Local leaders call for Rep. Matt Shea’s resignation on heels of Guardian report
SPOKANE, Wash. — Several local leaders are calling for Representative Matt Shea’s resignation on the heels of a report from the Guardian, detailing his support of ‘Team Rugged.’
The Guardian reported Shea posted videos to his personal Facebook page engaging with members of Team Rugged, a group that, in their own words, aim to give young men ‘all the foundational learning and skills that they need to be effective in Christian warfare.’
Additional reporting by Chad Sokol of the Spokesman Review showed Shea directed the purchase of tracking devices and compiled dossiers on several local progressive leaders. Sokol reported Spokane City Council President Ben Stuckart, Councilman Breean Beggs and Councilwoman Lori Kinnear were among those leaders.
Earlier in the year, another Guardian report claimed that Shea talked about violence against liberal activists, and in October 2018 he allegedly wrote a four-page document called ‘The Basis for Biblical War,’ which described rules for war, requirements for a ‘Holy Army’ and the banning of abortion and same-sex marriage as ‘terms of justice and righteousness.’
The first call for Shea’s resignation came from the Spokane branch of the NAACP.
According to an official statement, the NAACP believes that the idea of ‘biblical warfare’ promoted by the group is misleading, as it implies mutual conflict. They further suggest that the indoctrination of these groups leads to ‘terroristic attacks against religious minorities and vulnerable families.’
City Council Member Kate Burke also voiced her agreement with the NAACP statement, saying she ‘is in full support of this statement. Expulsion is long overdue.’
Here are some of the other leaders who have commented on the allegations:
Spokane City Council President and mayoral candidate Ben Stuckart:
I agree with the NAACP and 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.
Spokane Police Guild:
Spokane City Council members Lori Kinnear, Breean Beggs and Ben Stuckart shared this joint statement:
Kinnear also provided the following statement to 4 News Now on Monday:
Representative Shea’s preparation for holy war and his threats of violence against non-white community members are grotesque.
I’m not intimidated by him or his alleged tracking of me and other local leaders who believe in our constitutionally-formed government and community.
Spokane Chapter of the National Organization of Women:
Spokane NOW stands with, next to, and behind the Spokane NAACP in their call for Matt Shea’s removal from office. Hate has no place in our community nor in our government. We affirm the calls for Shea’s resignation and ask for it as well.The obvious and subtle tones of Rep. Shea’s actions, comments, writings, speeches, videos, etc. are destructive, harmful, divisive, provocational, and leave little room for any interpretation otherwise.As of today, the Spokane Police Guild has called for Shea’s resignation due to clear ideological differences with upholding the Constitution and citizen’s rights. Many organizations, who may differ on certain issues, have come together with one voice to condemn Shea’s harmful and violent rhetoric that incites hatred. This is a turning point for citizens to demand accountability from legislators to protect the people of Eastern Washington.
Spokane Valley Mayor Rod Higgins said the following in an interview with 4 News Now partner KXLY 920 a.m. radio:
“Well, first of all, we haven’t heard representative Shea’s side of the story and I do know from personal meetings with the two people making those allegations, they’re not always the most… what’s the word I’m looking for? I don’t trust them. I’ve also been the object of a story by the writer in the Spokesman, I do not think I was treated fairly. So, time out. Let’s take a deep breath and see what happens here.”
Spokane Valley City Councilwoman Brandi Peetz:
I am deeply troubled by the hate and divisiveness that has erupted in our region. We have a responsibility to stand together against individuals and ideologies that seek to divide or perpetuate hateful rhetoric. Our community deserves honorable leadership and the right to feel safe. Divisive behaviors by any elected officials or candidates are not welcome in Spokane Valley, the community we love so dearly. As elected officials, our priorities should always be to make sure all voices are heard and are welcomed no matter their beliefs, as that makes our community a better place to live, work, and play.
Spokane mayoral candidate Nadine Woodward:
“I strongly condemn Representative Matt Shea’s divisive and extreme rhetoric and ideology. I believe in inclusive and open leadership that equally represents all residents. I call on his constituents to make their decision about what values they want represented in Olympia,” Woodward said.
Spokane City Council president candidate Cindy Wendle:
“We cannot be silent in the wake of extremist speech. We need to acknowledge the fear this instills in many of our friends and neighbors. I condemn the hurtful and radical rhetoric of Rep. Matt Shea. Those comments have no place in our community.”
House Republican Leader J.T. Wilcox:
There is an ongoing, independent investigation – authorized by the House – into the alleged activities of Representative Matt Shea. I expect this investigation to be comprehensive and provide a more complete picture of the allegations that have appeared in news stories to date. There were many calls for this investigation and it’s important that we preserve its integrity.
However, I want to make it clear that hate – in any form – is contrary to my values and our caucus as a whole. I condemn those who use threatening rhetoric and advocate for violence. I am also deeply concerned about the allegations of surveillance. Through the investigative process, Representative Shea will have an opportunity to denounce these things as well, and explain his side of the story.
Following the backlash, Shea posted the following message on Facebook:
“WOW THE OUTPOURING OF PRAYERS AND SUPPORT HAS BEEN OVERWHELMING. Thank you and blessings to you all!
‘Like a scarecrow in a cucumber field are they,
And they cannot speak;
They must be carried,
Because they cannot walk!
Do not fear them,
For they can do no harm,
Nor can they do any good.’
There is none like You, O Lord’
You are great, and great is Your name in might.
Jeremiah 10:5-6 (NASB)
Matt & Viktoriya Shea”
4 News Now has reached out to several elected leaders regarding the allegations against Shea. The Washington State House Democratic Caucus said they are not commenting, citing the independent investigation into Shea.
4 News Now also reached out to all members of the Spokane Valley City Council and mayor, and have not heard back.
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