Generic filters
Search in title
Search in content
Exact matches only
Arkansas PoliticsElectionsRead

Cheerleaders or Guardians?

By Conduit For Action

This article is longer than normal but if you are an Arkansas Republican you will want to read it all.

The Republican Party of Arkansas (RPA) includes county committees and district committees. In the past most of these committees served merely as cheerleaders and free labor for anyone who filed as a Republican candidate (even RINOs). But in the last several years committees have begun to speak out as guardians of the party’s platform and of conservative values. Big government elites want to stop them, especially if the committee directly or indirectly criticizes actions of officeholders who don’t care about Republican principles.

The committees speaking up is a reflection of the change in Arkansas politics from being a blue state to a red state. Gone are the days when many Republican county committees were lucky to even get a Republican candidate, and therefore they cheered any success, regardless of whether the candidate was conservative or a RINO. Now that Arkansas is a solid red state, there seems to be a growing frustration in committees that they helped elect Republicans who ignore the party platform and give Democrat results.

Will the committees go back to being silent on issues and just be cheerleaders for anyone with an “R” on their sweatshirt, or will more committees assert themselves as guardians of conservative principles? The elites have the power and money of woke corporations behind them, but conservatives seem to have voters on their side. We don’t know how it will turn out, but it is hard to believe committee members will stay silent while their hard efforts result in elected officials who give Democrat results.

To help you understand, we will give some examples of instances where Republican committees have felt the need to speak out.

Before we do, we want to make it clear Conduit For Action is not affiliated with the Republican Party. We are watching the battle with interest because we share the same conservative principles as the Republican Party of Arkansas, and we want to share this information with others who value conservative principles.


Committees have repeatedly spoken out, but the instance where there has been the most recent push back is our first example, which concerns the 1st District Committee’s pro-life video.

PRO-LIFE VIDEO (2022). There are four district committees made up of representatives from the Republican county committees within each Congressional district. The 1st District Committee published a pro-life video in December 2021. The video includes who voted to adjourn the legislative session to avoid voting on a bill to protect unborn children. The video praised Republican legislators who voted to continue the session while (inadvertently) criticizing Republicans who joined with Democrats to adjourn to avoid taking up the abortion restriction bill.

Some party leaders demanded the 1st District take down the video, but they refused. Things escalated as the Republican State Rules Committee was pushed to take up the issue. The Rules Committee of the RPA sanctioned the 1st District Committee for its video saying the district was “favoring one group of Republicans over another.” The video was characterized by the Rules Committee as favoring those Republican legislators who voted against adjournment and disfavoring Republicans legislators who voted to adjourn.

Essentially, the 1st District was sanctioned for showing the vote on adjournment (which is a public record).

The 1st District’s pro-life video has been removed from YouTube (not by YouTube). But before it was forced off several people made copies. YOU CAN VIEW OUR COPY OF THE VIDEO HERE.

We think there are significant problems with the Rules Committee’s action. The standard it used looks made up, not authorized, and nonsensical. We don’t think they will be able to silence any committee this way again. We will address the significant problems in their action later in this article, but first let’s celebrate other instances in which committees have spoken out as guardians of the party.

“NOT RECOMMENDED” CANDIDATE (2022) The chair of the Independence County Republican Committee sent out the following notice.

At our regularly scheduled meeting on 2/1/22 The Independence County Republican committee voted 25 to 0 that incumbent Arkansas State Senator James Sturch, who lives in Independence County, was voted “not a recommended candidate”. This was based on his voting record of not supporting the Arkansas Republican Party platform.

On Feburary 8, 2022 the Izard County Republican Committee also voted Sturch as “not a recommended candidate.”

We would not be surprised if RINOs in the party try to get the committees to rescind their actions and try to stop other county committees in the Senate District from following the example of  Independence and Izard counties.

URGING OFFICEHOLDERS TO RESPECT THE PARTY PLATFORM (2019) The Craighead County Republican Committee was concerned because some of their elected Republicans were voting with the Democrats and against Republican principles.  On May 28, 2019 they passed a non-binding resolution affirming the principles in the Republican Party platform and instructing state Senators and state Representatives from the county “to do everything within their delegated authority to uphold these principles.

State Senator John Cooper came unglued during the meeting. He was upset that they would want him to follow the principles of HIS party. Cooper lost his re-election bid in the next Republican primary.

