News broke in the last day that a report commissioned by the Washington Legislature found that Rep. Matt Shea (R-Spokane Valley) “participated in an act of domestic terrorism against the United States” and represents a threat of political violence. For those who have watched Shea over the years, this finding wasn’t surprising. However, what’s new is that Shea’s own party has finally taken action and kicked him out. Responding to the report, Washington Republican House Minority Leader JT Wilcox (R-McKenna ) said Shea had been suspended from the House Republican Caucus. Wilcox also recommended Shea resign.
As MHRN has previously written, Shea has been a favorite speaker at Far Right events since being elected to the Washington Legislature in 2008. From militia meetings to anti-choice rallies and anti-Indian conferences, if a group needed an ultra-conservative ideological firebrand, Shea fit the bill. His impassioned speeches combined with his status as an elected official made him a desired addition to any lineup of Far-Right speakers. However, he gained more notoriety and standing after his support and participation in armed standoffs with the Bundy Family in recent years. This involvement weighed heavily in the Washington Legislature’s report.
Shea is not a stranger to Montana, with his last big visit coming in October 2018. Local organizers Laura Lee O’Neil and Elaine Willman invited him to speak at an event in Whitefish that brought together the militia, anti-Indian, and anti-environmental movements. Called “A ‘New’ Code of the West,” the conference was headlined by none other than Ammon Bundy, a member of the above-mentioned pied-piping family of armed standoffs with the federal government.
At the event, Shea shared the stage with speakers from Montana, while other notable public officials and Far Right activists were attendees. Below is a quick rundown of some of the notable Montanans who rubbed elbows with Shea at the event.