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Ellmers receives award from American Conservative Union

The American Conservative Union has named U.S. Rep. Renee Ellmers of Dunn one of its 2012 ACU Conservatives.

A whopping 91 percent of Ellmers' votes made the ACU happy, but she still fell short of its Defender of Liberty title which requires every vote on certain bills picked by ACU to match the organization's desires. ACU looks at votes on bills that "serve as a clear litmus test separating those representatives who defend liberty and liberal members who have turned their backs on our founding principles."

The ACU argues for limited government, individual liberty, free markets, a strong national defense and traditional values.

Other N.C. representatives who scored above 80 percent included Howard Coble of Greensboro, Virginia Foxx of Banner Elk, Patrick McHenry of Cherryville and Sue Myrick of Charlotte, who is now retired.

The ACU award comes the day after the Club for Growth — which supports limited growth and low taxes — tagged Ellmers as a RINO (Republican In Name Only) and put her on a a list of Republicans that scored below 70 percent on the club's scorecard.

American Conservative Union gives N.C. lawmakers high marks

The American Conservative Union released its first-ever ratings of N.C. lawmakers Monday, giving high marks to dozens of Republicans.

The ACU is known for its congressional scores but this year the advocacy organization added five battleground states to the report card. The organization's top "Defender of Liberty"award is given to those who earn a 100 percent conservative score based on votes on certain legislation. The second tier of lawmakers receives the "ACU Conservative" award for scores higher than 80 percent.

The bulk of Republicans earned the top award while another dozen were also recognized. (See a chart breaking down the ratings here.)

“In North Carolina, under the leadership of Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger and Speaker Thom Tillis, there are great examples of courageous conservatives in the General Assembly shunning big-government solutions in favor of ambitious conservative reforms that advance prosperity and individual freedom,” said ACU Chairman Al Cardenas in a statement. “It is a testament to true conservatives in both chambers that the state is resisting the liberal leadership of Governor Perdue, going as far as to override her veto on several occasions. “

The rankings take a shot at Democrats who earned "zero ratings," and thus the title "True Liberal of the Tar Heel State." The list includes Triangle area Reps. Joe Hackney, Verla Insko, Paul Luebke and Jennifer Weiss.

It's worth noting that ACU was less discriminate than Civitas Action, which also released lawmaker rankings Monday.

11 28 11 ACU North Carolina Legislative Ratings FOR WEB .pdf

American Conservative Union to rate N.C. lawmakers

N.C. lawmakers -- particularly Republicans -- need to tidy their legislative records.

The American Conservative Union is preparing a ranking of state legislators with a roll out scheduled for Nov. 29 in Raleigh. The event will honor "ACU Conservatives" and "Defenders of Liberty."

“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 in a statement.

After their first session in power, the Republican legislature will certainly earn kudos for a wide-range of conservative accomplishments -- much to Democrats chagrin.

Quick Hits

* Washington columnist Stuart Rothenberg thinks U.S. Rep. Larry Kissell "could see a steep drop-off" in 2010 from certain "demographic groups."

* U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx wins "Defender of Liberty" award for 100 percent voting-record rating in 2008 from American Conservative Union.

* Hundreds of protesters gather at the legislative building to argue against higher taxes; speakers include Mary Katharine Ham and Joe the Plumber.

* Former Republican auditor Les Merritt and former Raleigh City Councilman John Odom endorse Chad Adams for N.C. Republican Party chairman.

Quick Hits

* U.S. Rep. Howard Coble received an award from the American Conservative Union; his lifetime rating is 89.21 over 24 years.

* Democratic pollster Tom Jensen thinks state Sens. John Snow or Joe Sam Queen would make good candidates for Rep. Heath Shuler's seat.

* Greensboro News-Record reporter Mark Binker says Gov. Beverly Perdue quashed a rumor that she would submit a do-over on the budget.

* Charlotte Observer columnist Jack Betts gives state schools CEO Bill Harrison props for speaking out for a tax hike for education.

Conservative Union: Foxx, McHenry tops

The American Conservative Union ranked two North Carolina representatives tops.

U.S. Reps. Patrick McHenry and Virginia Foxx both scored 100 percent on the conservative group's annual Congressional ratings — two out of only 62 representatives to land among its "best and brightest" for the 2007 session.

At the same time, four Congressional Democrats — Reps. David Price, Brad Miller, Mel Watt and G.K. Butterfield — scored 0 percent, landing among the group's "worst of the worst."

The ratings were based on votes on a minimum wage hike, stem-cell research, the Iraq war, Amtrak funding, earmark reform, border security, support of Planned Parenthood and energy policy, among other things.

The rest of the delegation was in between. Among Republicans, Rep. Sue Myrick scored a 96, Rep. Howard Coble an 83, Rep. Robin Hayes a 79, and Rep. Walter Jones a 71. Among Democrats, Reps. Mike McIntyre and Heath Shuler, both Blue Dog Democrats, scored 44 and Rep. Bob Etheridge an 8.

Sens. Richard Burr and Elizabeth Dole both scored a 92.

Dole for veep?

A conservative blogger suggests U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole for vice president.

In a post on the Race 4 2008 site, Clarence Claus writes that the Salisbury Republican could be a good foil if the Democratic nominee ends up being U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton.

Claus notes that she's served as secretary of transportation and labor, headed the American Red Cross and has a lifetime rating from the American Conservative Union of 91, an A grade from the National Rifle Association and a lifetime rating of zero from NARAL Pro-Choice America.

The Vice-Presidential candidate typically takes on the role of hatchet-man (or woman). This could be hard for Dole since she has kind of a syrupy persona, but she could attack Hillary in a way a male candidate couldn’t.

Claus says Dole would be a good pick for a Northerner like Mitt Romney or Rudy Giuliani.

In addition, Dole woudl have a former veep candidate in her corner — her husband, Bob, who ran alongside Gerald Ford in 1976.

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