The American Conservative Union is the oldest and most prestigious American conservative organization. It was founded in December 1964 by author and commentator William F Buckley. By 1974, ACU had roughly 70,000 members and it has continued to grow. The ACU is the organization that produces the three-day annual Conservative Political Action Conference, which features the politicians, academics, authors and grass roots activist who make up the conservative movement. It is hard to underestimate the influence of this organization.
One of the things the ACU does and has almost since its founding is rate the members of Congress based on how they vote on a selected set of crucial issues. While many organizations rate members of Congress, the ACU is considered the gold standard of voter education guides.
In 2011, the American Conservative Union launched a new initiative to bring its annual Ratings of Congress to the state level, issuing inaugural ratings of state legislators in five battleground states. In 2012, ACU graded state legislators in 15 critical states and in 2013, they expanded their ratings to 20 states, including Tennessee.
Below is the ACU's rating of our State Legislature:
Defenders of Liberty
ACU Defenders of Liberty are those members of the Tennessee General Assembly who scored 100 percent on the ACU 2013 State Legislative Ratings.
Senate recipients: Joey Hensley and Jim Tracy.ACU Conservative” award
House recipients: Sheila Butt, Joe Carr, Mike Carter, Barry Doss, Tilman Goins, Curtis Halford, Steve Hall, Matthew Hill, Timothy Hill, Andy Holt, Mary Littleton, Ron Lollar, Debra Moody, Dennis Powers, Barrett Rich, Mike Sparks, Billy Spivey, James Van Huss, and Ryan Williams.
This award is given to those members who scored 80 percent or higher.
Senate: Mae Beavers, Mike Bell, Janice Bowling, Stacey Campfield, Rusty Crowe, Steven Dickerson, Todd Gardenhire, Mark Green, Dolores Gresham, Ferrell Haile, Jack Johnson, Brian Kelsey, Bill Ketron, Becky Duncan Massey, Randy McNally, Frank Niceley, Mark Norris, Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, Steve Southerland, John Stevens, Bo Watson, and Ken Yager.
House: David Alexander, Harry Brooks, Kevin Brooks, Kent Calfee, Glen Casada, Jim Coley, Vance Dennis, Bill Dunn, Jeremy Durham, Jimmy Eldridge, Joshua Evans, Jeremy Faison, Richard Floyd, John Forgety, Michael Harrison, Speaker Beth Harwell, David Hawk, Ryan Haynes, Curtis Johnson, Roger Kane, William Lamberth, Jon Lundberg, Susan Lynn, Pat Marsh, Judd Matheny, Jimmy Matlock, Gerald McCormick, Steve McDaniel, Steve McManus, Mark Pody, John Ragan, Courtney Rogers, Bill Sanderson, Charles Michael Sargent, Cameron Sexton, Tony Shipley, Art Swann, Curry Todd, Eric Watson, Terri Lynn Weaver, Dawn White, Mark White, Tim Wirgau, and Rich Womick.True Liberals of the Volunteer State
The members who scored an atrocious “zero” on the ratings.
Senate: Jim KyleTo see the legislation on which the rating was based and to learn more about the ratings, follow this link.
House: Joe Armstrong, Barbara Cooper, G.A. Hardaway, Darren Jernigan, Larry Miller, Gary Odom, Jason Powell, Mike Stewart, Joe Towns, Johnnie Turner, and Mike Turner.