Sen. Mathew Pitsch – Ignoring the Republican Platform
Pt 14 of the series
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 Senator Mathew Pitsch (R- Fort Smith). Sen. Pitsch is not running for reelection but is running for Treasurer of State.
Before we begin, we need to explain voting records.
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.
When a legislator has an excused absence from the Capitol the legislator can still vote on any issue. An absent legislator can vote using a simple procedure called. “Pairing.” As a common courtesy a Senator who is voting the opposite way will agree to have his or her vote paired with that of the absent legislator. The absent legislator can see the agenda for the day and select which bills he or she wishes to vote on through pairing.
Since pairing is available, we do not make a distinction between being present and not voting versus being absent and not voting, however, for clarity we are first listing Senator Pitsch’s voting record when he recorded herself as present for the day. Then we list bills he failed to vote on with “pairing” when having an excused absence.
SENATOR MATHEW PITSCH
Here are some important votes on which Sen. Mathew Pitsch’s actions conflict with conservative values and to various degrees with the platform and principles of the Republican Party of Arkansas.
PITSCH VOTES WHEN PRESENT
- Voted for Internet Sales Tax paid by Arkansas consumers – SB576 of 2019
- Voted for internet sales tax (previous attempt) – SB140 of 2017
- Voted for gas and diesel tax increase – SB336 of 2019
- Voted for $100 million tax increase for redistribution of wealth scheme – SB571 of 2019
- Voted for $300 million tax increase proposal – HRJ1018 of 2019
- Voted for highway tax increase bond issue program – HB1726 of 2017
- Voted for increased tire taxes – HB1267 of 2017
- Voted for tax increase on cell phone bills – HB1564 of 2019
- Voted for tax increase on water bills – HB1737 of 2019
- Voted for increased fees for state parks use – SB418 of 2021
Value of Life
- Voted to put a price tag on human life – SJR8 of 2017
- Voted against bill to require state agencies return COVID19 fines assessed on Arkansas businesses – SB301 of 2021 (and voted against overriding the Governor’s veto of the bill)
- Voted against voted on bill to exempt hair stylists from cosmetology licensing – HB1746 of 2021
- Voted against bill to expand the scope of practice for optometrists – HB1251 of 2019
- Voted against APRN as a primary care provider within Medicaid – HB1254 of 2021
- Voted against amending supervision requirements for nurse anesthetists – HB1198 of 2021
Freedom of Information
- Failed to vote on bill for recording of government meetings – HB1928 of 2019
- Voted for FOIA exemption for government attorneys – SB373 of 2017
WHEN ABSENT DID NOT USE “PAIRING” TO VOTE ON THE FOLLOWING BILLS
- Failed to vote on bill for school choice tax credit scholarship – SB680 of 2021
- Failed to vote on bill for the Food Freedom Act – SB248 of 2021
PRINCIPLES AND PLATFORM OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY OF ARKANSAS
Below are statements from the platform of the Republican Party of Arkansas. You be the judge to what extent Senator Pitsch’s voting record conflicts with these statements.
Items 1-10: 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 11: The 2nd Principle of the RPAP “The sanctity of life”
Item 12: The 4th principle of the RPAP – “Individual freedom and liberty secured by a limited government”.
Items: 13-16: 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.”
Items 17-18: 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 . . .”
Item 19: 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: 20: 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.”
POOR SCORE ON ECONOMIC FREEDOM FILTER
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
|Sen. Mat Pitsch Voting Record – Conduit for Commerce Scorecard History
(In 2021–94% was the Score for the most conservative Senator with a ranking of 1/35. Sen. Pitsch scored in the bottom half of the senate and that includes both Republicans and Democrats. In 2019 only 4 Senators scored worse than him.)
2022 REPUBLICAN PRIMARY
Senator Pitsch is running for Treasurer of State and has an opponent in the Republican Primary.
The Republican primary is May 24, 2022 and early voting begins May 9.