Ros-Lehtinen, Diaz-Balarts Deemed Not Conservative by American Conservative Union

The American Conservative Union, the group now headed by Miami lobbyist Al Cardenas, has released their 2010 ratings of congress and they've deemed the three Cuban-American Republicans who represented much of Miami-Dade county not conservative. In fact, Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Mario and Lincoln Diaz-Balart were the only Republican congressmen in the state of Florida not to meet the ACU's tough conservative standards.

The ACU ranks congressmen on their votes on 24 different bills and calculates a rating between 0 and 100. In order to get a proverbial gold star for true right-wing credentials the politician needs to score 80 or higher.

Mario Diaz-Balart, who used to represent District 25 but jumped to District 21 in the last election, scored a 79.00, just missing out.

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen scored a 70.00, the lowest mark of any Republican from Florida. She differed with the ACU on a number of hot-button issues, including extending unemployment benefits, placing a moratorium on off-shore drilling, her immigration policy, and favoring the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

Lincoln Diaz-Balart, who retired at the end of the last session, score a 73.00 and split with his party on many of the same issues as Ros-Lehtinen. He finished his career with a lifetime score of 71.00. That's the lowest lifetime score of any Republican who was serving from Florida in 2010.

Meanwhile, the two Democrats who represented portions of Miami-Dade, Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Kendrick Meek, both scored zeros which earned them the title of "true liberal."

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Kyle Munzenrieder