The Company You Keep
Action Item: The Washington House Minority Leader J.T. Wilcox (R-LD2, west of Mt. Rainier) (360-786-7912) is dragging his feet on censuring and removing Matt Shea from the WA State House Republican Caucus. He needs encouragement to stand up for decency. Remind him he is judged by the company he keeps. For more information read below and click here.
Matt Shea has been the State Legislative Representative from Legislative District 4--roughly, Spokane valley to Mount Spokane--since 2009. In that time he has gained press notoriety for a road rage incident in which he pulled a gun (on an expired permit) in 2012, He made national news in the fall of 2018 for his manifesto, "The Biblical Basis for War." In the words of Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich Shea's manifesto is "...a ‘how to’ manual consistent with the ideology and operating philosophy of the Christian Identity/Aryan Nations movement and the Redoubt movement of the 1990s.” In this last week the Guardian (and later the Spokesman Review) published an online chat in which Shea (as "Verum Bellator") offered help with "background checks" to three male racist nut cases discussing violence against a specific female Spokane resident nominated for surveillance. Among the enthusiastic suggestions: "Fist full of hair, and face slam, to a Jersey barrier. Treat em like communist revolutionaries. Then shave her bald with a K-Bar USMC field knife," (The quote is from Jack Robertson, aka "John Jacob Schmidt" of North Idaho's Radio Free Redoubt.) Shea didn't deny his engagement in the chat (that would have been pointless, given the evidence), but, instead, claimed he only came in at the end, a defense contradicted by the evidence.
So does Matt Shea's extremism and moral depravity concern the Republican Party or his donors? No, with the exception of Ozzie Knezovich, State and local Republicans remain "strategically silent," not wanting to risk the votes of the extremists who keep their party in office. If Matt Shea endorses you, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, why would you refuse his backing? Really, why would you? Sometimes what you refuse to say speaks loudest.
And donors? Matt Shea gathered $114,216.94 for his 2018 campaign, mostly from corporate donors. You can explore the list here. The message: as long as you vote corporate interests, we, the corporations, will conveniently look the other way in the face of any moral outrage. We, the corporations, don't care about morality or decency, we care only about maximizing our profits. To be sure, there were calls from some of these donors for Shea to return their money after the "Biblical Basis for War" made national news last fall. Of course, this was posturing. Not a penny was returned as far as I can see in the records of the Public Disclosure Commission. Instead, Shea spent the money with ACN (the American Christian Network), $41,754 to Matt Shea's "surplus account," social media, "REIMB AIRFARE - ALASKA AIRLINE TO ANTI-TERRORIMS TRAINING" (sic), and mileage reimbursement for Shea's extremist activities in Whitefish, M, and Marble, WA, places not even in his legislative district. How, one might ask, do these latter expenses fall under campaign expenses? Explore Shea's campaign expenditures here.
These corporate donors are funding extremism in exchange for Shea's supportive vote. Shame on them. So far Shea's 2020 campaign has raised only $4000 in "miscellaneous receipts." Shea's donors need be put on notice that a spotlight will shine on any donations to the 2020 campaign of this twisted man.
Call J.T. Wilcox today (360-786-7912) and tell him Matt Shea is a stain on the reputation of the Republican Party he and his Party cannot afford to defend.
Keep to the high ground,