Pro Tax AR Democrat Incumbents VS Challengers

Democrats are the minority party in the Arkansas legislature but they had a BIG impact on increasing your taxes last year.

The Arkansas legislature is divided into two factions. On one side is limited government Republicans who follow the Republican Platform. The other side is a coalition of Democrats and establishment Republicans who all favor a tax-and-spend policy.

Conduit for Action has repeatedly criticized the legislature for passing taxes in 2019.  We also have praised those Republican legislators who did not vote for any tax.

Earlier this year we focused on the voting records of several Republicans in the primary. If you think tax increases do not matter, just ask state Senator John Cooper and Representative Jana Della Rosa who lost their reelection bids in the Republican Primary due in part to voting for many tax increases in 2019.

Now it is time to turn our attention to the Democrats who helped raise our taxes. We are highlighting the voting records of only those Democrat incumbents who have opponents in the general election in November.

DEMOCRAT STATE SENATORS

Because of staggered Senate terms only 17 seats are up for election. Out of that number there are only two incumbent Democrats who have a Republican challenger. Those two are Senator Bruce Maloch (D – Magnolia) and Senator Eddie Cheatham  (D- Crossett).

Democrat Incumbent Republican challenger
District 12 Bruce Maloch Charles Beckham
District 26 Eddie Cheatham Ben Gilmore

 

How did these two Democrats vote on tax increase bills in 2019?  As you would expect both were tax happy. Cheatham voted “FOR” all seven tax increase bills we tracked in the Senate and Maloch voted “FOR” six of the seven.

  1. SB336 – Gas and Diesel Tax Increase
  2. SB576 – Internet Tax On Your Purchases
  3. HJR1018 – 1/2 % sales tax on 2020 ballot
  4. HB1564 – Increase Cell Phone Taxes
  5. HB1737 – Increase Water Bill Taxes
  6. SB571 – $100 Million Redistribution of Wealth Program funded by additional cigarette and e-cigarette taxes
  7. HB1565 – Increase in Tobacco Products and E-Cigarettes

The one tax Senator Maloch voted against was HB1565.

DEMOCRAT STATE REPRESENTATIVES

Twenty-five Democrat State Representatives are running for reelection.  Only nine have an opponent. But only eight of those served during the 2019 regular session where many taxes were considered. (Democrat State Representative Joy C. Springer was elected to fill a vacancy in District 34 this year and therefore does not have a record on the taxes. Her opponent is Roderick Talley who is an independent.)

Let’s look at the voting records of the eight Democrat incumbents who served during the 2019 regular session.

 Democrat Incumbent  Republican Challenger
District 5 David Fielding Chase McDowell
District 9 LeAnne Burch Howard Beaty
District 11 Don Glover Mark McElroy
District 55 Monte Hodges Gary Tobar
District 72 Steve Magie James Phillips
District 85 David Whitaker Brian Hester
District 86 Nicole Clowney John LaTour
District 89 Megan Godfrey Jed Duggar

 

How did these Democrats vote on tax increases in 2019?  As you would expect they were all tax happy.

We tracked six tax increase bills in the House of Representatives in 2019.

  1. SB336 – Gas and Diesel Tax Increase
  2. SB576 – Internet Tax On Your Purchases
  3. HJR1018 – 1/2 % sales tax on 2020 ballot
  4. HB1564 – Increase Cell Phone Taxes
  5. HB1737 – Increase Water Bill Taxes
  6. HB1565 – Increase in Tobacco Products and E-Cigarettes

None of them voted “Nay” on any of the bills. Six of the eight voted “FOR” all six tax bills, while the two others avoided casting a yes or no vote on a couple of bills. Fielding FAILED TO VOTE on HB1565. Magie FAILED TO VOTE on HB1737 and voted “PRESENT” on HB1565.

CONCLUSION

Earlier this year voters defeated two establishment Republicans who had tax-and-spend records.  Now it is time to turn your focus on the Democrats who ALL have tax-and-spend records.

By the way, there also Democrat candidates for the legislature who are not incumbents. Do you think any of them will be anything other than a tax-and-spend politician?

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