SECOND AMENDMENT RIGHTS (2019). On September 24, 2019, the Jackson County Republican Committee passed a resolution demanding Republican officeholders protect our Second Amendment rights to own and bear arms. The resolution included a list of specific types of legislation the committee expected officeholders to oppose, including such things as Red Flag laws.[i]

The 8th Principle of the Republican Party of Arkansas is: “The personal right to own and bear arms.”

INTERNET SALES TAX (2017) On February 21, 2017 the Washington County Republican Committee passed a resolution against adoption of an internet sales tax. (This is a tax Arkansans now pay when they order an item from an out-of-state seller.) At least one more county committee passed a similar resolution against the internet sales tax.

Governor Asa Hutchinson, who was pushing the huge tax increase, went to northwest and north central Arkansas and had “lunch” with at least two county chairmen whose counties had passed the “no internet sales tax” resolution, “encouraging” them to stop such committee activities. Most of the Republican legislators from the counties then fell in line and helped the Governor pass the tax on Arkansas consumers.

The 6th Principle of the Republican Party of Arkansas is “Lower taxes to produce economic growth.

COUNTY CHAIRMEN’S ASSOCIATION (2017) In 2017, big government elites pressured county committees to cancel some guest speakers because the elites did not like their messages. Most notable was the effort to stop committees from inviting Jan Morgan to speak at their events. Elites didn’t like her because of her conservative positions and at the time was considering a run for Governor against Governor Asa Hutchinson in the 2018 Republican primary. It was reported the effort to get Morgan blocked or disinvited to events included efforts by the Governor and one of his staff members and included pressure on the owner of a facility where one event was scheduled to try to get the owner to make the facility unavailable for the event. (For more information see our 2017 article on the subject.)

The RPA County Chairmen’s Association, acted like guardians in issuing a statement saying, “any effort to restrict county committees from inviting guest speakers or any other presenter that they see fit violates the delegated and implied powers and responsibilities of each County Committee and County Chairman.” (For more of the statement see the notes.)[ii]


The push back by the current members of the Rules Committee earlier this year over the pro-life video shows several things. Being seen as having a pro-life stance is very important to Arkansas Republican candidates. Officeholders don’t like getting called out for not protecting the unborn. Also we believe there action was a test to see if committees will cower down and go back to just being cheerleaders.  But we don’t think committees will quit speaking out.

We will discuss some significant problems with the Rules Committee sanctioning the 1st District. Clearly, the district should have never been sanctioned.

FIRST, we ask where in the RPA rules is there a rule about not favoring one group of Republicans over another. We can’t find it! A standard that is in the rules is “working against the partyThere is no way the 1st District video was working against the party. The video was working FOR THE PARTY because the video was upholding the 2nd Principle of the Republican Party of Arkansas, “The sanctity of life” and the statement in the platform which says: “Most importantly, we believe all unborn children have a fundamental right to live in order to avail themselves of these equal opportunities.” Just because a legislator was embarrassed by the video showing the legislator was not following the platform does not mean the 1st District wasn’t working FOR the party and its platform.

Which is more important? Defending the principles and platform or avoiding embarrassing an officeholder who has failed to follow those principles and platform.

It seems obvious that the Rules Committee is not willing to trust officeholders with the privilege of defending their own votes nor leaving it to the voters to decide who ignored the Republican principles and platform.

SECOND, in sanctioning the 1st District, the Rules Committee violated its own made-up standard. Its ruling favors and protects the group of legislators who voted to adjourn and don’t want their action known by their constituents and the ruling disfavors the group of Republican legislators who tried to stay in session to protect “the sanctity of life.”

THIRD, using the Rules Committee’s made-up standard, party officials who pushed the 1st District to take down the video also would be in violation of the same standard because they favored the group who didn’t want their vote known and disfavored the Republican legislators who followed the party principals and voted not to adjourn so they could pass more effective abortion restrictions.

FOURTH, if anyone was going to be sanctioned wouldn’t it be the legislators who voted to adjourn instead of the 1st District?  After all it was those legislators, not the 1st District, who ignored the party’s platform and principles?

FIFTH, if the standard the Rules Committee used was a real thing, then committees could never speak out in defense of the platform and principles and would be relegated to merely being cheerleaders for RINOS.

