Something's Brewing in the Deep Red West - 2018-10-23
"A lot of people in the media, some people even here today have come out publicly and tried to smear other people, OK? Tried to tell in the media that certain individuals are not who they say they are. Try to smear them without any facts," he says. He's spitting his words now. "And I want to tell you something about that: We can't become those dirty, godless, hateful people."
In the weeks after this moment, editorial boards around the state will question how Shea — chair of the state Republican caucus — saw no consequences for these words. "Spokane lawmaker gets free pass on press-bashing. Why?" asked a Tacoma editorial. Even Washington Gov. Jay Inslee tweeted that Shea's words "should disqualify him" from his role on the legislature's public-records task force.
But Shea — a five-term elected official now running for a sixth — rarely sees any blowback for the things he says or for the fact that in his nine years in office he has allied with some of the most high-profile conspiracy theorists and anti-government extremists in the American West: from Cliven Bundy and his sons to a neo-Confederate Idaho preacher to the head of the Oath Keepers, an extremist group that believes "the United States is collaborating with a one-world tyrannical conspiracy called the New World Order."