Take action: Rep. Matt Shea Has Got To Go!
When far-right extremists plotted violence against his constituents, Representative Matt Shea (R-Spokane) offered to help, identifying targets and sharing their personal information. This is just the latest in Rep. Shea’s long history of inciting violence to promote his hateful ideological agenda — and we must take action to make clear this behavior is completely unacceptable.
Rep. Shea has got to go. Take action: Give Washington House Minority Leader J.T. Wilcox a call right now to tell him to censure Rep. Shea and remove him from his caucus!
Here is a sample script you can use to take action:
I’m a [Washington voter / concerned resident] calling about Rep. Matt Shea’s attempted intimidation campaign against his own constituents.
It’s unacceptable for our elected officials to condone or advocate violence, whether in public or in private.
Rep. Shea has a long history of promoting extreme and dangerous rhetoric that incites political and religious violence.
It’s time for you to step up and remove Rep. Shea from your caucus!
Thank you for your time.
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT MATT SHEA:
In a group chat with three other right-wing figures, Rep. Matt Shea assisted in plotting a violent campaign of intimidation against perceived political enemies in and around Spokane. Participants fantasized about slamming a local activist against a traffic barrier and shaving her head with a knife. His close friend, Jack Robertson, advocated targeting political opponents’ “homes, cars, workplaces, etc. Child’s daycare location.” In response, Rep. Shea offered to help out by identifying and surveilling potential targets: “What BG checks need to be done,” Rep. Shea asked. “Give me the list.”
Last year, Rep. Matt Shea quietly published a manifesto titled the “Biblical Basis for War,” where he advocated for “biblical law” and religious violence. When he was revealed as the document’s author, Rep. Shea doubled-down, arguing that the United States is “a Christian nation” and that the outrage came from “Marxists” and “Islamists.”
Both Rep. Shea and Anthony Bosworth, who participated in this chat, have alleged histories of violence against women. In 2008, Rep. Shea’s wife divorced him, citing physical and emotional abuse, and a judge granted her a protection order. In 2015, Bosworth was arrested for choking his 17-year-old daughter, dragging her by the hair in a parking lot, and assaulting a bystander who tried to intervene.
WILL HIS COLLEAGUES STAND BY HIM?
After his participation in the group chat became public thanks to a courageous whistleblower, progressive leaders including Western States Center Executive Director Eric Ward called on the State House GOP caucus to expel and censure Rep. Shea.
What was House Minority Caucus Leader J.T. Wilcox’s reaction to all this on April 22?
“The talk about violence was by people other than Rep. Shea,” Wilcox said of the exchanged messages printed in the Guardian. “I think it’s difficult for anybody to be held responsible for what other people say.”
In response to widespread criticism, by the evening, he amended his comments to add:
“Threats of political violence have no place in our society and I condemn them in the strongest terms. The statements made by others in a text conversation with Representative Matt Shea were wrong and deeply upsetting. I take these statements seriously and condemn them with no reservation. My conversations with Matt and Leadership will continue."
Denouncing political violence is critical, but it’s not enough. We’re calling on House Minority Leader J.T. Wilcox to move from finding this “deeply upsetting” to taking necessary steps to protect our communities. Rep. Matt Shea must be censured and expelled from his caucus.
It’s time to take action: Call Washington House Minority Leader J.T. Wilcox right now to tell him that Rep. Shea has got to go!