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Shea Campaign Donors Worried About Manifesto


(UPDATED: Since we first aired this story, we were contacted by two other campaign donors mentioned in the story. Robin Dale of the Washington Health Care Association said, "Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention. It certainly is concerning. We will continue to monitor your story as it develops."

Gus Melonas of BNSF Railway said, "The views expressed in the manifesto do not in any way reflect BNSF's values. We are monitoring this situation closely as law enforcement investigates."

Fallout continues after reports of a manifesto being circulated by Washington Republican state Representative Matt Shea that calls for violence against those who don’t obey biblical law. Now some campaign contributors are having second thoughts.


Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich says he has turned the manifesto, called “Biblical Basis for War,” over to the FBI.

The sheriff describes the material as “how these groups intend to seize control, by force, should there be a governmental collapse, or civil war.”

In it, same sex marriage and abortion are condemned, and it says those who do not obey the biblical law should be killed.

Shea says the message was taken out of context and that he was discussing sermons on biblical wars in the Old Testament.

At least one donor to Shea’s re-election campaign is having second thoughts about supporting the controversial candidate.

The Northwest Credit Union Association represents more than 180 credit unions in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, and made a $1,000 contribution to Matt Shea’s campaign this year.

But now, Vice President of Public Affairs Lynn Heider says 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 says the association is now asking Shea to return the $1,000 contribution made by its PAC in this election cycle.

Meanwhile, Collins Sprague, the Avista Corporation's senior director of government regulations Collins, says the company is taking a serious look at the manifesto and future contributions to Shea’s campaign.

“Going forward, there are actions that any particular candidate engages in, I’m not necessarily distinguishing Rep. Shea, but there are things that clearly conflict with the values of our company.  We will take those into consideration in deciding whether to support a candidate in the future,” Sprague said.

Avista donated $2000 to Shea’s campaign.

We contacted several other donors to Shea’s 2018 political campaign, including the Washington Association of Realtors, the Washington Health Care Association, and BNSF Railway, to get their reaction to Shea’s manifesto. None of them returned our messages.

Steve was part of the Spokane Public Radio family for many years before he came on air in 1999. His wife, Laurie, produced Radio Ethiopia in the late 1980s through the '90s, and Steve used to “lurk in the shadowy world” of Weekend SPR. Steve has done various on air shifts at the station, including nearly 15 years as the local Morning Edition host. Currently, he is the voice of local weather and news during All Things Considerd, writing, editing, producing and/or delivering newscasts and features for both KPBX and KSFC. Aside from SPR, Steve ,who lives in the country, enjoys gardening, chickens, playing and listening to music, astronomy, photography, sports cars and camping.