Washington state Rep. Matt Shea made national headlines last month after a “biblical manifesto” he wrote calling for war against non-Christians came to light.
Now, having won re-election, Shea is accused of violating campaign finance law by donating leftover campaign funds to far-right groups and spending some on promoting his radio show.
Republican Rep. Matt Shea is a conspiracy-peddling religious fundamentalist with ties to the extremist Christian Identity movement, fringe militias, and secessionist groups. Years of minor notoriety in Washington lead to national headlines last month when he was revealed to have published document outlining apocalyptic Christian warfare. Days after the document circulated, Shea won reelection. But watchdogs in the state say he may have violated campaign finance law with payments to a number of fringe groups.
Washington Public Disclosure Commission is reviewing two complaints against Shea and his campaign, Spokane’s KHQ first reported. Washington campaign finance rules allow candidates to use leftover funds to pay off campaign funds, or donate to the state treasury, their political party, or a state-registered charity.
But Shea gave money to two far-right groups that are not state-registered charities and also bought ad space for his radio show on a blog linked to a secessionist movement.
The Southern Poverty Law Center first reported the pair of donations to far-right groups. Those donations include a $3,500 gift to Americans for America, an anti-Muslim organization the SPLC designates as a hate group. The group’s director of training is John Guandolo, a prominent anti-Muslim speaker who hosts bigoted training sessions for police officers. At a training in Texas this year, Guandolo told officers that “75 to 80 percent” of Islamic Centers in America are actually fronts for the Muslim Brotherhood and are attempting to undermine the U.S., according to recordings obtained by the Texas Observer,
The Shea campaign’s second donation was $2,000 to Citizens for Free Speech, a conservative group run by Patrick Wood, a conspiracy theorist with a far-right following. Wood and Shea recently appeared together at the “Red Pill Expo” in Spokane. The expo, the name of which references a meme about far-right conversion, was reportedly a hotbed of fringe conspiracy theories and extremist speakers.
Where did Shea buy ad space for his radio show?
The campaign money allegedly went to American Christian Network, the Washington broadcaster that hosts his show, as well for advertisements on Redoubt News, a right-wing news outlet that traffics in conspiracy.
The site’s name is also a reference to American Redoubt, a fringe secessionist and survivalist movement that encourages followers (mostly conservative Christians) to migrate to the inland Northwest, where they will supposedly wait out the collapse of society.