Published Date: 
Tue, 2014-01-28

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Conservative Union (ACU) today announced its first ACU Ratings of the Indiana General Assembly, honoring the Hoosier 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 Indiana 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 Indiana 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 Indiana so they can hold their elected officials accountable at the state level as well. The legislature should be commended on a record of accomplishment and advancing conservative principles in 2013.  From tax cuts to protecting the rights of the unborn to expanding school choice, Indiana is a model for other states to follow.  We urge the House to take up SJR 2,  a measure to guarantee the right to a secret ballot for union elections, that passed the Senate overwhelmingly in 2013.”

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 Indiana 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 Hoosier 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 Indiana 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 Indiana General Assembly who scored 100 percent on the ACU Indiana 2013 State Legislative Ratings. In the House, recipients are: Peggy Mayfield, Mark Messmer and Alan Morrison, plus Jim Banks in the Senate.

The winners of the “ACU Conservative” award – given to those members who scored 80 percent or higher – in the Senate: Phil Boots, Rodric Bray, Jim Buck, Ed Charbonneau, Michael Crider, Mike Delph, Doug Eckerty, Ron Grooms, Brandt Hershman, Travis Holdman, Dennis Kruse, Sue Landske, Jean Leising, David Long, Pat Miller, Pete Miller, Ryan Mishler, Johnny Nugent, Allen Paul, Scott Schneider, Jim Smith, Brent Steele, Greg Walker, Brent Waltz, Carlin Yoder and Michael Young.

"ACU Conservatives” in the House include: Lloyd Arnold, Jim Baird, Robert Behning, Steve Braun, Tim Brown, Woody Burton, Martin Carbaugh, Bob Cherry, Edward Clere, Wes Culver, Bill Davis, Steve Davisson, Dale Devon, William Friend, David Frizzell, Doug Gutwein, Dick Hamm, Tim Harman, Bob Heaton, Kathy Heuer, Todd Huston, Mike Karickhoff, Cindy Kirchhofer, Eric Allan Koch, Rebecca Kubacki, Don Lehe, Matt Lehman, Dan Leonard, Jim Lucas, L. Jack Lutz, Jud McMillin, Robert Morris, Sharon Negele, David Ober, Phyllis Pond (deceased), John Price, Rhonda Rhoads, Kathy Richardson, Hal Slager, Ben Smaltz, Milo Smith, Mike Speedy, Greg Steuerwald, Jeff Thompson, Jerry Torr, P. Eric Turner, Matt Ubelhor, Heath VanNatter, Tom Washburne, Tim Wesco, David Wolkins, Denny Zent and Cindy Ziemke.

There were no members who scored an atrocious “zero” on the ratings, earning “True Liberals of the Hoosier State.”

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