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Heckuva Job, Spokane Valley

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Jason Wilson of the Guardian has obtained some chat records that include Matt Shea, a State Representative from Washington’s 4th district, and, yikes:

Washington state Republican politician took part in private discussions with rightwing figures about carrying out surveillance, “psyops” and even violent attacks on perceived political enemies, according to chat records obtained by the Guardian.

State representative Matt Shea, who represents Spokane Valley in the Washington state house, participated in the chats with three other men. All of the men used screen aliases – Shea’s was “Verum Bellator”, Latin for true warrior….

Other acts of extreme violence were also suggested. When a specific female Spokane resident was nominated for surveillance in the chat group, Robertson suggested: “Fist full of hair, and face slam, to a Jersey barrier. Treat em like communist revolutionaries. Then shave her bald with a K-Bar USMC field knife. Would make good attachment points for hoisting communists up flag poles. Especially the ones with nipple rings.”
….

Shea, the elected Republican legislator, did not demur from any of these suggestions. He also appeared willing to participate directly in surveillance of activists.

In response to a request in the chat for background checks on Spokane residents, Shea volunteered to help, going on to name three individuals – including an organizer for the liberal group Indivisible, and a college professor.

You may remember Shea from another controversy last year:

Washington state Rep. Matt Shea acknowledged Wednesday he had distributed a four-page manifesto titled “Biblical Basis for War,” which describes the Christian God as a “warrior,” details the composition and strategies of a “Holy Army” and condemns abortion and same-sex marriage.

The document is organized in 14 sections with multiple tiers of bullet points and a smattering of biblical citations. Under one heading, “Rules of War,” it makes a chilling prescription for enemies who flout “biblical law.” It states, “If they do not yield – kill all males.”

This one was ugly enough to inspire house Republicans to remove him from his leadership role as caucus chair, and inspired sufficient temporary embarrassment in some of his corporate backers to get them to ask for their donations back, but actual voters were unphased: A week after that story broke, Shea was re-elected by 15 points.

If you don’t at least occasionally lose some sleep over where the Republican party goes from here, congratulations I guess, but I’m not sure how you manage it.


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