If you need more evidence that Rep. Matt Shea is nuttier than a squirrel turd, here you go: The somehow duly elected Spokane Valley representative allegedly discussed spying on local residents and his political enemies—which, naturally, include "Antifa" and "communists"—in chat logs published by the Guardian over the weekend.
Rep. Shea made national news last year after the Spokesman-Review reported that he had distributed a manifesto entitled "A Biblical Basis for War." That document, which read like Left Behind fanfic, was just the tip of Shea's long history of bad ideas. As former Stranger staffer Heidi Groover reported in 2016, other greatest hits include:
• He believes "there is no difference between Planned Parenthood and what Dr. Josef Mengele did in Germany in the 1940s."
• He recently made up quotes from the Founding Fathers in a pro-gun bill he introduced in Olympia.
• In North Idaho, he urged people to stock up on ammo for the "inevitable collapse."
• He visited the Bundys—both in Nevada and in Oregon. His name was also invoked by militants in Wednesday night's call from the Oregon refuge.
• He worries FEMA shelters could be "used for something other than emergency relocation in the event of a natural disaster [like internment camps] because of centralized federal control."
There's more. Shea also wants to split Washington state in two, has been accused of campaign finance violations, was sued for defamation by a Spokane County Sherriff's deputy, was accused by his ex-wife of treating her "as a possession" as well as being physically and emotionally abusive. And now, according to the Guardian, it look as though the dude is deeply into conspiracy theories. Huge shock.
Messages supplied to the paper include conversations with Jack Robertson, a conservative Christian separatist who broadcasts on Radio Free Redoubt under the name “John Jacob Schmidt," as well as Anthony Bosworth, a former candidate for Yakima Co. Sheriff who once brought a gun to court and took part in the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge militia takeover in 2016, and a fourth man granted anonymity by the paper in exchange for the chat logs. All of the men used aliases (Matt Shea's was “Verum Bellator," which is apparently Latin for "true warrior") and the conversations took place in the run up to Nov. 4, 2017, a date when Antifa was supposedly planning a violent insurrection according to false rumors spread through right-wing media and online forums.
In one message, Robertson said a woman who lives in Spokane should be "shave[d] bald with a K-Bar USMC field knife." In another, Bosworth advocates for "locating the provocateurs [sic] leaders [sic] in the mouth pieces [sic] and then targeting there [sic] safe spaces while they're out on the streets rioting." Robertson agrees, adding, "Yes. Homes, cars, workplaces, etc. Child's daycare location." Later, Shea volunteers to run background checks on three Spokane residents, including an Indivisible organizer and a local college professor.
"The men talked about the broad outlines of what they appeared to consider to be a looming civil war," the Guardian writes. "They also discussed using symbols from what they understood to be Russian anti-communist groups as a way of spreading paranoia among their adversaries." They also discussed leaving nationalist "calling cards" at their enemy's homes, and, when the Antifa revolution failed to materialize, Rep. Shea blamed the weather. "Nothing ruins a good communist revolution like snow," he wrote. "Snowflakes afraid of snowflakes." LOL!! GOOD ONE!!!
Neither Washington State GOP Chairperson Caleb Heimlich, Republican Senate leader Mark Schoesler, or Republican House leader J.T. Wilcox immediately returned a request for comment, but Democratic Lt. Governor Cyrus Habib, as well as Democratic Party Chair Tina Podlodowski, are calling for Shea's GOP colleagues to oust him. In a statement, Podlodowski said, “Republican Representative Matt Shea crossed the decency line for most Washingtonians years ago with his unethical and vocal support for dangerous right-wing militias, anti-LGBTQ, and racist groups. With this new information about Shea’s participation in planning surveillance and violence against peaceful protesters, has he finally crossed the line for the WA GOP and the House Republicans?”