The American Conservative Union Foundation has released its rating of Tennessee legislators for 2016, giving its highest scores to five Republicans at 96 – with 100 being perfection in the ACU view – and its lowest score to Democratic Rep. John Ray Clemmons, a 7.
The five highest-rated Republicans at 96 were Sen. John Stevens of Huntington and Reps. Mike Carter of Ooltewah, Roger Kane of Knoxville, Judd Matheny of Tullahoma and Micha Van Huss of Jonesborough.
The Senate average rating was 80 percent (Republicans overall 85; Democrats 49). The House average 70 percent (Republicans 86, Democrats 28). The combined average was 85.5, down from 92 in 2015.
Lowest-rated Republicans: In the Senate, Sen. Steve Dickerson of Nashville at 57 percent. In the House, Speaker Beth Harwell had the lowest rating, 71.
Highest-rated Democrats: In the Senate, Sen. Thelma Harper at 75. In the House, Rep. Kevin Dunlap of Sparta at 73.
The full Tennessee rating list is HERE.
The ACU Tennessee press release is below.
News release from American Conservative Union Foundation
WASHINGTON DC – The American Conservative Union Foundation (ACU) released its 2016 ratings of the Tennessee General Assembly. In our fourth year of rating the state, ACU found that Republican legislators tended to vote less conservatively compared to last year, with the overall Republican average decreasing by 6.5 points– from 92 out of 100 in 2015, to 85.5 out of 100 in 2016. But the overall legislature still ranks as one of the most conservative in the country.
“The 2016 session in Tennessee produced some solid conservative victories on limiting government power, protecting Second Amendment rights, and expanding school choice,” said ACU Chairman Matt Schlapp. “A model bill I hope other states will adopt requires state agencies to justify new rules before imposing them on residents. Other bills allow education savings accounts to be used for private schools and stop colleges from prohibiting law-abiding citizens from transporting firearms. The Tennessee legislature has once again proven to be one of the best, but there are some bills that miss the mark– government should not be used to restrict competition for cosmetologists or liquor stores owners.”
A detailed scorecard has been produced for all 50 state legislative bodies across the full spectrum of conservative issues, with scores for over 7,400 individual state legislators. ACU is the only organization in the nation to do this. Like our Congressional ratings that have been published for 45 consecutive years, ACU’s state ratings reflect how elected officials view the role of government in an individual’s life. Tennessee legislators with the strongest scores consistently voted with the ideals articulated in the U.S. Constitution.
New in this year’s ratings are references to how legislation impacts families based on the ACU Foundation’s new Family Prosperity Index. Also highlighted are issues ACU Foundation’s policy centers and Senior Fellows focus on.
To view our Tennessee ratings guide, visit http://acuratings.conservative.org/state-ratings-2016/ and click on Tennessee.
ACU researches and selects a wide range of bills that reflect a member’s adherence to conservative principles, whether they be economic, social, cultural, or government integrity. Legislators who score above 80% in each state receive awards for their commitment to conservative principles. As President Ronald Reagan stated, “The person who agrees with you 80% of the time is an ally.”
The following Representatives and Senators will receive a 2016 ACU Ratings Award:
Representatives: ALEXANDER, H. BROOKS, BROOKS, K. BUTT, BYRD, CARR, CARTER, CASADA, COLEY, DANIEL, DOSS, DURHAM, ELDRIDGE, FAISON, GOINS, GRAVITT, HALFORD, HAWK, HAZLEWOOD, HICKS, M. HILL, T. HILL, HOLSCLAW, HOLT, HOWELL, HULSEY, JENKINS, JOHNSON, KANE, KEISLING, LITTLETON, LOLLAR, LYNN, MARSH, MATHENY, MATLOCK, McCORMICK, McDANIEL, McMANUS, MOODY, PODY, RAGAN, RAMSEY, REEDY, ROGERS, SANDERSON, SARGENT, C. SEXTON, J. SEXTON, SMITH, SPARKS, SWANN, TERRY, TODD, VAN HUSS, WEAVER, D. WHITE, M. WHITE, WILLIAMS, WIRGAU, and ZACHARY
Senators: BAILEY, BEAVERS, BELL, BOWLING, BRIGGS, CROWE, GARDENHIRE, GRESHAM, HAILE, HENSLEY, JACKSON, JOHNSON, KELSEY, KETRON, MASSEY, McNALLY, NICELEY, NORRIS, RAMSEY, ROBERTS, SOUTHERLAND, STEVENS TRACY, and WATSON.