Politics

A state lawmaker who made racist Facebook posts during his campaign last year wants to require all devices sold in Kentucky that can access the internet to have pornography blockers installed on them.

Rep. Dan Johnson, a Republican from Mt. Washington, has proposed requiring all internet-enabled devices to have “filters for obscenity, child pornography, revenge pornography, and prostitution.”

The bill would also create a deactivation process whereby the filters could be removed for a $20 fee. Money generated from removing filters would go to the crime victims compensation fund or human trafficking compensation fund.

Johnson, a preacher, was elected to his Bullitt County seat in 2016. He was disavowed by the Kentucky Republican Party during his campaign after posting racist pictures and comments to his Facebook page, but ended up defeating incumbent Democratic Rep. Linda Belcher by fewer than 200 votes.

Johnson posted images portraying President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama as monkeys, a cartoon car running over Black Lives Matter protesters and calling for states to “ban” Islam. He eventually removed the posts.

The Republican Party of Kentucky called for Johnson to suspend his campaign at the time, though after the election, then-House speaker Jeff Hoover said that Johnson would be “welcome in our caucus.”

Earlier this year, Johnson filed a bill to totally ban abortions in the state by making it a felony to perform the procedure.

He’s also filed another piece of legislation requiring public universities to create freedom of speech policies.

That bill would require state higher education institutions to create protections for speech and ideas considered to be “offensive, unwise, immoral, indecent, disagreeable, conservative, liberal, traditional, radical, or wrongheaded.”

Johnson did not return requests for comment made on Friday.

Ryland Barton is the Capitol bureau chief for Kentucky Public Radio.