ACU response: Method for rating Conservatives is valid

Richard Bratten, Executive Director Republican Study Committee of Colo. takes exception with ACU rating methods. The ACU responds. Photo: ACU /

WASHINGTON, September 25, 2013 — In his guest column Colorado’s ACU: Political Carpetbaggers in the Mile High State, Mr. Bratten provides his interpretation of the 2012 and 2013 ACU Ratings of the Colorado Assembly and our decision to allow Rep. Clarice Navarro to speak at CPAC St. Louis this Saturday.

We at ACU take exception to his analysis.

After more than 40 years of publishing our annual ACU Ratings guide, we have learned a thing or two about the power and the perils of establishing a benchmark for elected conservatives.

First, an “annual rating” is just that: a snapshot of a member’s record over the course of one year. Tracking a legislator’s voting record over the course of multiple years of service is the better way to get an accurate sense of a legislator’s adherence to conservative principles. As we add additional years of scrutiny of Colorado’s legislature, the many procedural votes that tend to cloud legislator’s records will likely begin to clear and allow a sharper picture to emerge.

Nonetheless, we found that Rep. Navarro’s record, while far from perfect at 83/100 is a record of standing up and voting the right way on issues important to conservatives. In 2013, she stood against excessive government regulation of both public insurance adjusters (H.B. 1062) and homeowners’ associations (H.B. 1134), stood firm against tax increases (HB 1134, S.B. 213) and stood with Colorado citizens who sought to preserve their 2nd Amendment rights.

We will continue to rate the Colorado General Assembly, and would welcome Mr. Bratten’s suggestions as to which votes are worth scoring in the 2014 session.

SEE RELATED: Colorado’s ACU: Political Carpetbaggers in the Mile High state

Finally, it should be noted that the ACU is not giving an “award” to Rep. Navarro. Our “Ten Under 40” feature at various CPACs (Conservative Political Action Conferences) is intended to show the potential of new, younger local leaders as they apply their conservative principles to annual legislative challenges.  Over time, they’ll either prove - or disprove - our trust in them.

However, for Mr. Bratten to attack one’s natural allies — when we are all in agreement that the mission here is to defeat the Liberal agenda — is an unnecessarily destructive effort.

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Laura Keehner Rigas

Laura Keehner Rigas is the National Communications Director for the American Conservative Union, America's oldest and largest grassroots conservative organization.

Laura has served in a variety of leadership positions in the government and non-profit organizations, including as the Press Secretary for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Vice President for Communications at Business Executives for National Security, Deputy Associate Director of Presidential Personnel at the White House, Senior Advisor at the  U.S. Dept. of Justice and as the first Government Liaison at the American Entreprise Institute for Public Policy Research

Contact Laura Keehner Rigas


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