Krug, Mike Kuglitsch, Tom Larson, Daniel LeMahieu, Michelle Litjens, Amy Loudenbeck, Howard Marklein, John Murtha, Stephen Nass, John Nygren, Alvin Ott, Jim Ott, Kevin Petersen, Jerry Petrowski, Warren Petryk, Keith Ripp, Roger Rivard, Erik Severson, Jim Steineke, Pat Strachota, Scott Suder, Gary Tauchen, Jeremy Thiesfeldt, Tom Tiffany, Karl Van Roy, Robin Vos, Chad Weininger, Mary Williams, Evan Wynn and Bob Ziegelbauer.

The winners of the “ACU Conservative” award – given to those members who scored 80 percent or higher – in the State Senate are Randy Hopper, Dan Kapanke and Dale Schultz.  In the Assembly, winners include: Ed Brooks, David Craig, Dean Kaufert, Dan Meyer, Jeffrey Mursau, Lee Nerison, Don Pridemore, Richard Spanbauer, Jeffrey Stone, Duey Stroebel and Travis Tranel.

In the Senate, the members who scored an atrocious “zero” on the ratings, earning “True Liberals of the Badger State” awards, include: Tim Carpenter, Jon Erpenbach, Chris Larson, Mark Miller, Fred Risser and Jennifer Shilling. “True Liberals” in the Assembly included: Terese Berceau, Jill Billings, Brett Hulsey, Frederick Kessler, Joe Parisi, Mark Pocan, Sondy Pope-Roberts, Kelda Helen Roys, Christine Sinicki, Chris Taylor and Barbara Toles.

Recently ACU 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 Wisconsin 2012 State 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 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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