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Spin Control

Posts tagged: Matt Shea

Shea says feds making war on rural U.S.

 

YouTube video by Gavin Seim

The federal government has declared “war on rural America” with its rules and regulations on land use, a Spokane Valley legislator said in the wake of last week’s standoff between a Nevada rancher and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

In a speech on land near the center of the dispute, Republican Rep. Matt Shea called for federal land to be transferred to the states. A coalition of legislators from Western states was forming to stand up for Cliven Bundy and others in the fight against overbearing federal rules, he said.

But a spokesman for the group challenging Bundy's rights to graze hundreds of cattle on federal land without a permit or paying fees, said the rancher is trying to do something other cattlemen can't. And a federal judge's order supports that view. . . 

 

To read the rest of this item, or to comment, continue inside the blog.

To read the federal judge's order in the legal battle between the BLM and Cliven Bundy, click on the document below.


Documents:

RPA passes House, not likely to get Senate vote

OLYMPIA — The Democratic House passed its latest version of a bill that would require insurance companies to cover abortion if they cover maternity care, but the Reproductive Parity Act seems unlikely to come to a vote in the Senate.

On a mostly partisan 54-44 vote, the bill passed despite objections from Republicans that it infringed on some people's religious rights because it forced them to pay premiums to a company for a procedure they found morally wrong.

Both sides used the term choice — a key word for supporters of abortion rights — in arguing their case. Opponents like Rep. Shelly Short, R-Addy, said the Legislature was taking away the choice of people who want a policy that doesn't cover abortion.”There's no choice in a mandate,” Rep. Matt Shea, R-Spokane Valley, said.

 Rep. Larry Springer, D-Kirkland, said he supported the bill because it left the choice on whether to have an abortion to the woman, not to her employer who decides what policy to offer, or the insurance company. “There is no choice that is more significant to a woman,” Rep. Laurie Jinkins, D-Tacoma, said.

As is typical for abortion legislation, the debate sometimes got emotional. Rep. Leonard Christian, R-Spokane Valley, compared the bill to Nazi Germany, saying that some churches covered up the fact that Jews were being shipped concentration camps by playing their music louder as the trains passed. Some churches are objecting to the bill, but some legislators were playing their music louder and not listening, he said.

The Senate, which is controlled by a predominantly Republican coalition, is not likely to have an emotional debate over the RPA, or any vote at all. Majority Caucus Chairwoman Linda Evans Parlette of Wenatchee said she didn't believe the bill was necessary because abortion is covered by most insurance. (Editor's note: Sen. Evans Parlette's caucus position was incorrect in earlier versions of this post.)

“I think it's not going to come up for a vote,” Evans Parlette said.

Senate Majority Leader Rodney Tom, D-Medina, said he personally supports the legislation but doesn't think it's as important as some other issues the Legislature faces this session.

“We leave full discretion up to our committee chairs,” Tom said. The bill died in committee last year.

Barring road art might not save much

OLYMPIA — The state Transportation Department would be barred from spending highway construction money for art or special concrete designs on walls and bridges under a Valley legislator's bill.
But that might not save much money to spend on other projects. The department said it doesn't spend any money on art for road or bridge projects, and the most elaborate concrete designs seen alongside highways around the state are funded by local communities.
In an effort to find ways to make the state's transportation dollars go farther, Rep. Matt Shea proposed HB 2092 that would bar money from designated sources like gasoline taxes from going to art or artistic designs
.
“There's a perception out there that we spend a lot of money on art and textured concrete,” Shea told the House Transportation Committee Tuesday.
The Art in Public Places program, established by the Legislature in 1974, requires one-half of 1 percent of the cost of a public building to be spent on art projects. But that doesn't apply to transportation projects, Alyssa Ball, a researcher for the committee said, because the state Constitution requires fuel taxes and vehicle fees to spent only for highway purposes.
Textured concrete can add 1 percent or less to the cost of the concrete on a bridge or wall, but studies show it cuts down on maintenance and is less likely to be targeted by graffiti, Pasco Bakotich, a design engineer, said.
The department's design manual does call for textured concrete “architectural finishes” but if a community wants anything beyond 10 standard designs, it pays the extra cost, Bakotich said.
What about the Transportation Department's buildings, Rep. Jason Overstreet, R-Lynden, asked. How much is spent on art for them that could be spent instead on road construction?
Mike Sweeney from the state Arts Commission, which administers the public arts program, said he'd have to research the total, but added there hasn't been anything spent since 1999 “and we don't have anything in the works.”
Rep. Gael Tarleton, D-Ballard, said she was a big fan of public art projects because otherwise buildings would “look like the Soviet Union.”

