We will update this later, but here is a major announcement from the American Conservative Union. At an event this afternoon at the General Assembly Building, it will issue its first-ever state legislative score card. This report will be a significant guide when trying to discern and make an informed decision when casting your vote this November fro your member of the House of Delegates and the Virginia Senate. When a delegate or senator campaigns as a conservative, does his or her rhetoric match his or her actual voting record on the key philosophical issues of the day? We know too many do not. The ACU scorecard will be another tool to help guide your crucial voting decision this year. The scorecard also names The True Liberals of the Old Dominion: Lawmakers who received a big fat ZERO (pretty hard to accomplish given some of the basic rights covered in the bills scored). We’ll name names later.
So, who defends Virginians’ liberty? Who defends conservative values consistently? For what each category means, here is the ACU news release announcing the winners of its first-ever state legislative Defender of Liberty and ACU Conservative Awards. It has been doing so for members of Congress since 1971 and its ratings are considered the Gold Standard of conservative political legislative vote casting.
American Conservative Union Announces Inaugural Conservative Ratings of the Virginia General Assembly
Country’s Leading Conservative Organization Rating State Legislators in Five Key Battleground States
RICHMOND, VA – The American Conservative Union (ACU) today announced its inaugural ACU Ratings of the Virginia General Assembly during a press conference in Richmond, Virginia, featuring ACU Chairman Al Cardenas. The nation’s oldest and largest grassroots conservative organization recently announced a new initiative to expand the highly touted ACU Congressional Ratings program to state legislatures for the first time ever, grading members on their votes on key conservative issues. The 2011 Virginia Legislative Ratings Guide is now available online at www.conservative.org.
“On behalf of the American Conservative Union, I am pleased to present our 2011 State Legislative Ratings for members of the Virginia General Assembly,” said Chairman Cardenas. “Just as we hold every member of Congress accountable for his or her voting record on the most important issues facing our nation, the ACU will ensure voters in Virginia have access to the latest information on their state representatives’ conservative credentials.”
Coming on the heels of ACU’s first regional Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Florida, this program expansion is the first wave of a massive state-level education campaign on conservative issues, policies and candidates. In coming years, the ACU will increase the number of State Legislatures graded, adding to these initial five targets — Florida, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio and the Commonwealth of Virginia – and further growing this successful initiative.
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 inaugural State Legislative Ratings were chosen to create a clear ideological distinction among those casting them.
The 2011 Virginia Legislative Ratings Guide includes scores for each individual member in both the Senate of Virginia and House of Delegates, a description of the votes scored in each Chamber and lists of members receiving special recognition as “Defenders of Liberty or “ACU Conservatives.” Additionally, the legislators with the most atrocious records on conservative policy priorities earned acknowledgements as “True Liberals of The Old Dominion.” The full guide can be accessed and downloaded now at www.conservative.org.
Chairman Al Cardenas today also recognized the winners of the “Defender of Liberty” award, given to those members of the Virginia General Assembly who scored 100 percent. In the Senate of Virginia, these members include: Martin, Stephen H., Newman, Stephen D., Obenshain, Mark D., Smith, Ralph K., Stanley, William M., Jr. and Stuart, Richard H. In the House of Delegates, these members include: Abbit, Watkins M., Jr., Anderson, Richard L., Athey, Clifford L., Jr., Bell, Richard P., Bell, Robert B., Byron, Kathy J., Cline, Benjamin L., Cole, Mark L., Comstock, Barbara J., Cosgrove, John A., Cox, John A., Cox, M. Kirkland, Garrett, T. Scott, Gilbert, C. Todd, Greason, Thomas A., Helsel, Gordon C., Jr., Howell, William J., Iaquinto, Salvatore R., Janis, Bill, Kilgore, Terry G., Knight, Barry D., LeMunyon, James M., Lingamfelter, L. Scott, Loupassi, G. M., Marshall, Daniel W., III, Marshall, Robert G., Massie, James P., III, May, Joe T., Oder, Glenn G., Pogge, Brenda L., Sherwood, Beverly J., Stolle, Christopher P., Villanueva, Ronald A., and Wilt, Tony O.
The winners of the “ACU Conservative” award — given to those members who scored 80 percent or higher — in the Senate of Virginia include Blevins, Harry B., McDougle, Ryan T., McWaters, Jeffrey L., Ruff, Frank M., Jr., Vogel, Jill Holtzman, Wagner, Frank W. and Wampler, William C., Jr. In the House of Delegates, winners include Albo, David B., Carrico, Charles W., Sr., Cleaveland, William H., Crockett-Stark, Anne B., Edmunds, James E., II, Habeeb, Gregory D., Hugo, Timothy D., Ingram, Riley E., Johnson, Joseph P., Jr., Jones, S. Chris, Landes, R. Steven, Merricks, Donald W., Miller, Jackson H., Morefield, James W., Nutter, David A., O’Bannon, John M., III, Orrock, Robert D., Sr., Peace, Christopher K., Poindexter, Charles D., Purkey, Harry R., Putney, Lacey E., Robinson, Roxann L., Scott, Edward T., Tata, Robert, Ware, R. Lee, Jr. and Wright, Thomas C., Jr.
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 2011 Virginia Legislative Ratings Guide, please visit our website at www.conservative.org.