Washington officials urge state GOP to drop Rep. Matt Shea

Apr 22, 2019, 1:53 PM | Updated: 5:32 pm
Matt Shea...
Washington state Rep. Matt Shea finds himself in hot water once again. (Washington House Republicans)
(Washington House Republicans)

Washington state Democratic officials are, once again, responding to recent news and controversy surrounding Republican state Representative Matt Shea.

The Guardian reported that it uncovered an online conversation between Spokane-area residents which promoted violence and surveillance of people with opposing viewpoints — mainly liberals. Rep. Shea was reportedly involved in that online conversation using an alias. He did not promote violence in his portion of the four-person chat, but did not object to the hostile rhetoric. He further asked for a list of names and wanted to perform background checks on local liberals.

Governor Jay Inslee responded to the report Monday.

“There is no place for hate in Washington state, especially in Washington’s Legislature,” Inslee said. “Rep. Matt Shea’s history of hate has now crossed a new line. He participated in conversations that advocated for violence against those with dissenting opinions. He is actively conspiring with others to surveil and target political activists.”

“Rep. Shea embodies a strain of extreme ideology that, throughout the decades and into the present, has caused deep harm to people and families. I strongly condemn both his rhetoric and his behavior.”

RELATED: “Biblical war” manifesto author faces campaign finance trouble

Washington’s Lieutenant Governor Cyrus Habib also called on “House Republicans to do the right thing and eject Matt Shea from their caucus.”

Republican responds

House Republican leader J.T. Wilcox responded to the news Monday:

Threats of political violence have no place in our society and I condemn them in the strongest terms. The statements made by others in a text conversation with Representative Matt Shea were wrong and deeply upsetting. I take these statements seriously and condemn them with no reservation. My conversations with Matt and Leadership will continue.

Wilcox also told the Associated Press that Shea didn’t make any threats of violence, himself, within the messages. Wilcox did not condemn Shea’s messages regarding background checks, and said he “would want to understand a little more about the conversation.”

An open letter to Washington Republicans

The Seattle Times further reports that the Washington State Democrats have sent an open letter to the Washington State Republican Party and the House Republican caucus, saying “it is past time to do something about Matt Shea.” They call on Washington Republicans to condemn Shea, saying “anything less is to condone and support the cancerous growth of extremism within your own ranks.”

The letter is signed by Tina Podlodowski, chair of the Washington State Democrats. It also states:

You don’t have to be a student of history to recognize the dangers that people like Matt Shea pose to our hard-won democracy. I hope that Donald Trump’s rhetoric and actions have not numbed you to the point where you can no longer recognize corrupt and dangerous elements inside your own walls.

The open letter points to a range of Shea’s involvement with extreme conspiracy theory and anti-government groups. It argues that Shea is tied to anti-government extremist organizations and militias; he has donated to anti-Muslim and anti-Semitic organizations which have been classified at hate groups; and he has spoken at extreme conspiracy theorist gatherings.

The Democrats’ letter further notes Shea’s personal actions that are “equally disturbing,” including: Shea pulled a loaded gun on a driver during a road rage incident; he has been sued for defamation; Shea posted threatening pictures of himself outside his political opponent’s home in 2012; he calls reporters “dirty, godless, hateful” people; and was accused of domestic violence.

Representative Shea was removed from state GOP leadership positions last year following another controversy over a “manifesto” he authored. That document detailed how to wage a war on opposition, in accordance to the Bible. The document discussed how “all males” should be killed if an enemy does not give up abortions, same-sex marriages, and communism.

Local News

USS John McCain...
KIRO Radio Newsdesk

Naval Station Everett welcomes USS John S. McCain

The USS John S. McCain is now docked at its new homeport, Naval Station Everett.
11 hours ago
vaccine booster, heart...
Stephanie Klein

What to know as Oct. 18 deadline for vaccine mandate approaches

The deadline for state workers, including educators, and healthcare workers to show their employers proof that they're vaccinated against COVID-19 is Monday, Oct. 18.
11 hours ago
KIRO 7 News Staff

Police: Two in custody after hit-and-run suspect rams patrol car; officer fires shots

Two people were taken into custody after a driver suspected of a hit-and-run rammed an officer’s patrol vehicle, resulting in the officer firing shots at the car Saturday night in Medina.
11 hours ago
Seattle library...
MyNorthwest Staff

Last of Seattle Public Library branch closures from pandemic comes to an end

Seattle has reopened its NewHolly library branch, meaning that for the first time since the start of the pandemic, all 27 of the city's branches are now up and running.
1 day ago
KIRO 7 News Staff

2 people shot in Seattle; suspect surrenders to police after SWAT negotiation

A suspect surrendered to police Saturday afternoon after two people were shot in Seattle’s Chinatown-International District, the Seattle Police Department said.
1 day ago
MyNorthwest Staff

New rules for visitors to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle

Starting Tuesday, visitors to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle must show proof of vaccination against COVID-19 or proof of a negative test within three days of visiting.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles


How to Have a Stress-Free Real Estate Experience

The real estate industry has adapted and sellers are taking full advantage of new real estate models. One of which is Every Door Real Estate.
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
Marysville Police Department

Police Opportunities in a Growing, Supportive Washington Community

Marysville PD is looking for both lateral and entry level officers. Begin or continue your career in law enforcement for a growing, supportive community.

Small, Minority-Owned Businesses in King County and Pierce County Can Now Apply For $10,000 Relief Grants Through Comcast RISE

Businesses in King County and Pierce County can apply beginning on October 1, 2021, at www.ComcastRISE.com for a chance to receive a $10,000 relief grant.
Courtesy of JWatch Photography....
Experience Anacortes

Summer Fun Activities in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
Washington officials urge state GOP to drop Rep. Matt Shea