Growing calls for Rep. Shea’s resignation, amid claims of surveillance, blacklist

Aug 21, 2019, 5:19 AM
Matt Shea...
Washington State Rep. Matt Shea. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

The Spokane Police Guild became the latest group to call for Republican Washington State Rep. Matt Shea to resign.

“The Spokane Police Guild finds Representative Matt Shea’s actions in keeping city of Spokane officials under surveillance appalling and join with those asking for his immediate resignation,” the guild said in a recent Facebook post.

“It is the duty of both law enforcement and elected government officials to uphold the Constitution,” the guild continues. “It is clear by Mr. Shea’s conduct he is more interested in promoting his own ideology than upholding the rights afforded to all citizens under the Constitution.”

Matt Shea: I do background checks on people who threaten me

The union represents rank and file officers. The guild’s demand followed similar calls from various Spokane-area elected leaders Sunday allegedly targeted by Shea.

The latest round of calls for the six-term Republican state lawmaker to quit or be expelled from the Legislature started after he was linked last week to a Washington state group claiming to conduct “patriotic and biblical training on war for young men.” This included boys and teens. Training involved how to use knives, pistols and rifles, and is based in part on the teachings of a neo-Confederate pastor.

Leaked emails obtained by the Guardian appear to show Shea had close ties to the group, including a 2016 email to Shea from the leader of a group called Team Rugged that described the training.

“Everything about it is both politically incorrect and what would be considered shocking truth to most modern Christians,” the leader of Team Rugged wrote to Shea in an email. “There will be scenarios where every participant will have to fight against one of the most barbaric enemies that are invading our country, Muslims terrorists.”

Rep. Matt Shea allegedly used app to discuss surveillance of liberals

Shea also posted a video of himself interviewing the leader of the group in 2017, apparently impressed with the training.

Then over the weekend, the Spokesman Review uncovered more of Shea’s leaked private emails and documents from several sources. They reportedly show that Shea was compiling dossiers on local progressive leaders, including several Spokane city council members, and surveilling them.

He also reportedly kept a blacklist of suspected informants in his network, and plotted to establish a “provisional government” in the event of a collapse, bragging about his work to “turn back the tide” of those who practice Islam in the United States.

Shea also is said to have distributed a list containing the names and phone numbers of every working cop in Washington state, to help to “confirm or deny legitimacy” of investigators who made contact, and create a blacklist of possible informants.

Washington House tags former FBI agent to investigate GOP lawmaker

All of this fueled the fresh calls for Shea to resign over the past several days.

Among them, was the Spokane chapter of the NAACP.

“Every moment he occupies a seat in our state Legislature emboldens extremists and erodes the legitimacy of our sacred institutions,” the organization said.

“Anything short of the expulsion of Matt Shea from the Washington state House of Representatives is a threat to our community, a threat to our collective safety and an implicit endorsement of white supremacy,” The NAACP’s statement continued.

Spokane City Council President Ben Stuckart, who Shea was reportedly surveilling, is also among those calling for him to resign.

“I’m an elected official, people say things all the time about me, but I worry when white nationalism is so prominent in our region [and] how that affects our multi-ethnic, multi-cultural community,” Stuckart said in an interview with KHQ-TV.

“I call on every person running for office in our region to denounce Matt Shea, his threats of violence and intimidation, and ask for his immediate resignation or removal from office,” Stuckart added.

Stuckart is currently locked in a tight race for Spokane mayor.

The new allegations surfacing this past week come on top of other recent controversy surrounding Shea, including the leak of his manifesto, a “biblical basis for war” against people who practice same-sex marriage, abortion, and more.

Spokane Sheriff: ‘I do have concerns’ about Rep. Matt Shea

Shea later said it was taken out of context, and that it was just a collection notes for a sermon on war from the Old Testament.

Earlier this year, there was more trouble for Shea, when the Guardian revealed details of internet chats from 2017 involving Shea and three other men linked to extremism who were suggesting confrontations with “leftists” using several tactics, including violence, surveillance, and intimidation.

Those chats also appear to show Shea offering to run background checks on political opponents.

Shea was easily re-elected despite his “manifesto” coming out just ahead of the election last year. He did end up losing his leadership position in the House, however.

After the internet chats came out, House leadership decided to investigate, eventually hiring an outside agency to run an independent investigation into Shea focused on whether he planned or promoted political violence and the extent of his involvement with groups or people involved with such activities.

Rep. Matt Shea on latest controversy: ‘I will not back down’

They’ll also determine what the threat level was from any of Shea’s actions.

A preliminary report is due Sept. 30, with a final report to the Legislature December 1.

Shea did not respond to requests for comment, which is his general response to media. On Friday he did post a message on Facebook thanking followers for all of their support.

“WOW. THE OUTPOURING OF PRAYERS AND SUPPORT HAS BEEN OVERWHELMING. Thank you and blessings to you all!” the post read.

Local News

Nicole Jennings

Make pre-holiday vaccine appointments early amid run on boosters

Some Washington residents are having trouble getting boosters quickly. With the holidays approaching, it's good to make an appointment now.
21 hours ago
Oso memorial...
Hanna Scott

Oso families secure final $4.8 million for permanent memorial

Families of those lost in the Oso slide in 2014 got official word this week that they secured the remaining $4.8 million needed for a permanent memorial.
21 hours ago
Omicron variant...
Nick Bowman

UW Virology: ‘A matter of time’ before omicron variant surfaces in Washington

In Washington, local health leaders believe that the omicron variant is likely to surface in the state sometime in the coming weeks.
21 hours ago
KIRO Radio Newsdesk

South Puget Sound Community College offers first-of-its-kind craft brewing degree

The city of Tumwater, which is working to become a center for craft brewing and distilling, was visited by the governor this week.
21 hours ago
Seattle police protest...
Hanna Scott

Audit from police watchdog warns of ‘gaps in the discipline system’ for Seattle officers

An audit of the Seattle Police Department’s disciplinary system lead to nearly a dozen recommendations by the city’s Office of Inspector General.
21 hours ago
Election fraud...
Nick Bowman

Claims of election fraud from Washington Republicans persist amid flood of emails to AG’s office

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson was flooded with emails last weekend, pushing for him to support the latest claims of election fraud.
21 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.

Delayed-Onset PTSD: Signs and Symptoms

Lakeside-Milam Recovery Centers SPONSORED — You’re probably familiar with post-traumatic stress disorder. Often abbreviated as PTSD, this condition is diagnosed when a person experiences a set of symptoms for at least a month after a traumatic event. However, for some people, these issues take longer to develop. This results in a diagnosis of delayed-onset PTSD […]

Medicare open enrollment ends Dec. 7. Free unbiased help is here!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]

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.
Growing calls for Rep. Shea’s resignation, amid claims of surveillance, blacklist