  • Was the actions of the Independence County Committee and Izard County Republican Committee declaring Senator Sturch “not a recommended candidate” favoring absolutely anyone over Sturch and disfavoring Sturch for his poor voting record?
  • Was the Craighead County Committee’s resolution urging candidates to follow the party’s principles favoring conservatives and disfavoring RINOs who ignore those principles?
  • Was the Jackson County Republican Committee’s resolution demanding officeholders protect 2nd Amendment rights favoring conservatives who follow the principles of the party and disfavoring those officeholders who had already said they were open to Red Flag laws and other infringements?
  • Was the Washington County resolution opposing an internet sales tax favoring those who support the principle concerning lower taxes and disfavoring those who had already said they supported the tax?
  • And who knows maybe the Rules Committee would even say the County Chairs Association declaration that county committees are free to invite anyone to speak, was in effect favoring conservatives and disfavoring the Governor and his followers who wanted to have a veto say over who gets invited to speak at Republican county committees?

Maybe the Rules Committee will claim the 1st District video is different since it is the “Primary season” and disclosing legislative votes ought to be disallowed by Republican Committees at any time. Obviously, there is no such rule and if there was: “Why have two parties?”

We don’t think the elites will be successful in muzzling committees under the current platform and rules.  That is why we think their fight will move to efforts to control appointments to state committees, in setting the rules, and in watering down the party platform.


It is the principles and platform of the RPA that speaks against the big government elites with their woke corporation benefactors. County and district committees have merely echoed the party’s principles and platform. With the platform and principles being the real enemy of elites, we expect they will take another run at revising the platform to give RINOs more cover.

It has happened before. In 2016, under Governor Asa Hutchinson’s watch, the ten principles of the party were deleted and new rambling and sometimes vague principles were substituted. The revision completely left out principles concerning God, limited government, and other subjects.[iii]  But conservatives in the party fought back and restored the original ten principles in the 2018 platform.[iv] See the 10 principles in the notes.[v]

Keep an eye on the Platform Committee and Rules Committee this year because they will propose a revised platform and revised rules. Watch any appointments to the committees.

The platform and rules must be approved at the Republican Convention, That means who county committees send as their voting representatives will be more important than ever.


Elites have the upper hand within state government but out in the state the trend has been for more committees to speak up for conservative principles. We wonder why anyone would join a Republican committee if it only serves as cheerleaders and free labor for a candidate even if the candidate is a RINO.

Conduit For Action is not affiliated with the Republican Party of Arkansas but what they do matters to us and to all Arkansans.  Despite Arkansas being a red state, Arkansas still has one of the highest tax burdens in the nation, regulates more occupations than most states, is paying for a big government entitlement program that many states still reject, and is seeing the increasing influence of woke corporations over some Republican politicians.

Conduit For Action FAVORS conservative principles and DISFAVORS Democrat results. Where do you stand? Are you okay with Arkansas being a red state with blue results? Should Republican committees go back to being cheerleaders for RINOS?



[i] The specific types of legislation the Jackson County Republican Committee expected officeholders to oppose are: 1. Gun confiscation (a.k.a. Red Flag Laws/Extreme Risk Protection Orders); 2. Ban of semi-automatic and “assault style” weapons; 3. Any restriction of high capacity magazines or ammunition; 4. Universal Background Checks; and 5. Gun Buyback Programs.

[ii] 2017 statement of the Arkansas Republican Party County Chairmen’s Association

“All Republicans and Republican organizations are hereby reminded that each County Committee has both the right and obligation to encourage healthy debate and deliberation within their County, and are free to invite any speaker or presenter that, in the view of their Chairman or other designated member of that Committee, or the County Committee as a whole, would contribute to educate and inform Republicans in that county on issues of concern.

Therefore, as representatives of the 75 County Committees, we remind our fellow Republicans of that any effort to restrict county committees from inviting guest speakers or any other presenter that they see fit violates the delegated and implied powers and responsibilities of each County Committee and County Chairman.”



[v] Principles of the Republican Party of Arkansas in the platform

  1. The power of faith in God;
  2. The sanctity of life;
  3. Individual responsibility and initiative;
  4. Individual freedom and liberty secured by a limited government;
  5. Private property;
  6. Lower taxes to produce economic growth;
  7. Strong national defense;
  8. The personal right to own and bear arms;
  9. The equal and just enforcement of the law; and
  10. Separate and equal branches of government.
Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker