Published Date: 
Thu, 2014-01-30

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Conservative Union (ACU) today announced its 2013 ACU Ratings of the Illinois General Assembly, honoring the Prairie 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 Illinois 2013 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 2013 State Legislative Ratings for members of the Illinois General Assembly,” said ACU Chairman Al Cardenas. “For 42 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 Illinois so they can hold their elected officials accountable at the state level as well. Despite their small numbers, we applaud conservatives in the Illinois General Assembly for standing fast against spending increases at a time the state cannot pay its bills, for local control of education and in favor of traditional marriage.”

In 2011, 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 five battleground states: Florida, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia. In 2012, ACU graded state legislators in 15 critical states and in 2013, they expanded their ratings to 20 states.

The ACU Ratings of the Illinois 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 Prairie 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, and traditional values. The votes selected for Illinois 2013 State Legislative Ratings were chosen to create a clear ideological distinction among those casting them.

The ACU “Defender of Liberty” award goes to those members of the Illinois General Assembly who scored 100 percent on the ACU Illinois 2013 State Legislative Ratings. In the State Senate, recipients are: Michael Connelly, Dan Duffy, Darin LaHood, Jim Oberweis, Sue Rezin and Dave Syverson.  In the House: Brad Halbrook, Dwight Kay, David McSweeney, Thomas Morrison, Timothy Schmitz, Joe Sosnowski and Barbara Wheeler.

The winners of the “ACU Conservative” award – given to those members who scored 80 percent or higher – in the Senate: Pamela Althoff, Tim Bivins, William Brady, Kyle McCarter, Karen McConnaughay, Matt Murphy, Christine Radogno, Dale Righter and Chapin Rose.

"ACU Conservatives” in the House include: Patricia Bellock, Mike Bost, Dan Brady, Rich Brauer, Adam Brown, John Cabello, John Cavaletto, C.D. Davidsmeyer, Tom Demmer, Jim Durkin, Mike Fortner, Norine Hammond, Josh Harms, David Harris, Kay Hatcher, Chad Hays, Jeanne Ives, Renée Kosel, David Leitch, Charles Meier, Bill Mitchell, Donald Moffitt, JoAnn Osmond, Raymond Poe, Robert Pritchard, Dennis Reboletti, David Reis, Wayne Rosenthal, Pam Roth, Ron Sandack, Darlene Senger, Keith Sommer, Ed Sullivan, Jr., Jil Tracy, Michael Tryon and Michael Unes.

The members who scored an atrocious “zero” on the ratings, earning “True Liberals of the Prairie State” awards, are – in the House: Kelly Cassidy, John D’Amico, Anthony DeLuca, Laura Fine, Esther Golar, Jay Hoffman, Naomi Jakobsson, Robert Martwick, Rita Mayfield, Derrick Smith, André Thapedi and Emanuel Chris Welch.

In the Senate: Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant, James Clayborne Jr., Jacqueline Collins, Thomas Cullerton, Bill Cunningham, William Delgado, Michael Frerichs, Napoleon Harris, Michael Hastings, Linda Holmes, Mattie Hunter, Toi Hutchinson, Emil Jones, Kimberly Lightford, Terry Link, Andy Manar, Iris Martinez, Pat McGuire, Julie Morrison, John Mulroe, Antonio Muñoz, Michael Noland, Kwame Raoul, Martin Sandoval, Ira Silverstein and Patricia Van Pelt.

For more information on the American Conservative Union or to download the full Illinois 2013 State Legislative Ratings Guide, please click here or visit our website at