American Conservative Union Announces Second Annual Conservative Ratings of the Virginia General Assembly

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Conservative Union (ACU) today announced its second annual ACU Ratings of the Virginia General Assembly during an event in Richmond, Virginia, 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 2012 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 2012 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 second year rating the Commonwealth, we applaud conservatives in the Virginia General Assembly who continue to fight for the rights of the unborn and against tax increases and government waste.”

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 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 2012 State Legislative Ratings. In the House of Delegates, the recipients are Richard P. Bell, Robert B. Bell, Kathy J. Byron, Benjamin L. Cline, M. Kirkland Cox, L. Mark Dudenhefer, C. Matthew Fariss, Peter F. Farrell, T. Scott Garrett, Thomas A. Greason, Christopher T. Head, William J. Howell, Manoli Loupassi, Daniel W. Marshall III, James P. Massie III, Donald W. Merricks, J. Randall Minchew, Richard L. Morris, John M. O'Bannon III, David I.Ramadan, Roxann L. Robinson, Beverly J. Sherwood, and Tony O. Wilt. In the State Senate, the recipients are Richard H. Black, Stephen H. Martin, Stephen D. Newman, Mark D. Obenshain, Ralph K. Smith, and William M. Stanley, Jr.

The winners of the “ACU Conservative” award – given to those members who scored 80 percent or higher – in the House of Delegates are Richard L. Anderson, Mark L. Cole, Barbara J. Comstock, John A. Cosgrove, John A. Cox, James E. Edmunds III, C. Todd Gilbert, Gregory D. Habeeb, Gordon C. Helsel, Jr., M. Keith Hodges, Timothy D. Hugo, Salvatore R. Iaquinto, Riley E. Ingram, S. Chris Jones, Terry G. Kilgore, Barry D. Knight, R. Steven Landes, James M. LeMunyon, L. Scott Lingamfelter, Robert G. Marshall, Joe T. May, Jackson H. Miller, Israel D. O'Quinn, Robert D. Orrock Jr., Christopher K. Peace, Brenda L. Pogge, Charles D. Poindexter, Harry R. Purkey, Lacey E. Putney, Margaret B. Ransone, L. Nick Rush, Edward T. Scott, Christopher P. Stolle, Robert   Tata, Ronald A. Villanueva, R. Lee Ware, Jr., Michael B. Watson, Michael J. Webert, Thomas C. Wright, Jr., David E. Yancey. In the State Senate, the recipients are Charles W. Carrico, Sr., Thomas A. Garrett, Jr., Emmett W. Hanger, Jr., Ryan T. McDougle, Jeffrey L. McWaters, Bryce E. Reeves, Frank M. Ruff, Jr., Walter A. Stosch, Richard H. Stuart, Jill Holtzman Vogel, and Frank W. Wagner.

In the Senate, the members who scored an atrocious “zero” on the ratings, earning “True Liberals of Old Dominion” awards, are Mark R. Herring, Mamie E. Locke, L. Louise Lucas, and Linda T. Puller.

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 Virginia  2012 State Legislative Ratings Guide, please visit our website at conservative.org.

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