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Arkansas PoliticsIgnoring the Party PlatformRead

REP. LEE JOHNSON – Ignoring the Republican Platform

Pt 10 of the series

REP. LEE JOHNSON – Ignoring the Republican Platform

Pt 10 of the series

Since Conduit focuses on conservative issues and legislators’ voting records, and the Arkansas House and Senate are over 78% Republican, this series of articles highlights Republican incumbents who frequently vote contrary to conservative values and in many of those instances contrary to the Republican Party of Arkansas Platform.

We are highlighting the record of Representative Lee Johnson (R- Greenwood). Before we begin, we need to explain voting records.

Representative Lee Johnson (R – Greenwood)

You need to know sometimes a legislator will try to kill a bill without going on record as voting “No.” To do this, some walk off the floor to miss the vote or sit quietly without voting. Another tactic used to help kill a bill without voting “No” is to vote “Present.” Not voting or voting “Present” are not neutral actions. Regardless of whether a legislator votes “No”, doesn’t vote, or votes “Present” each action has the same effect of trying to deny the legislation enough votes to pass.


Here are some important votes on which Rep. Johnson’s actions conflict with conservative values and to various degrees with the platform and principles of the Republican Party of Arkansas.

Note: In all the instances below in which Rep. Johnson failed to vote on a bill, he had signed in as being present that day but didn’t vote on the bill. Not voting has the same effect as a no vote in that it works to deny the legislation enough votes to pass.


  1. Failed to vote on bill restricting abortions by requiring OBGYN qualifications for abortionists and the bill updates unborn viability – SB448 of 2019


  1. Voted against bill to prohibit chemical castration of children – HB1570 of 2021


  1. Voted against returning COVID19 regulation fees to businesses – SB301 of 2021 – against override of Governor’s veto.


  1. Voted for Internet Sales Tax paid by Arkansas consumers – SB576 of 2019
  2. Voted for Gas Tax Increase – SB336 of 2019
  3. Voted for $300 million tax increase proposal – HJR1018 of 2019
  4. Failed to vote on bill for a homestead property tax cut – HB1321 of 2019
  5. Voted to increase cell phone fees/ taxes – HB1564 of 2019
  6. Voted to increase water bill fees/ taxes – HB1737 of 2019
  7. Voted for new fees on ride sharing at airports (UBER, LYFT) – SB686 of 2021


  1. Voted against stopping tax increases at special elections – HB1368 of 2021
  2. Voted for bill (jeopardizing election integrity) to allow new electronic voter registration – HB1517 of 2021


  1. Voted against school choice scholarships for children – HB1371 of 2021


  1. Failed to vote on bill for protecting free speech on college campuses, which has been restricted by liberal administrators – SB156 of 2019

Access to Government Information

  1. Failed to vote on bill for transparency on claimed “cost savings” in Governor’s transformation plan – SB671 of 2021

Regulation/ Deregulation

  1. Voted against deregulation – full practice authority for nurse midwives – HB1215 of 2021
  2. Voted against expanding scope of practice for optometrists to help patients – HB1251 of 2019
  3. Voted against deregulation – amended supervision requirements for nurse anesthetists – HB1198 of 2021
  4. Failed to vote on bill for expanded access to healthcare – APRN as primary care provider in Medicaid – HB1254 of 2021

Special Interests

  1. Voted for a new special interest healthcare council to lobby and help control legislators – HB1568 of 2019 (Sponsor)


Below are statements from the platform of the Republican Party of Arkansas. You be the judge to what extent Representative Johnson’s voting record conflicts with these statements.

Item 1: The 2nd Principle of the RPAP “The sanctity of life” and with 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.
Item 2: Issue NOT addressed in platform.
Item 3: The 4th principle of the RPAP – “Individual freedom and liberty secured by a limited government”.
Items 4-11: The 6th Principle of the RPAP “Lower taxes to produce economic growth” and the Preamble of the RPAP – “We recognize the importance of lower taxes to spur economic growth and to ensure that individuals reap more of the benefits of their hard work.
Item 12: The platform says: “Honest elections are the foundation of our republican form of limited government, and we strongly applaud every effort Arkansas Republicans have previously taken to ensure our ballot is protected and that access is guaranteed for all authorized voters, including the elderly, the military, and young voters.
Items 13: The Education Section of the RPAP – “Arkansas’s children deserve a world class education, developed by parents, educators, and leaders accountable to our citizens, regardless of their zip code. This requires openness to every type of education system available: homeschooling, distance learning, public school, private school, charter school, and vocational or technical school.” “Every tool should be given equal consideration and be utilized in a manner that puts the student’s needs above all ‘to secure to the people the advantages and opportunities of education.’”  “Every education decision we make is with the students and parents first in our minds!” “Every opportunity for every family to enroll each child in the school of its choice should be secured by government and offered to Arkansas families. Parents must have the ability to make informed choices regarding the education of their children and should not be restricted by lines on a map or the cost of tuition.” “to become greater players on the global stage, our children must be given the tools to succeed in their chosen fields through education.”
Item 14: The Government Reform Section of the RPAP says: “We are opposed to any restrictions that would discourage Arkansans from fully exercising their First Amendment rights, or limit their commitment to their beliefs”, and “We further oppose any state or federal efforts to impair Arkansans’ free speech rights guaranteed in the Constitution and upheld by the Supreme Court.
Item 15: The Preamble of the RPAP – “Regnat Populus, the People Rule” and with the Government Reform Section of the RPAP – “We firmly support transparency and openness at every level of government. Those elected, appointed, and employed in government work for the taxpayers of this state and must provide public information when requested . . .
Items: 16-19: The 4th Principle of the RPAP – “Individual freedom and liberty secured by a limited government”, the Preamble of the RPAP – “We are created equally with individual freedoms and liberties that, through our own exercise of individual responsibility and initiative, can result in great outcomes independent of government.”, and the Economic Prosperity and Job Growth Section of the RPAP – “In order to continue moving forward in our economic recovery, businesses in Arkansas need to operate freely from overly burdensome regulation and over-taxation.
Item 20: The Preamble of the RPAP – “Regnat Populus, the People Rule”


Conduit for Commerce scores the votes of legislators based on Conduit’s Economic Freedom Filter.  The Economic Freedom Filter analyzes bills that do the following:

  • Increase or decrease the size and scope of government
  • Increase or decrease dependency on government
  • Spend money we do not have
  • Increase or decrease transparency in government
Rep. Lee Johnson Voting Record – Conduit for Commerce Scorecard History

(In 2021, 91% was the Score for the most conservative House Member with a ranking of 1/100. Rep. Johnson ranked in the bottom half of the House of Representatives in 2021 and was the lowest rated Republican in 2019.)

Session Score Rank
2021 72% 47/100
2019 32.3% 89/100

(Lowest Rated Republican, Lower than 13 Democrats)




The Republican primary is May 24, 2022 and candidate filing ends March 1.


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