LOCAL NEWS

Democrats urge reprimand of Rep. Matt Shea

May 3, 2019, 1:34 PM | Updated: 5:55 pm
Matt Shea...
Washington Rep. Matt Shea. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Democrats in the state House of Representatives want Republican Rep. Matt Shea to be publicly reprimanded for extremist activities.

The Democrats sent a letter Friday to House Republican Leader J.T. Wilcox of Yelm, also demanding that Shea, of Spokane Valley, be removed as the top Republican on the House Committee on Environment and Energy.

The Democrats contend that Shea’s direct involvement in extremist activities erodes the state’s ideals of fairness and equality.

The Guardian newspaper previously reported it had obtained the contents of internet chats from 2017 involving Shea and three other men proposing to confront leftists with a variety of tactics, including violence, surveillance and intimidation.

Among the discussions, according to the letter sent on Friday, were suggestions made by extremists to grab a “fist full of hair” and to “face slam” a protester into a Jersey barrier and “… shaving her bald with a K-Bar USMC field knife.” The extremists also talked about targeting daycare locations of political opponents’ children. Other acts were “too heinous” to describe in the letter.

Shea didn’t speak out against the violence discussed, according to The Guardian.

Wilcox and Shea did not immediately reply to emails seeking comment. In a statement released hours after the letter from Democrats was released, House Republicans acknowledged that the allegations are serious, but that Shea deserves a thorough investigation.  Further, Republicans say they announced they’d begin an investigation shortly after the session ended (on Sunday), but a proposed process was interrupted on Wednesday by the Speaker of the House, who authorized work with an outside investigator.

Republicans also called out Democrats for taking months conducting investigations, oftentimes shrouded in confidentiality, into their own party members accused of misconduct.

Among the signatures on the Democrats’ letter are:
Rep. Derek Stanford
Rep. Marcus Riccelli
Rep. Bill Ramos
Rep. Dave Paul
Rep. Brian Blake
Rep. Lillian Ortiz-Self
Rep. Beth Doglio
Rep. Drew Hansen
Rep. Laurie Jinkins
Rep. Mari Leavitt
Rep. Melanie Morgan
Rep. Mike Pellicciotti
Rep. Cindy Ryu
Rep. Tina Orwall
Rep. Eileen Cody
Rep. Noel Frame
Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos
Rep. June Robinson
Rep. Debra Lekanoff
Rep. Tana Senn
Rep. Sharon Shewmake
Rep. Frank Chopp
Rep. Jared Mead
Rep. Larry Springer
Rep. Javier Valdez
Rep. Pat Sullivan
Rep. Amy Walen
Rep. Monica Jurado Stonier
Rep. Shelley Kloba
Rep. Timm Ormsby
Rep. Lisa Callan
Rep. Steve Bergquist
Rep. Strom Peterson
Rep. Laurie Dolan
Rep. Sherry Appleton
Rep. Steve Tharinger
Rep. Jake Fey
Rep. Christine Kilduff
Rep. Steve Kirby
Rep. Kristine Reeves
Rep. Lauren Davis
Rep. Mia Gregerson
Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon
Rep. Gael Tarleton
Rep. Eric Pettigrew
Rep. Mike Sells
Rep. Jeff Morris
Rep. My-Linh Thai
Rep. Nicole Macri
Rep. John Lovick
Rep. Roger Goodman
Rep. Gerry Pollet
Rep. Debra Entenman
Rep. Vandana Slatter
Rep. Sharon Wylie

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Democrats urge reprimand of Rep. Matt Shea