Explainer | The key bone of contention between govt and RBI – money

There are several contentious issues underlying the tussle between the government and the Reserve Bank of India. The government wants the central bank to relax rules for weak banks, to dilute disclosure norms for defaults, open a liquidity window for NBFCs and pay the government a higher dividend. The last of these issues –the surplus the RBI generates or the amount of capital it has in its balance sheet – is perhaps the most important as it can weaken the central bank.

Here’s a short explainer around the issues involved.

How does RBI generate a profit?

The RBI earns an income from interest on holding of securities, the net interest it earns from its liquidity operations, interest from deposits held with foreign banks etc. The central bank deducts its expenditure – mainly for printing currency notes, and maintaining its operations – to generate a surplus. This surplus is generally transferred to the government as a dividend.

In some years, it also sets aside money for a so-called contingency fund. This has the effect of decreasing its surplus, and thus the dividend transferred to the government. In recent years, the RBI’s dividend transfer to the government has fallen short of government expectations – because of transfers to the contingency fund –  leading the Centre to demand more from the central bank.

What is the contingency fund and why is it important?

The contingency fund is meant for meeting unexpected and unforeseen contingencies such as a rapid depreciation in the value of securities the RBI holds, risks from exchange rate policy operations etc, or risks from an unexpected event like demonetisation. The contingency fund, along with other RBI reserves such as asset development fund, and currency and gold revaluation reserve form an important part of the RBI balance sheet. They add to the RBI’s arsenal to meet unexpected disruptions and provide comfort and confidence to global investors.

So, what’s government upset about?

It has been the government’s contention that the RBI holds excessive capital, that it need not hold so much money in its reserves. It is upset that the RBI chose to transfer money to the contingency fund in the last two years even when other expenses such as printing costs have been high and thus reduce the dividend it gets. There have been questions raised about the need for such transfers. Former Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian said RBI is one of the most highly capitalised banks in the world and these excess reserves can be used to recapitalise public sector banks.

How does one decide whether the RBI has excessive capital?

That’s a tricky question to answer. As former deputy governor Rakesh Mohan wrote recently, theoretically, a central bank can operate with below zero levels of capital. But in practice, it stands to lose credibility and risks missing its objectives with low capital levels. Currently, RBI holds around Rs 10 lakh crore as provisions (revaluation reserves, contingency fund and asset development reserves), which amounts to 28 percent of its balance sheet. This, according to Arvind Subramanian, is well above the average for central banks. However, the revaluation reserve is dependent on currency and gold movements and cannot be played with. As far as the contingency and asset development funds are concerned, are just 7 percent of RBI’s balance sheet compared to 9.2 percent in 2014.

What happens if the government forces the RBI to part with its reserves?

Experts say it would be an imprudent move. Firstly, it is a bad idea to use funds built over several years to be transferred to the government in one shot to help it meet the fiscal deficit target.

Secondly, how would this work? These reserves are a liability of the RBI. If it transfers money from the contingency fund to the government, it is in effect reducing its stock of government bond holding. That would reduce its interest income. As Rakesh Mohan points out, over time, there would be no new government revenue because of this fall in securities holding. Thirdly, it will erode the credibility of the central bank as well as its ability to meet contingencies. Fourthly, it also erodes the credibility of the government, especially its commitment to fiscal prudence. Fifth, even if the funds were used to recapitalise public sector banks directly, it could create a conflict of interest with RBI owing stakes in the entities it regulates

If the govt takes the capital, can’t it give it back?

Theoretically, the government can recapitalise RBI. But in a developing economy with an already high fiscal deficit, it would be difficult, as can be seen from the track record with public sector banks.


7 tried and tested tips that will make your blog earn money for you

I could not build a VC-backed startup despite having all the resources, like a product, a team, seed money and network of friends from the startup ecosystem. I began blogging in 2015 after failing at two startups and could not make any money from my blog in the first year. However, from the second year, I started making Rs 1 lakh a month from my blog. From then on, I have been able to keep making passive income from my blog.

I studied in Hindi medium and had average English skills. Now I make a living out of my writing. Here, I will share a few ways to make money from a blog. Every single method is so powerful that you can replace your full-time salary with a year of hard work.

