Editor’s note: Above video is a report on what’s next for Rep. Shea after calls for his resignation
SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. – More of Rep. Matt Shea’s top donors say they will no longer donate to his re-election campaign, according to a Tuesday report from The Seattle Times.
This comes after an investigation from The Guardian tied Shea to a group training young men for "bibilical warfare."
Shea is a six-term Republican representative for Washington state's Fourth District in Spokane Valley.
In July, the Washington state House announced that it had hired a firm to investigate whether Rep. Matt Shea has engaged in, planned or promoted political violence and to determine the extent of his involvement with groups or people involved with such activities.
Allstate, Boeing, the Washington Health Care Association and Weyerhaeuser say they will no longer donate to Shea, according to The Times.
In an email to The Times, Boeing spokesman Paul Bergman wrote that “diversity and inclusion are core Boeing values.”
“Boeing PAC contributed to Rep. Shea’s 2018 reelection campaign prior to disturbing news reports of his activities,” said Bergman, whose company gave Shea $2,000 last year. “Boeing PAC has not donated to him since then and will not do so in the future.”
Shea raised more than $107,000 for his 2018 re-election campaign, according to Public Disclosure Commission filings.
In November, at least one contributor to Shea’s reelection campaign asked him to return the company’s contribution after reviewing his social media activity.
Shea came under fire in November after releasing a document called the “Biblical Basis for Warfare,” which was shared by Facebook user Tanner Rowe.
The four-page document references 14 different points, including how to stay within God’s will during a war, ways to know it is time to fight, things one needs to create a “Holy Army,” qualifications of a warrior, and the instruction to “kill all males.”
According to Spokane Public Radio, The Northwest Credit Union Association – which represents more than 180 credit unions in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho – made a $1,000 contribution to Shea’s campaign.
Lynn Heider, vice president of public affairs at Northwest Credit Union Association, said in November that after reviewing Shea’s social media activity that “his beliefs do not reflect the views and values of our organization, member credit unions, or customers." Heider also said on Spokane Public Radio that the association is asking Shea to return the $1,000 contribution made by its PAC.
Collins Sprague, the Avista Corporation's senior director of government regulation, said in November the company is taking a “serious look at the manifesto and future contributions to Shea’s campaign,” according to Spokane Public Radio.
Spokespersons with organizations that asked Shea for refunds told The Times they didn’t get their money back, except for BNSF.
BNSF spokeswoman Courtney Wallace wouldn’t say whether the company got its $2,000 in contributions returned from last election cycle.
“BNSF is not and will not be supporting Rep. Matt Shea,” Wallace wrote in an email to The Times. “We strongly condemn the views expressed as they are in direct contrast to our values of diversity and inclusion.”
Other companies that contributed to Shea during the 2018 campaign cycle, including Geico, Anheuser-Busch, Monsanto and the Washington State Hospital Association, declined to comment, according to The Times.
According to The Times, the Washington Hospitality Association — which last year gave Shea $1,000 — isn’t scheduled to discuss its 2020 candidate endorsements until June, a spokesperson said.
The Times article also dove into a decade’s worth of Shea’s campaign finance records. Since 2011, his campaign has paid at least $68,000 — roughly 13% of all contributions he has raised — to Spokane for-profit broadcasting company American Christian Network, according to the article.
According to The Times, Shea has also spent campaign money for traveling across eastern Washington to promote his plan to create a 51st state. Reports also show donors in 2018 funded more than $700 of unspecified “security” purchases by Shea, as well as plane tickets to travel to “anti-terrorism training.”
Washington law requires that campaign donations in most cases not go to personal use, but spent on items or activities directly related to the campaign.
The airfare, mileage and purchases of security items would be considered legal provided they’re directly related to campaign activities, PDC spokeswoman Kim Bradford told The Times.