Published Date: 
Wed, 2014-02-05

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Conservative Union (ACU) today announced its 2013 ACU Ratings of the Ohio General Assembly, honoring the Buckeye State’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 Ohio 2013 State Legislative Ratings guide is now available online at

“On behalf of the American Conservative Union, I am pleased to announce the winners of our 2013 State Legislative Ratings for members of the Ohio General Assembly,” said ACU Chairman Al Cardenas. “For 42 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 Ohio so they can hold their elected officials accountable at the state level as well. The Ohio General Assembly is to be commended for continuing to support broad based tax relief, expansion of school choice and efforts to promote childbirth over abortion and measures to update the voter database to protect the integrity of the ballot in 2013. In 2014, we urge the Senate to take up HB 203 a bill to strengthen Second Amendment rights by giving reciprocity to out of state concealed carry licenses which passed overwhelmingly in the House.  We are very disappointed that, through legal maneuvering, the legislature was not allowed to vote on the costly expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare, a key issue for conservatives in states across the country.”

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: Florida, Nevada, Ohio, Ohio and Virginia. In 2012, ACU graded state legislators in 15 critical states and in 2013, they expanded their ratings to 20 states.

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

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, and traditional values. The votes selected for Ohio 2013 State Legislative Ratings were chosen to create a clear ideological distinction among those casting them.

The ACU “Defender of Liberty” award goes to those members of the Ohio General Assembly who scored 100 percent on the ACU Ohio 2013 State Legislative Ratings. In the State Senate, recipients are: Bill Coley, Gayle Manning and Bill Seitz.

“Defenders of Liberty” in the House include: Terry Boose, David Hall, Michael Henne, Wes Retherford and Kirk Schuring.

The winners of the “ACU Conservative” award – given to those members who scored 80 percent or higher – in the Senate: Kevin Bacon, Troy Balderson, Bill Beagle, Dave Burke, John Eklund, Keith Faber, Randy Gardner, Cliff Hite, Jim Hughes, Shannon Jones, Kris Jordan, Frank LaRose, Larry Obhof, Scott Oelslager, Tom Patton, Bob Peterson, Tim Schaffer, Joe Uecker and Chris Widener.

"ACU Conservatives” in the House include: Ron Amstutz, Marlene Anielski, Nan Baker, William Batchelder, Peter Beck, John Becker, Andrew Brenner, Jim Buchy, Tony Burkley, Jim Butler, Margaret Conditt, Rex Damschroder, Timothy Derickson, Anthony DeVitis, Mike Dovilla, Doug Green, Bob Hackett, Christina Hagan, Bill Hayes, Brian Hill, Jay Hottinger, Matt Huffman, Terry Johnson, Al Landis, Matt Lynch, Ron Maag, Jeff McClain, Rick Perales, Kristina Roegner, Mark Romanchuk, Cliff Rosenberger, Marilyn Slaby, Ryan Smith, Robert Sprague, Peter Stautberg, Gerald Stebelton, Louis Terhar and Andy Thompson.

The members who scored an atrocious “zero” on the ratings, earning “True Liberals of the Buckeye State” awards, are – in the Senate: Edna Brown, Eric Kearney, Tom Sawyer, Michael Skindell, Shirley Smith, Charleta Tavares and Nina Turner. 

The only “True Liberal” in the House is Michael Sheehy. 

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