Abortion foes fill Capitol mall

Rep. Matt Shea urges demonstrators for the March for LIfe to continue the fight against legalized abortion.

OLYMPIA — The annual March for Life brought several thousand demonstrators to the Capitol Tuesday, filling the north steps of the Legislative Building and the Temple of Justice.

Demonstrators cheered legislators of both parties who urged them to continue the against abortion and the Reproductive Parity Act, a proposal that would require almost any insurance policy that covers maternity benefits to also cover pregnancy termination.

State Sen. Mike Padden, R-Spokane Valley, said it was wrong to put completing a pregnancy on parity with ending a pregnancy.

The Washington State Patrol troopers on the scene estimated the crowd at between 3,000 and 4,000. A handful of abortion rights supporters gathered with signs in an area between the two steps.

Shea angry at S-R for Lewiston Trib item

State Rep. Matt Shea is castigating The Spokesman-Review on Facebook, essentially suggesting that the newspaper is picking on him again. He's interested in truth in journalism, so we'll offer a bit.

First, the post:  

There they go again…the Spokesman Review published another flat our untruth this morning trying to claim by implication that Dale Pearce and myself want to “rewrite the constitution.” I am calling for a formal retraction by the Review. In fact, Dale Pearce was arguing AGAINST any modification or rewriting of the Constitution by an Article V convention. In the interest of truth in journalism just thought you would like to know…

Because this was posted on Thursday morning, a casual reader might assume there's something in the Thursday edition of the newspaper that mentions Shea, Pearce or the survival gathering at Farragut State Park last weekend. Don't go looking for a copy. There isn't.

There is an item in the Huckleberries blog from Wednesday which probably caught his eye, and maybe he didn't notice the date. Or maybe he assumed everything online goes into the newspaper. Or maybe he just didn't sign into Facebook on Wednesday and got around to posting Thursday. In any event, for those who don't check Huckleberries . .

To read the rest of this post, or to comment, continue inside the blog.

Shea’s trip highlighted by MSNBC

MSNBC, though liberal commentator's Rachel Maddow's blog, is featuring Spokane Valley state Rep. Matt Shea after he appeared at a survivalist rally over the weekend.

Shea's comments at the rally, as reported by the Coeur d'Alene Press, are similar to ones he's made at other events in the last few years. His views were known when he easily won reelection last year, and he was backed for reelection by U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Spokane.

House passes estate tax ‘fix’

OLYMPIA — The House approved a change in the estate tax to address a loss in court that could cost the state more than $40 million in the coming weeks.

On a 53-33 vote, it approved a deal negotiated with Senate Republicans that could keep refund checks being sent tomorrow to families that challenged one aspect of the estate tax that was enacted in 2005. It provides some new deductions for family owned businesses that have high property assets but relatively small cash reserves. . .

To read the rest of this item, or to comment, continue inside the blog.

State officials restricted from lobbying

 

OLYMPIA – State officials who ask the Legislature for more money or expanded programs could be fined, and pay the penalty out of their own pocket, if they don’t properly file lobbying reports with the Public Disclosure Commission.

A bill sponsored by Rep. Matt Shea, R-Spokane Valley, sets up a civil penalty of $100 per statement on a state agency head who fails to file lobbying reports with the commission and allows any state official or employee who improperly spends public money on lobbying to be fined.

Supporters say it’s a way to keep public money from being used to lobby for more public money. It doesn’t keep state officials from supplying information in response to legislative requests.

Signed Wednesday by Gov. Jay Inslee, it takes effect at the beginning of 2014.

House passes $8.4 billion Transportation Budget

OLYMPIA — House Democrats passed a two-year spending plan for the state's transportation system today, overcoming Republican objections about a controversial bridge over the Columbia River and the way tolls are set on roads and bridges.

Included in the bill is some $79 million for projects in Spokane County, including about $68 million for the North Spokane Corridor. In an amendment sponsored by Rep. Marcus Riccelli, D-Spokane, before the final vote, any money saved in the next two years on that project will be held and spend on future portions of the longtime Spokane road project.

