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Report: More donors shying away from controversial Rep. Matt Shea

Washington State Rep. Matt Shea, R-Spokane Valley. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

As Washington State Representative Matt Shea is under investigation by his own party and the House, another round of large corporate donors are shying away from the Spokane-area politician.

Spokane sheriff has concerns about Rep. Shea

A handful of corporate donors previously asked for their money back in 2018, following a controversy surrounding the Republican politician. Now, The Seattle Times reports that Allstate, Boeing, Weyerhaeuser, and the Washington Health Care Association are adding themselves to that list. They will no longer donate to Representative Shea in future.

The Times further notes that Shea has raised eyebrows over how he has spent campaign funds in the past. For example, he has made $68,000 in donations since 2011 to the American Christian Network which hosts his own radio show. It is unclear if state law prohibits the radio donations, however. He has also reportedly used money for traveling to promote his plan to secede Eastern Washington from the rest of the state (to form a new state called “Liberty”).

In 2018, Avista, BNSF, Northwest Credit Union Association, AT&T, and the Washington Association of Realtors all sought refunds from Shea. He raised $111,145 for his 2018 campaign for re-election (which he won). He reportedly has not refunded any of that money to donors who asked for their money back.

Donors have also previously objected to how Shea has used campaign finances, reportedly turning over excess funds to extremist groups — some described as hate groups. In 2018, he donated $3,500 donation to “Americans for America,” based out of Centennial Colorado. He gave another $2,000 to the Arizona-based “Citizens for Free Speech” nonprofit group.

Matt Shea controversies

Shea is renowned for his reluctance to speak with media, reserving his speech for his own radio show, social media, and YouTube channels. That has not stopped a string of revelations about the politician’s activities. It has led to Washington’s Republican officials removing him from leadership roles.

It began when a biblical war “manifesto” that Shea authored was leaked in late 2018. He argues it was merely Bible study notes. But critics say otherwise. The document states that enemies will receive peace if they cease abortions, same-sex marriages, and communism. If they don’t, “kill all males.” It also details that leaders who govern without God are tyrants and that “assassination to remove tyrants is just, not murder.”

Washington’s history of white supremacist migration

Earlier in 2019, it was revealed that Shea took part in a private chat with other Spokane-area residents about monitoring and even violently assaulting liberals in the region. Shea did not speak to the violence in the chat thread, but did offer to do background checks. Shea told the Jason Rantz Show that he frequently, personally does background checks on people. He also called the news a hit piece.

Most recently, Shea was a focus of an episode of the Bundyville podcast that covered the politician’s association with fringe groups, which are potentially violent and anti-government. Some of these groups promote a new state, or homeland that is governed by a theocracy for white people. While Shea has not publicly supported that specific angle, he has proposed legislation to form a 51st state called “Liberty” that would secede Eastern Washington from the rest of the state.

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