Make money with your blog

1. Affiliate Marketing

This worked for me and it works for most people who want to earn at least 10 times more than what Adsense can pay you. Affiliate marketing does not work by filling up your website with lots of affiliate links.

  • Affiliate marketing works if you recommend a genuine product that can actually help your readers.
  • Affiliate marketing only works when your readers have buying intent.

2. Google Adsense

You might have heard bloggers make money by showing Google Advertisements. But Adsense is the least profitable way to make money from a blog. You won’t see any ads on my blog CashOverflow. Anyone can put up ads on his blog for the little money that Google pays. A big mistake many make is to fill up their blog with ads as it annoys readers.

Explore other ways to make money rather than relying on Google Adsense income.

3. Exclusive Partnerships

I say no to 90 percent partnership offers, and accept only 10 percent where there are mutual benefits. You can make more money from exclusive partnerships than regular affiliate marketing because then you can negotiate the commission. That does not mean you should accept whatever comes your way.

You can actually charge more when you work with fewer partners and help them increase their revenues.

I look for partners with whom I can work for the lifetime without worrying about what I can make in the short term. You should look for a partnership where your reader and partner can get value before you. Grab extra discounts for your audience and give valuable leads to your partners.

4. Content Writing (Sponsored Content)

Less than 0.5 percent of the content on my blog is sponsored by big companies. I don’t accept all sponsored content requests so that I can keep up the quality of the content on my blog.

Your blog may look spammy and promotional if you have more sponsored content than your own content. Yet, you can make good money by accepting sponsored content from the big companies.

Keep sponsored content at less than 10 percent because your readers would love to read non-promotional content.

5. Selling Information Products

You can make good money by selling e-books and courses on your blog. Selling informational products is a wonderful business because there is no additional cost for the product. Writing an e-book or recording a video course is a one-time effort. You can promote your courses through your blog, email marketing and even social media. You would keep making passive income if you automate all the marketing work because you don’t have to re-work the course content.

6. Consulting

You can make money through consulting if you are expert in any skill. You can start a blog in your area of expertise and attract clients. Infinite consulting options are available in the field of health and fitness, design, sales, marketing and hiring.

For example, I made Rs 12 lakh last year through content marketing consulting. A startup CEO pays me $150 per hour because he can take faster marketing decisions by leveraging my experience. He saves time and pays me for this.

7. Freelancing

If you need immediate money, work as a freelancer for someone. You can learn a lot of skills through blogging that you can use to grab freelance projects. You can expect someone to pay once you have strong skills in writing, WordPress management, design, SEO or social media.

Don’t expect training and money at the same time from your client. That’s not freelancing, that’s an apprenticeship. I made money through freelancing in my initial days when my blog was not making money.

Bonus Tips

  • Don’t work on increasing traffic if you can optimise your existing blog to make more money from the same traffic (Hint: Better CTR, Better payout)
  • Retarget your organic traffic on Facebook to sell something that people were looking for on your website.
  • Find a partner who can sell better than you – to your same audience
  • Replace the offers on your converting pages – to compare better revenue per click

You can also try selling physical products on your website. But it is a pain to maintain the inventory, manage logistics and returned products.

Remember that money will come in only when you will have relevant traffic, and when people want to buy something from you.

Keep working on your blogging business and keep making money.


Seniors Demanded Sex, Money for Desired Transfers: Gujarat Women Home Guards Allege Harassment

Image result for Seniors Demanded Sex, Money for Desired Transfers: Gujarat Women Home Guards Allege Harassment

As many as 25 women home guards in the Surat city of Gujarat have accused two senior officials of harassment and seeking sexual favours, prompting an inquiry.

The women approached city police commissioner Satish Sharma on Friday with a written complaint.

Sharma said a `local complaints committee’ set up under the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act was looking into it.
The complaint named two senior home guard officials, alleging that the duo subjected women to “mental, physical, sexual, emotional and financial harassment”, and even asked sexual favours from some of them

The four-page complaint has also been sent to Minister of State for Home Pradipsinh Jadeja and Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, official sources said.

The two senior officers asked for money for transfer to desired places, the women alleged.

If the money was not paid, the women were transferred to far-off places and harassed, the complaint said.

One of the senior officers often touched women home guards inappropriately on the pretext of adjusting their uniform, the complaint alleged.

