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Tuesday, September 17, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

Spokane City Council members, other leaders reportedly targeted by Rep. Matt Shea call for his resignation

Washington State Rep. Matt Shea, R-Spokane Valley, walks off the House floor to attend a caucus meeting in this April 2019 photo. Spokane lawmakers and leaders Sunday called for Shea to step down after the Spokesman-Review reported the legislator, who has ties to far-right movements calling for the creation of a separate government led by Christians, was accumulating “intelligence” about them. (Ted S. Warren / AP)
Washington State Rep. Matt Shea, R-Spokane Valley, walks off the House floor to attend a caucus meeting in this April 2019 photo. Spokane lawmakers and leaders Sunday called for Shea to step down after the Spokesman-Review reported the legislator, who has ties to far-right movements calling for the creation of a separate government led by Christians, was accumulating “intelligence” about them. (Ted S. Warren / AP)
From staff reports

Three Spokane City Council members reportedly targeted for surveillance by state Rep. Matt Shea called for the Spokane Valley lawmaker to resign Sunday.

The calls follow reporting by The Spokesman-Review on Sunday that Shea directed the purchase of tracking technology and compiled dossiers on progressive leaders in town, among them Spokane City Council President Ben Stuckart, Councilman Breean Beggs and Councilwoman Lori Kinnear. The trio released a statement Sunday night, all calling for his immediate resignation, as did the Spokane chapter of the NAACP this weekend.

“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 for his immediate resignation from office,” said Stuckart.

“Mr. Shea’s words demonstrate that he has pledged his allegiance and service to something other than our constitutionally formed government and community,” said Beggs.

“There is no place in our community for this kind of hate,” Kinnear said. “We pledged to uphold the constitution of the State of Washington when we took office. I stand by that pledge.”

Nadine Woodward, who is running for Spokane mayor against Stuckart, released a statement to KHQ-TV that was critical of Shea’s words and actions, but did not call for his resignation.

“I strongly condemn Representative Matt Shea’s divisive and extreme rhetoric and ideology,” Woodward said in the statement, according to KHQ. “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.”

Shea, a six-term Republican representing the 4th Legislative District, endorsed Jonathan Bingle in the primary race for Spokane’s mayor on his official campaign website, labeling Stuckart “a socialist.”

Jay Pounder, a former member of Shea’s unofficial security detail who has now denounced the lawmaker’s rhetoric, joined the call for his removal from office.

“You know it’s serious when (both) the Republicans and Democrats are united against you. Matt Shea … I am officially calling for your resignation,” Pounder wrote on Twitter on Sunday evening.

A private team of investigators was hired by the Washington House of Representatives last month to investigate whether Shea has promoted political violence against any person or group. Earlier this week, the British newspaper The Guardian first reported newly leaked emails linking Shea to a religious group that trained children and young men for religious combat. A podcast produced by Oregon Public Broadcasting and Longreads, “Bundyville,” has brought national attention to Shea’s links to groups pushing for the establishment of a separate, Christian-led government.

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