Transportation budgets are often bipartisan bills in the Legislature, but this proposal had several elements that caused some Republicans to balk. One is some $450 million for the Columbia River Crossing, a controversial bridge connecting Vancouver with Portland that critics say is poorly designed and too expensive, in part because of the inclusion of light rail capacity. Light rail exists on the Oregon side of the river, but not the Washington side.

The other is the delegation of the authority to set fees on bridges and toll roads to the Washington Transportation Commission, rather than requiring the Legislature to set them.

'It's a solid budget. It doens't have a lot of frills,” Transportation Committee Chairwoman Judy Clibborn, D-Mercer Island, said.

Riccelli said it was a good budget for Eastern Washington, with money for transportation projects that help farmers and local businesses plus the “Safe Routes to Schools” program as well as the North Spokane Corridor.

But Rep. Matt Shea, R-Spokane Valley, said some of the priorities were misplaced, by spending money for the State Patrol to set up traffic cameras to control speeders in some areas rather than hiring more troopers and only supplying partial money for the North Spokane Corridor rather than the whole project. “Clearly this budget needs a lot more work,” Shea said.

It will get more work. After passing on a 68-28 vote, the bill now moves to the Senate which has some different plans on how to spend the state's transportation money

Shea has telephone town hall tonight

Rep. Matt Shea will have telephone town hall session Wednesday evening which will give voters a chance to call in their questions about the current legislative session.

The Spokane Valley Republican likened it to a radio call-in talk show, where voters from his 4th Legislative District can ask questions between 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. from the comfort of their homes.

Interested citizens call a toll-free number, 1-877-229-8493, then enter the PIN number 15550 when asked.

Shea has call-in Wednesday evening

Rep. Matt Shea will have telephone town hall session Wednesday evening which will give voters a chance to call in their questions about the current legislative session.

The Spokane Valley Republican likened it to a radio call-in talk show, where voters from his 4th Legislative District can ask questions between 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. from the comfort of their homes.

Interested citizens call a toll-free number, 1-877-229-8493, then enter the PIN number 15550 when asked.

House passes election changes

OLYMPIA – Some would-be voters would have more time to register online, and younger ones could “pre-register” as early as age 16 under election law changes approved Thursday by the House.

Often by large margins, the House passed and sent to the Senate a handful of bills that supporters said will increase participation in elections. . .

To read the rest of this item, or to comment, click here go inside the blog.

State could legalize hemp along with pot

OLYMPIA — The cannabis plant could provide Washington state with two new agricultural crops: One for smoking, and one making rope and fabric.

Different strains of the plant would be used for the different products, and different state agencies would control the different crops. But they share one key similarity: They're currently both against federal law.
 
Despite the federal ban, the House Government Accountability and Oversight Committee this morning approved HB 1888, a bill that would pave the way for farmers to grow industrial hemp in Washington. Legislators and a representative from the state Agriculture Department agreed there are some details that need to be worked out… 
To read the rest of t his item, or to comment, click here to go inside the blog. 

Background check bill passes House panel

 

OLYMPIA – A bill requiring almost all gun buyers in Washington to undergo a background check passed a key House panel Tuesday and will likely be part of a package of gun laws up for a floor vote in March.

Despite heavy criticism last week from gun-rights activists, the House Judiciary Committee passed the so-called Universal Background Check bill on a 7-6 vote.

It would require buyers in most private firearms sales either to submit to the same background check they would undergo if buying the gun at a licensed dealer or to produce a valid state concealed pistol license. . .

To read the rest of this item, or to comment, click here to go inside the blog. 

WA Lege Day 16: Electoral College change pushed

OLYMPIA — Changing the way the state casts its Electoral College votes for president would be fairer to Eastern Washington voters, a Spokane Valley legislator said Tuesday.

It’s a way Republicans could win the White House through gerrymandered districts without a majority of the popular vote, said the Democratic chairman of the House committee considering the proposal.

Rep. Matt Shea, R-Spokane Valley, said a bill he’s sponsoring would award most of the state’s Electoral College votes based on the outcome of the presidential race in each of the Washington’s 10 congressional districts. Two of the Electoral College votes, which are given each state for its two U.S. senators, would go to the state’s overall winner. . .

To read the rest of this item, or to comment, click here to go inside the blog.

Did Shea break pledge to Republican group?

