The American Conservative Union, which for decades has been the Gold Standard for rating the voting records of members of Congress, announced today that it has launched an initiative to rate the voting records of state legislators in five battleground states. Among the five — and, in fact, the very first one to be released — is Virginia, more evidence of the commonwealth's political importance. The ACU Virginia report card is scheduled to be released on October 13 in Richmond. The ACU has a long and illustrious history in grassroots conservative activism and education. It has decided to expand its scorecard ratings to state legislators because of the increasingly important role states are playing in rolling back federal mandates and regulation. In addition to Virginia, the ACU is scoring legislators in Florida, Nevada, Ohio and North Carolina (see Raleigh News & Observer), and will expand to more states next year. Legislators will be rated on their votes on key bills spanning a full range of issues, including taxes, spending, social issues, property rights, limited government, education and government transparency and reform. Those receiving a score of 80-99 percent will be honored by the ACU with its ACU Conservative Award. Those with 100 percent ratings will receive ACU's Defender of Liberty Award.

We will have more on this and how the ACU rated all 140 members of the General Assembly when it releases its scorecard. We look forward to comparing it to The Family Foundation Action's General Assembly Report Card. Below is the ACU's news release announcing the new legislative ratings.


ALEXANDRIA, VA – The American Conservative Union (ACU) today announced its schedule for releasing inaugural conservative ratings of state legislators in the battleground states of Florida, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia. The ACU is taking its highly touted Congressional Ratings program to state legislatures for the first time ever, grading members on their votes on key conservative issues.


Coming on the heels of ACU’s first regional Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Florida last week, this program expansion is the first wave of a massive state-level education campaign on conservative issues, policies and candidates. Each release date will feature the announcement of ratings for each individual member of the five State Houses, as well as a formal event honoring the “ACU Conservatives” and “Defenders of Liberty” in each Chamber.


ACU Launches Inaugural State Legislative Ratings in Fall 2011:


· Virginia: October 13, 2011 in Richmond, VA


· Nevada: November 3, 2011 in Las Vegas, NV


· Ohio: November 9, 2011 in Columbus, OH


· Florida: November 15, 2011 in Tallahassee, FL


· North Carolina: November 29, 2011 in Raleigh, NC


“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 critical states have access to the latest information on their state representatives’ conservative credentials,” said ACU Chairman Al Cardenas. “With state governments on the frontlines of many of the most significant and controversial policy debates facing our country – from fighting ObamaCare to cutting spending to preserving traditional values – the ACU is committed to playing a defining role in this conversation at every level of government.”


A recent Google search for “ACU Ratings” returned more than 966,000 website citations of the powerful ratings index. ACU Ratings are published by the Almanac of American Politics, Congressional Quarterly and the National Journal, among others.


In coming years, the ACU will increase the number of State Legislatures graded, adding to this initial five targets and further growing this successful initiative.


The American Conservative Union is America’s oldest and largest grassroots conservative organization and was founded in 1964. 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. This inaugural expansion of the program is part of Chairman Cardenas’ vision for building on successful ACU initiatives, such as CPAC.