By DAVID GROVES
OLYMPIA (Dec. 7, 2016) — If Republican Rep. Matt Shea had his way, Washington would become an anti-union “right-to-work” state. But in a mostly blue state with a Democratic governor and divided Legislature, he knows that’s unlikely to happen. So Shea has a backup plan: split off Eastern Washington into a new state called Liberty.
Shea, the infamous Spokane Valley extremist with a history of advocating for domestic separatist and terrorist groups, has sponsored and prefiled bills for the 2017 legislative session to accomplish both goals.
HB 1006 would make Washington the 27th state to ban employment contracts that include union-security clauses, which require all covered employees to pay a fair-share fee to help cover the cost of representation. In so-called right-to-work states, the government bans employers and employees from agreeing to these clauses. Unions are required to represent all employees, whether they pay a fee or not. This promotes “free riders” who get the union benefits and representation for nothing, thus dramatically defunding and weakening unions.
Shea has co-sponsored right-to-work legislation before, but it has never gotten a hearing in the Democratic-controlled House, nor is it likely to in 2017. Which brings us to Plan B.
HJM 4000 appeals to “the Honorable Donald Trump, President of the United States” and Congress to “consent to the formation of a new state to be named and known as Liberty” that would encompass the portion of Washington east of the Cascade Mountains. Shea’s reasoning:
Presumably, Liberty would not only be a right-to-work state, it would be a place where citizens wouldn’t live in fear — as Shea does — of being rounded up and put into concentration camps by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. In Liberty, citizens would be free to seize federal property and take up arms against federal employees because, you know that the citizens of Liberty would be well-armed. In Liberty, Representative (or perhaps, Governor?) Shea wouldn’t have to make up fake quotes by the Founding Fathers to try to ensure that guns proliferate. And in Liberty, Shea could freely force his wife to walk on his left side because his sword would be on his right side — you know, if he carried a sword.
Both of Shea’s above-mentioned bills are co-sponsored by fellow Republican Reps. David Taylor (R-Moxee) and Bob McCaslin (R-Spokane Valley).