ACU Announces Third Annual Conservative Ratings of the Virginia General Assembly

For Immediate Release: May 15, 2013

Contact: Laura Keehner Rigas, (202) 347-9388, [email protected]

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Conservative Union (ACU) today announced its third annual ACU Ratings of the Virginia General Assembly, honoring the Old Dominion’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 Virginia 2013 State Legislative Ratings guide is now available online at conservative.org.

“On behalf of the American Conservative Union, I am pleased to announce the winners of our 2013 State Legislative Ratings for members of the Virginia General Assembly,” 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 Old Dominion so they can hold their elected officials accountable at the state level as well. In our third year rating the Commonwealth, we applaud conservatives in the Virginia General Assembly who continue to fight against higher taxes, against Obamacare and for the rights of the unborn.”

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: Colorado, Florida, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia. Last year, ACU graded state legislators in 15 critical states and this year they are expanding their ratings to 20 states.

The ACU Ratings of the Virginia General Assembly will include scores for each individual member in both the State Senate and House of Delegates, a description of the votes scored and lists of members receiving special recognition as “Defenders of Liberty,” “ACU Conservatives,” or “True Liberals of Old Dominion.”

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 Virginia Legislative Ratings were chosen to create a clear ideological distinction among those casting them.

ACU today recognized the winners of the “Defender of Liberty” award, given to those members of the Virginia General Assembly who were present and cast a vote for each adjudicated roll call and scored 100 percent on the ACU 2013 State Legislative Ratings. In the House of Delegates, the recipients are Robert Bell, Benjamin Cline, T. Scott Garrett, C. Todd Gilbert, and Margaret Ransone. In the State Senate, the recipients are Thomas Garrett, Jr., Mark Obenshain, and Ralph Smith.

The winners of the “ACU Conservative” award – given to those members who scored 80 percent or higher – in the House of Delegates are Richard Anderson, Richard Bell, Kathy Byron, Mark Cole, Barbara Comstock, John Cox, L. Mark Dudenhefer, C. Matthew Fariss, Peter Farrell, Gregory Habeeb, Christopher Head, Timothy Hugo, Salvatore Iaquinto, R. Steven Landes, James LeMunyon, L. Scott Lingamfelter, R. G. Marshall, James (Jimmie) Massie, III., Jackson Miller, J. Randall Minchew, Israel O’Quinn, Brenda Pogge, David Ramadan, Roxann Robinson, L. Nick Rush, Beverly Sherwood, R. Lee Ware, Jr., Michael Webert, Tony Wilt, and Thomas Wright, Jr. In the State Senate, the recipients are Richard Black, Stephen Newman, Richard Stuart, Bryce Reeves, Stephen Martin, William Stanley, Jr., and Ryan McDougle.

The members who scored an atrocious “zero” on the ratings, earning “True Liberals of Old Dominion” awards, are – in the House of Delegates – Delores McQuinn and Roslyn Tyler. In the State Senate the recipients are Kenneth Alexander, Janet Howell, and Linda Puller.

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

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.

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