Some of the women were forced to work as domestic help for seniors, it added.

“We have referred the matter to the district local complaints committee headed by a deputy commissioner of police,” commissioner Sharma told reporters Saturday.

“Home guards have nothing to do with the police department, so we cannot take their complaints before the police’s internal committee. The local complaints committee has started an inquiry into it,” he said.


‘Less games, more money’ – Klopp pokes fun at Super League reports

Image result for 'Less games, more money' – Klopp pokes fun at Super League reports

The Liverpool manager joked he would be in favour of a European Super League because it would mean fewer games and more money

Jurgen Klopp laughed off the notion of a European ‘Super League’ by joking it would be a boost for his Liverpool team to play fewer games.

Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has suggested the Bundesliga champions could take legal action after a report in Der Spiegel alleged he and his club attempted to lead some of Europe’s leading clubs into a breakaway competition .

The German magazine’s allegation is based on documents it claims to have attained from whistleblowers ‘Football Leaks’. Both Bayern and Rummenigge issued a strenuous denial on Friday.

Der Spiegel named Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool among 11 clubs Bayern were allegedly hoping to lead away for the competition, the staging of which would present obvious problems for both the Champions League and domestic top-fight leagues in their current guises.

Speaking after Liverpool’s pulsating 1-1 draw against Arsenal on Saturday, Klopp batted away the hypothetical competition in typically jovial style.

“It sounds really nice because it sounds like much less games and much more money,” he said.

“I am completely fine with how the league football is at the moment. At least, it’s an idea [the ‘Super League’] that we don’t do immediately.”

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Klopp then went on to claim FIFA and UEFA’s approach to proposed competition revamps are flawed because they do not seek sufficient input from clubs and other stakeholders.

“I’m not even sure if somebody spoke about it, to be honest. It looks like all the other wonderful ideas of FIFA and UEFA,” he added.

“They do them immediately, they don’t ask. And then you see, ‘Oh, okay, we have 20 games more and not more money’.”


How Traditional Training Is Weakening Businesses’ Cybersecurity

Businessman playing chess

Just a decade ago, cybersecurity was a relative myth to the public – something taken care of by any old antivirus and certainly nothing to worry about. But as the internet age gathered momentum, rolling like a freight train on an endless slope, things changed. Cyber attackers were not perceived as hoodie-wearing teens with abundant spare time anymore, but seen for what they are: organized, often well-funded groups – and a genuine menace to society.

The evolving threat landscape has changed the way cybersecurity is viewed by businesses, too. No longer should it be handled by a select few while other employees move irresponsibly through the digital world; instead, it is something of which every employee must be aware. But traditional training models, whereby swathes of employees travel to one-day events periodically, are expensive – and not very practical either.

Costlier again is neglect. Look no further than the fabled WannaCry cyberattack, which caused estimated worldwide financial losses of up to $4 billion, to see the damage a well-executed assault can inflict. But while devastating (this was the biggest cyberattack in history), WannaCry at least served a purpose: it was a global wake-up call.

Typically, attacks like WannaCry are the result of poor cyber awareness, initiated when the uninitiated click links in malicious emails or unwittingly download harmful files. As far back as 1999, when the simple Melissa virus caused $80 million in damages by infecting Microsoft Word documents, people have been inadvertently compromising networks and systems. In 2017, the Bad Rabbit malware that swept Russia and Ukraine was disguised as an Adobe Flash installer. When the innocent-looking file was opened, it began locking the infected computer – but this execution first required human interaction.

This shows that no matter how secure a business is, external attackers can force their way in through a single weakness. Consequentially, the biggest threat exists not outside the confines of an enterprise but within: its own people. Not because employees are nefarious (though that can of course be the case), but because 88% of data breaches are down to human error.


Better cyber awareness is key, but there are two glaring issues with providing training for every employee in an organization: time and money. These obstacles lead businesses to handpick those who will get the training they need (or the training it’s thought they need), leaving gaping security holes across the rest of the company. Easy pickings for an attacker with even modest social-engineering skills.