In August, state Rep. Matt Shea appeared to be mending bridges in the local Republican Party.

He attended a meeting of the Republicans of Spokane County and won the group's endorsement. The Republicans of Spokane County is an organization that formed a few years ago among some Republicans concerned that the official Spokane County Republican Party had been taken over by Libertarians and Constitutionalists not dedicated to party unity after the primaries.

Shea, who was an effective leader in the Ron Paul for president campaign, has been outspoken in his criticism of “mainstream Republicans.” In the primary, he declined to offer a recommendation for incumbent Republican and nationally recognized GOP leader, U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers in the race for Congress. For governor, he supported Shahram Hadian over Attorney General Rob McKenna.

Debates will feature county commission candidates, Biviano

Candidates for Spokane County Commission will face off Wednesday evening in student-led debates hosted by the Central Valley High School’s Government Club.

The club also has invited the candidates in the hotly-contest Spokane Valley race for state House between incumbent Republican Matt Shea and Democrat Amy Biviano. Biviano is scheduled to attend. Shea has not responded to phone calls and emails inviting him to participate, said Central Valley teacher Bill Gilchrist.

Read the police reports that led to Shea’s gun charge

Not shockingly, the Democrat challenging state Rep. Matt Shea's reelection bid made it extremely clear this week that she will highlight Shea's charge for carrying a loaded weapon in his pickup without a concealed weapons permit in the fall campaign. 

Amy Biviano's campaign mailed ads to voters this week that include the bold, red, all-caps headline: “lawmakers should not be law breakers.”

Both sides have at times misrepresented what's in the police reports about the road rage incident, so we present the police report, as provided to The Spokesman-Review through a public records request.


Documents:

GOP chair now wants Shea photo removed

It may have started as a joke but the controversial photo of state Rep. Matt Shea standing on his Democratic challenger’s property has become a political hot potato for Republicans.

The chairman of the Spokane County Republican Party, who was characterized in The Spokesman-Review and other media last week as backing Shea’s decision to post the photo to his Facebook page, now says his position was misunderstood and that he’d actually been trying to persuade Shea to remove the photo.

“It is an extremely minor issue that has come to the forefront of the campaign,” Matthew Pederson said Monday.

Pederson said he asked Shea, a Republican from Spokane Valley seeking his third term in the state House, to remove the photo on Aug. 10. It was still posted on Monday.

Last week, Pederson called Democratic hopeful Amy Biviano’s request that the photo of Shea standing in the driveway of her Spokane Valley home be removed from the Internet an attempt to avoid addressing the important issues facing the state.

“I did try to return a call to Amy last week. She did not respond,” Pederson said in the statement he issued on the dustup last week. “This looks like a fabricated issue following a poor primary performance. Elected officials should be door belling all precincts in their district and that will include their opponent's precinct.”

Pederson said he now wants to correct the mischaracterization of him standing behind Shea’s posting of the photo.

He said Monday that he’d told The Spokesman-Review last week that he’d asked Shea to pull the photo off of Facebook but that it was during a cell phone call with a reporter in which reception was so poor that the reporter had asked him to try calling back. Pederson later sent the prepared statement instead that included no mention of his efforts to get the photo removed from the Internet.

Asked Monday why he asked Shea to remove the photo when he felt it was a “fabricated issue,” Pederson said Biviano is exaggerating safety concerns she has based on her husband’s former job as a federal deputy prosecutor. The photo was taken while Shea was door-belling the neighborhood where Biviano lives and came across his opponent's home.

“It could be construed as immature at best, but to say that it’s intimidating is just a stretch of the campaign narrative,” Pederson said Monday.

GOP leader backs Shea’s decision to post photo

The chairman of the Spokane County Republican Party is standing behind state Rep. Matt Shea’s decision to post a picture of himself standing on his election opponent’s property on Facebook.

But Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich, a Republican, says he wishes Shea would have pulled the picture at Biviano’s request.

Shea, a Republican from Spokane Valley, posted a picture of himself standing in front of the home of Democrat Amy Biviano on Aug. 4. Along with the picture of himself in her driveway, he wrote that he was doorbelling in the area and wanted to welcome the precinct to his district. The neighborhood was placed into the 4th Legislative District as part of the state’s redistricting in response to the 2010 Census.

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About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Nick Deshais covers Spokane City Hall for The Spokesman-Review.

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