Published Date: 
Thu, 2014-01-09

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Conservative Union (ACU) today announced its second annual ACU Ratings of the Missouri General Assembly, honoring the Show-Me 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 Missouri 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 Missouri 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 Missouri so they can hold their elected officials accountable at the state level as well. In our second year rating the Show-Me State, we applaud conservatives in the Missouri General Assembly who continue to fight for tax reform, employee rights, and conscience protections. However, we are disappointed that the Missouri House failed to override Governor Nixon’s veto of the tax cut and strongly urge the legislature to take this measure up again as many have advocated.  We also urge the Senate to take up HJR 17, a proposed constitutional amendment to cap annual spending increases, that passed the House by a veto-proof margin.”

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. Last year, ACU graded state legislators in 15 critical states and expanded their ratings to 20 states in 2013.

The ACU Ratings of the Missouri 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 Show-Me 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 Missouri 2013 State Legislative Ratings were chosen to create a clear ideological distinction among those casting them.

The “ACU Defenders of Liberty Award” goes to those members of the Missouri General Assembly who scored 100 percent on the ACU Missouri 2013 State Legislative Ratings. In the State Senate, recipients are: Dan Brown, Brian Nieves, and Eric Schmitt. In the House: Kurt Bahr, Eric Burlison, Mike Cierpiot, Steve Cookson, Robert Cornejo, Stanley Cox, Kevin Elmer, Chuck Gatschenberger, Elijah Haahr, Ron Hicks, Caleb Jones, Timothy Jones, Shelley Keeney, Andrew Koenig, Mark Parkinson, Shawn Rhoads, Todd Richardson, Robert Ross, and Bryan Spencer.

The winners of the “ACU Conservative” award – given to those members who scored 80 percent or higher – in the Senate are: Ed Emery, Will Kraus, Brad Lager, John Lamping, Doug Libla, Mike Parson, David Pearce, David Sater, Kurt Schaefer, Ryan Silvey, and Gary Romine. House recipients include: Sue Allen, Sonya Anderson, Kevin Austin, Mike Bernskoetter, T.J. Berry, Rick Brattin, Wanda Brown, Kathie Conway, Sandy Crawford, Gary Cross, Paul Curtman, Charlie Davis, John Diehl, Dean Dohrman, Tony Dugger, Kevin Engler, Scott Fitzpatrick, Tom Flanigan, Diane Franklin, Keith Frederick, Doug Funderburk, Don Gosen, Jeff Grisamore, Casey Guernsey, Marsha Haefner, Dave Hinson, Denny Hoskins, Jay Houghton, Tom Hurst, Delus Johnson, Jeffery Justus, Mike Kelley, Glen Kolkmeyer, Bart Korman, Mike Lair, Bill Lant, Mike Leara, Donna Lichtenegger, Warren Love, Steve Lynch, Rocky Miller, Mike Moon, Lynn Morris, Dave Muntzel, Myron Neth, Randy Pike, Jeff Pogue, Holly Rehder, Bill Reiboldt, Tim Remole, Jeanie Riddle, Lyle Rowland, Dwight Scharnhorst, Dave Schatz, Noel Shull, Lindell Shumake, Chrissy Sommer, Rick Stream, Kathryn Swan, Paul Wieland, and Kenneth Wilson.

The members who scored an atrocious “zero” on the ratings, earning “True Liberals of the Show- Me State” awards, are – in the House: Bob Burns, Randy Dunn, Jacob Hummel, Jeremy LaFaver, Gail McCann Beatty, Tom McDonald, Sue Meredith, Bonnaye Mims, Genise Montecillo, Judy Morgan, Mary Nichols, Bill Otto, Joshua Peters, Tommie Pierson, Jay Swearingen, Rochelle Walton Gray, and Stephen Webber. There were no “True Liberals” in the Senate.

For more information on the American Conservative Union or to download the full Missouri 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.