Spot the Conservative; Spot the Fake

Have you noticed how ALL the candidates running for office call themselves Conservatives?  Some tell the Truth, and at the end of this article, you will see the Champion of them all.  Others don’t.  Why not?  Aren’t they proud of themselves and their voting records? 

If they were truthful, this is what you would see in their campaign literature: 

"You can count on me to be a Big Government Republican"!  (Jerry Lewis). 

"Me too!  I’m a Big Government Republican!"  (Steve Urie)

"I’ve Got Lower Ratings than either of You Pikers!   I’m a reach across the aisle Bi-Partisan Republican"!  (Rich Crandall)

How do you know who’s telling the Truth? 

There are three well respected groups who have done your homework for you:  Pachyderm Coalition, Americans for Prosperity, and Goldwater Institute.  They rate Arizona State Legislators at the end of every session and have announced the ratings for all Arizona Legislators for the 2012 Session:

Pachyderm Coalition is a group that is guided by the principles of Barry Goldwater, Ronald Reagan, and the current Republican Party Platform.

Americans for Prosperity supports policy initiatives such as imposing strict spending limits on government, passing balanced budgets, cutting income taxes, reducing property tax levies, expanding school choice, supporting free-market health care (not socialized medicine), privatizing state functions, reducing burdensome regulations on Arizona businesses, prohibiting the use of taxpayer money for lobbying, and imposing transparency laws on all levels of Arizona government.

Goldwater Institute was founded in 1988 with the blessing of the late Senator Barry Goldwater, the Goldwater Institute’s mission is to advance freedom and protect the Constitution. As a non-profit organization funded solely by individual donations, Goldwater Institute stands on principle, not politics. They believe in the power of the states to restore America to the founding principles that made it a beacon of opportunity, prosperity, and freedom. They also research and develop ideas that help states use their constitutional powers to protect their citizens’ liberties. And when governments overstep their constitutional authority, the Goldwater Institute defends citizens in court.

Here are the ratings for some local legislators, all of whom call themselves Conservative.  See if you can Spot the Conservatives and Spot the Fakes.  


Eddie Farnsworth, 90.3 Reagan Republican

Andy Biggs, 84.1 Pro-Freedom Republican

J. D. Mesnard, 81.4 Pro-Freedom Republican

John Fillmore, 63.4 Republican

Steve Urie, 61.4 Republican

Jerry Lewis, 41.1 Big Government Republican

Rich Crandall, 20.8 Bi-Partisan Republican

Americans for Prosperty (Arizona Chapter) Ratings

Andy Biggs, 82 Champion of the Taxpayer

John Fillmore, 70 Friend of the Taxpayer

Eddie Farnsworth, 58 Needs Improvement (cumulative rating of 78 Friend of the Taxpayer)

J. D. Mesnard, 50 Needs Improvement (cumulative rating of 62 Not Bad)

Rich Crandall, 44 Friend of Big Government

Steve Urie, 43 Friend of Big Government

Jerry Lewis, 42 Friend of Big Government

Goldwater Institute Scorecard

Andy Biggs, A-

Eddie Farnsworth, A-  (Rep Farnsworth received the highest score in the House of Representatives)

John Fillmore, A-

J. D. Mesnard, B

Steve Urie, B

Jerry Lewis, B-

Rich Crandall. C+

Conservative Champion of them All

Russell Pearce:

  • As a state legislator, Senator Pearce was recognized by the Goldwater Institute as the #1 legislator who “proved to be the strongest ally against government encroachment on liberty.”
  • Russell Pearce was the only Arizonan and one of only seven legislators nationally to receive the “Hero of the Taxpayer” award from the American Tax Reform Association in 2004.
  • Russell Pearce’s rating with the Pachyderm Coalition has consistently been among the Top 3 legislators designated “Reagan Republican.”
  • Pearce has been recognized by the Arizona Taxpayers Association as the #1 Friend of the Taxpayer and ranked as one of the top supporters of the taxpayer.
  • Russell Pearce’s rating consistently from Americans for Prosperity is among the top 3 legislators, earning a cumulative rating of “Champion of the Taxpayer.” In 2009, he was awarded "Legislator of the Year" by Americans for Prosperity.