Opponents call for Matt Shea's resignation

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Numerous opponents are calling for a conservative state lawmaker from Spokane Valley to resign after reports that he was collecting intelligence on local progressive leaders.

The union of the Spokane Police Department has joined Spokane City Council members in calling for state Rep. Matt Shea's resignation.

The Guardian and The Spokesman-Review have recently reported that the Spokane Valley lawmaker compiled dossiers on local leaders, including Spokane City Council President Ben Stuckart, Councilwoman Lori Kinnear and Councilman Breean Beggs.

Stuckart, Kinnear and Beggs called for Shea's resignation over the weekend. So did the Spokane chapter of the NAACP, which said that Shea "uses his platform to promote hate and violence."

Shea has not commented on the resignation calls. The state House of Representatives is investigating whether Shea has prompted political violence.

Last week, Shea made headlines again when leaked emails showed that he has had close ties with a group that trained children and young men for religious combat in Washington state.

"The entire purpose behind Team Rugged is to provide patriotic and biblical training on war for young men," a man identified as the group's leader, Patrick Caughran, wrote in a 2016 email to Shea.

"Everything about it is both politically incorrect and what would be considered shocking truth to most modern christians," Caughran wrote. "There will be scenarios where every participant will have to fight against one of the most barbaric enemies that are invading our country, Muslims terrorists."

The event also would offer weapons training, Caughran told Shea.

"Those who attend will learn combatives, the use of a knife in defense, close quarters shooting with rifle and pistol and how to work effectively in teams of 2, 3 and 4," according to the email from Caughran to Shea.