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Spin Control

Posts tagged: Matt Shea

E. Washington gets several GOP leadership spots

OLYMPIA — Members of the Eastern Washington legislative delegation were chosen for several Republican leadership spots today.

Rep. Joel Kretz of Wauconda, whose 7th District stretches from Okanogan County to northwestern Spokane, was reappointed to the No. 2 spot, deputy leader of the House GOP caucus.  (Fact check: Earlier version of this post had Kretz in the 9th.)

Reps. Kevin Parker of Spokane and Matt Shea of Spokane Valley were named assistant floor leaders.

The top House spot, House Republican leader, went to Rep. Richard DeBolt of Chehalis.

On the Senate side, Mike Hewitt of Walla Walla was re-elected Republican leader. Mark Schoesler of Ritzville was re-elected Republican floor leader.

McCaslin discounts retirement rumor

Some folks, primarily Democrats it seems, are floating a rumor that state Sen. Bob McCaslin, the Spokane Valley Republican, plans to hang it up at the end of this year and name a successor.

Old rumor, says McCaslin of any mid-term retirement. “I’ve heard that for the last five or six years.”

McCaslin is recovering from heart surgery, which required him to miss much of the last regular and special sessions, but says he is getting a bit better every day and has been able to attend recent meetings of the Spokane Valley City Council, on which he also serves.

McCaslin said he’ll make a decision on next year’s session closer to its January start date.

As for the second part of the rumor — that he’d name Rep. Matt Shea as his replacement — McCaslin was more emphatic: “I would never do that.”

He points out that the officeholder has no real say in his replacement. The 4th Legislative District’s precinct committee officers would select up to three nominees, and the Spokane County commissioners have the final say by picking among that list. As several interim appointments have shown, commissioners don’t feel bound by the wishes of the PCOs.

Shea went with Didier to meet Palin

Look closely at last week’s pictures of Clint Didier meeting Sarah Palin in the Tri-Cities, and Spokane residents might recognize another familiar face.

State Rep. Matt Shea, R-Spokane Valley.

Shea accompanied Didier on the quick trip from the state GOP convention in Vancouver to the Tri-Cities when the U.S. Senate candidate had a meeting the former Alaska governor and vice presidential nominee.

Shea said this week he got a chance to meet Palin and mention a few state issues, but mostly Didier talked to her about federal issues. “She’s a terrific lady…very gracious.”

After the meeting, Palin said she was firmly behind Didier in part because he “didn’t wait to see what the lineup looked like” a not-so-veiled diss of GOP rival Dino Rossi.

So is Palin going to endorse Shea, too? It’d be a fairly safe endorsement, considering he’s running unopposed for a second term in the Valley’s 4th Legislative District.

Not likely, Shea said. “She’s focused more at the federal level.” And he was there for Didier, so it really didn’t come up.

Shea’s a big Didier supporter. Since he’ll have some time on his hands this campaign season, he’ll be travelling around the state campaigning for other candidates. There’s no plans at this point, however, for him to campaign with Didier, he added.

Bills would limit furloughs of criminally insane, add ‘guilty but mentally ill verdict’

Dangerous mental health patients could not leave state hospitals for field trips or most other excursions without specific court orders, under a bill the Legislature is considering.
The bill, prompted by Phillip Paul’s escape from last fall’s “field trip” to the Spokane County Fair by Eastern State Hospital patients, got strong support Monday from legislators and a representative of the mental health community during a hearing in the House Human Services Committee.
“This was a very traumatic event for Spokane County,” said Rep. Matt Shea, R-Greenacres, sponsor of HB 2717.

States trying to block the feds, but the effort may be null and void

OLYMPIA – Conservative activists in Washington and Idaho are trying to force the federal government to “keep out” on issues ranging from guns to health care to the environment.
Through legislation and initiatives, people aligned with what’s variously known as the 10th Amendment or State Sovereignty movement are trying to pass state laws that limit what the federal government can do within its borders.
“Government closest to the people is best able to solve the problems,” said State Rep. Matt Shea, R-Greenacres, who introduced a series of “sovereignty” bills the first week of the session.
The 10th Amendment, which reserves to states any right not spelled out in the Constitution, is the basis for the bills, he said. Language for much of the legislation came from the 10th Amendment Center, which supports and tracks efforts to strengthen states’ rights.
But legal scholars question such efforts to have the Legislature set limits on Congress or to interpret what the U.S. Constitution means within their borders. That’s really the job of the courts, in precedents that stretch back to 1803, Amy Kelley, who teaches constitutional law at Gonzaga Law School, said.
“What the U.S. Constitution means is not a state option,” Kelley said.

States’ Righters: Say no to federal health care, energy rules

OLYMPIA — The time has come for people who believe in states’ rights to move from protest to political action, a Spokane Valley legislator told a crowd on the steps of the Capitol Building this afternoon.

Rep. Matt Shea, a first-term Republican, told a crowd estimated between 200 and 300 they need to rein in the federal government that’s becoming too powerful and too intrusive.

“We will not suffer government any more telling us how to live our daily lives…buy our health insurance…buy our energy,” Shea said.

He and other House Republicans have introduced a series of bills they say will allow Washington to reassert rights it has under the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which essentially reserves to the states anything not mentioned in the Constitution.

Among his bills are proposals to nullify any national health care plan in Washington state, nullify any cap and trade system set up on energy, keep the federal government from regulating any firearm manufactured in the state and require federal agents to check with a sheriff before  conducting an investigation in a Washington county.

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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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