Biblical war ‘manifesto’ author and state lawmaker faces campaign finance trouble

Dec 13, 2018, 6:02 AM | Updated: 10:49 am

Matt Shea...

Rep. Matt Shea, R-Spokane, speaks at a gun-rights rally, at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash. in 2017. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Washington state lawmaker Matt Shea found himself in hot water over a biblical war “manifesto” before the November election. Now, he could soon find himself in a different kind of trouble, following the filing of a pair of complaints regarding improper use of campaign finances.

RELATED: Matt Shea removed from leadership following ‘manifesto’ controversy

Shea, who was removed from his Republican leadership role in the state Legislature weeks after his “manifesto” was made public, is alleged in complaints to have used surplus campaign funds to pay for radio broadcasts and advertising, and to donate money to groups described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as “far-right nonprofit organizations” and “anti-Muslim hate groups.”

Documentation for the complaints was acquired by KHQ Local News.

The initial complaint, filed Dec. 3 by an Olympia attorney, alleges Shea made a pair of donations using surplus campaign funds. The first was a $3,500 donation to “Americans for America,” based out of Centennial Colorado. The second was a $2,000 donation to the Arizona-based “Citizens for Free Speech” nonprofit group.

The second complaint, filed Nov. 19 by a campaign volunteer for Shea’s Democratic opponent Ted Cummings, alleges Shea used campaign funds to pay for radio broadcasts, and advertising on conservative outlet Redoubt News.

KHQ’s report outlines the handful of ways surplus campaign funds can be used, but the one to make note of is where funds can be donated to state-registered charities. The complaints point out that none of the organizations Shea donated to are registered as charities.

Shea now has until Dec. 19, 2018 to respond to the second complaint, and Dec. 20 to respond to the first complaint.

Matt Shea “manifesto”

Shea first ran into trouble in early-November, when what’s been described as a biblical war “manifesto” was made public. Many found it controversial, relating it to racist and anti-Semitic rhetoric common with white nationalists.

RELATED: Rep. Shea responds to biblical war ‘manifesto’ controversy

The document talked about how to wage a war according to points found in the Bible. It describes a holy army that should first offer peace, but “kill all males” if that peace is rejected. It also notes that a “tyrant” is someone who rules without God, and says assassinating a tyrant is just and not murder.

Speaking to The Spokesman Review, Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich described it as “a ‘how to’ manual consistent with the ideology and operating philosophy of the Christian Identity/Aryan Nations movement.”

The document is short on context and other details, and heavy on bullet points. It can be viewed online here.

Soon after that happened, Shea was removed from his role as caucus chair for the state’s House Republicans, despite stating that he has “consistently and unequivocally condemned racism, anti-Semitism, and white nationalism.”

He has yet to comment on these latest campaign finance complaints.

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Biblical war ‘manifesto’ author and state lawmaker faces campaign finance trouble