FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | December 19, 2019

Washington State Democratic Party Chair Tina Podlodowski released the following statement in response to the Rampart Group’s report on Rep. Matt Shea’s extensive ties to groups that advocate for politically motivated violence, including the planning of an armed standoff with federal law enforcement agents characterized by the report as “an act of domestic terrorism against the United States”:

“Violence has no place in our politics, and anyone advocating for politically motivated violence has no place in our government. If the Washington GOP agrees, they’ll waste no time in expelling Matt Shea from their caucus and demanding his immediate resignation. Failing to expel Shea sends a dangerous message to extremists across our state that one of our major political parties will protect those who surveil their political opponents, train children to fight in a “holy war,” and plan violent retribution against those who disagree with them. Shea, and those he associates with, should not be welcome in Olympia.”

Rep. Shea has been a leader in the WA GOP’s caucus for more than a decade, and was elected Caucus Chairman by his colleagues in Olympia as recently as 2017. He also broadcasts his extremist views throughout Eastern Washington on his weekly radio show, Patriot Radio, where he frequently advocates for his separatist Liberty State movement to divide Washington into two states.

Beyond his role as an individual legislator, Shea is a key figure in motivating Republican base voters in Washington and a leader of the anti-government “Patriot” movement. He regularly features elected Republican officials and far-right activists on his radio show and has received support from recently announced gubernatorial candidate Tim Eyman and House Minority Leader J.T. Wilcox:

  • Eyman, discussing his anti-tax initiatives on the 2018 ballot on Patriot Radio, originally aired on May 29, 2018:
    • “Imagine with just two more seats, the Republicans would control the house and you would probably be the majority leader or the floor leader or you’d be the guy making sure all the legislation runs through.”
  • Wilcox, discussing the 2018 state legislative elections on Patriot Radio, originally aired on June 7, 2018:
    • If we get a majority “people like Matt Shea hold a gavel”;
    • “what we’d really like to happen is for me to be Speaker … and Matt Shea to be senior leaders”
  • Eyman, discussing Shea’s influence in bringing attention to his ballot initiatives on Patriot Radio, originally aired on June 4, 2019:
    • I’m just so grateful to you and Liberty State and all the various groups that are helping with this”;
    • ”I am just grateful man, and Matt, thank you so much for having me on, you’re just a hero down in Olympia … You’ve got the right ideas and the right principles on your side