Knezovich v. Shea on Display
Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich has long been an outspoken critic of Matt Shea (State Rep, Legislative District 4, Spokane valley and points north to Mt. Spokane). As a strong critic of Shea, Knezovich has been a rare voice among elected Republicans. (Read Who’s Mum on Matt Shea?),
As the lone canary in the local Republican coal mine, Sheriff Knezovich is worth hearing. The Town Hall next Tuesday advertised below is that chance. The rest of the ad reads: "A riveting discussion with Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich with John Smith and Jay Pounder." Jay Pounder is the former Shea body guard who awoke one day to realize the militant far right Christian theocracy Shea promotes is antithetical to Pounder's Christian values. John Smith was brought up among Christian Identity extremists in southern Idaho and has been involved in Stevens County politics for years. (For more detail on Smith's history and local Christian Identity politics, read here and here.) This should be a very interesting evening.
The Threats We Face--Live Town Hall Meeting
When: Tuesday, September 24, 6-8PM
Where: Center Place Regional Event Center 2426 North Discovery Place Spokane Valley, WA 99216
The event is sponsored by Republicans of Spokane County. Note: Republicans of Spokane County is a group distinct from the Spokane County Republican Party("SpokaneGOP"). (The Spokane GOP, the larger of the two groups, has multiple connections with and support from Matt Shea allied extremists.) Judging by a previous meeting that I attended, the Republicans of Spokane County understand the threat that Christian Identity ideology like that of Matt Shea poses--not only to the nation but to the future of the local and national Republican Party. There are many topics on which I disagree with the Republicans of Spokane County, but the group is rightly concerned with the dubious alliances the larger organization, the Spokane GOP, has made.
Put this event on your calendar, attend, mingle, ask questions, learn. (No MAGA hat is required, but I won't be wearing a Bernie t-shirt either...) At the earlier meeting of theirs that I attended I eventually learned I was sitting next to a Republican who was definitely NOT a Trump supporter.
Keep to the high ground,
P.S. A good friend and I visited the Spokane GOP booth at the Spokane County Interstate Fair last week. Among the questions we asked was, "Who are the Republicans of Spokane County?" It drew a blank until one of the hosts, a middle-aged woman, gamely offered, "Aren't those the ones who promote the 51st State?" (They definitely are not.) Message: many within a movement have little awareness of the broader contours of the movement itself.
At the same booth we engaged the other host, a thirty-something man who had immigrated to the U.S. and had recently become a naturalized citizen. When asked about the Dreamers (residents of the U.S. without citizenship, brought here as children, many of whom know no other culture), his response was, "They should be deported and have to go through the same process I did." I'm sure I didn't change his mind, but he was a bit flustered when I asked, "So you believe like it says in the Old Testament that 'the sinners of the fathers shall be visited unto the third and fourth generation'?"
In case you're wondering if the municipal elections are really "non-partisan," we collected campaign literature at the Spokane GOP booth for Cathcart, Kiepe, and Wendle and were reassured in a whisper that Woodward and Rathbun were staunch Republicans that were trying to keep that quiet in order to get elected in "liberal" territory.
Prominent at the Spokane GOP booth were signs for "We Believe We Vote," in case anyone wonders about the alliance between this Evangelical litmus test and the official Spokane GOP..