Solving this problem is not simple, but it can be done. Automated training that utilizes gamification can save companies huge amounts of money and time – especially if employees have 24/7 access to training that they genuinely enjoy. In 2012, for instance, US pharmacy Omnicare introduced gamification to its IT service desk and achieved a 100% participation rate, demonstrating the method’s effectiveness. It is especially useful for training non-specialist employees, who typically need more encouragement to engage with cybersecurity.

This type of innovative training also allows employees to learn at their own pace – something they can’t possibly do when crammed into some far-flung classroom and told to learn. The frequency (and intensity) of training required for general employees and those actively combating threats, for example CISOs and security analysts, will of course be different. But both will benefit more from access to relevant training than they will a policy in some long-forgotten employee handbook.

For the cyber experts, frequency of learning is hugely important. In anything, training must occur often to be effective, but cyber threats evolve so rapidly that combating them is impossible without constant evolution. That’s why automated, gamified solutions are so effective: employees can improve their skills on their own terms without disrupting company operations, which enables greater training frequency and, in turn, greater development. When considering that over half of all cyber experts feel their employers don’t provide sufficient training, an all-you-can-eat solution looks increasingly like the way forward.

Better still, such solutions are low-cost, low-investment. You will pay a one-off license fee for each employee, giving them everything they need to become cyber aware, without sacrificing huge amounts of time and money on quickly outdated training days.


High-powered panel to take call on opening traditional forest routes to Sabarimala

Sabarimala temple

Only after a detailed security review meeting will the state government take a decision on allowing pilgrims to trek Sabarimala through traditional forest paths of Erumely-Azhutha-Karimala and Kumili-Uppupara-Pulmedu, said top-level police officers.

Most likely the state police will oppose the opening of Kumili-Uppupara-Pulmedu route considering the volatile law and order situation in Sabarimala after Hindu outfits and the BJP have launched protest against the Supreme Court verdict allowing entry of women in all ages to Sabarimala. Police officers said opening up of the two trekking routes to Sabarimala will further worsen the law and order situation.
“It’s a tough proposition to deploy police personnel along the two routes to ensure a tight law and order situation. We will also present a proposal before the high-power committee to not allow women pilgrims aged between 10 and 50 to trek through Erumely-Azhutha-Karimala and Kumili-Uppupara-Pulmedu routes,” a senior police officer said.

Erumeli Range Forest Officer Jayakumar N V said they have not yet received any official communication on the opening of routes. “The high-power committee meeting will only take a call on finalising the dates to open the forest trekking route,” he added. If the government decides to bring in restriction on pilgrim movement through the two routes during the annual pilgrimage season, it will evoke a wide-spread protests as large number of pilgrims from Tamil Nadu depend on these trek routes to visit the temple.
The traditional forest route of Erumely-Azhutha-Karimala covering a distance of about 30 km through Kallidamkunnu, Karimala and Valiyanavattom, is spread over Kottayam, Idukki and Pathanamthitta districts.

The trek through the Sathram-Pulmedu-Sannidhanam forest route will not be convenient for the pilgrims this season as authorities are yet to take a call on providing basic facilities, including potable water. The Pulmedu route is opted by a majority of pilgrims from neighbouring states as the alternative route via Vandipperiyar Sathram is a difficult path and has a heavy presence of wild animals.


British lawmakers want rules to protect traditional broadcasters from internet giants like Netflix

Streaming player menu screen featuring Netflix, Amazon, Vudu, Hulu, and Redbox Instant.

British lawmakers have called on the government to curb the “threat” of internet giants to the U.K.’s public service broadcasters (PSBs).

The Guardian newspaper published a letter Friday to Jeremy Wright, the U.K. minister for digital, culture, media and sport, in which a group of nine cross-party politicians warned that if action was not taken “the enormous power of the global internet giants is going to sweep traditional PSB television away.”

Public service broadcasting is made of up five core television channels in the U.K., including the BBC, and has been developed over several decades by the country’s parliament. BBC television is the only one of the five services funded entirely by British tax-payers.

The signatories of the letter accused internet giants like Netflix and Amazon of “finding ways to circumvent” rules introduced by the 2003 Communications Act, a law that sought to protect British PSBs. They argued that this was being done in various ways, including the building of smart TVs with a Netflix button and burying PSB programs in digital on-demand platforms.

“If we keep allowing them to be pushed out and viewers pushed towards global pay TV services, the PSBs will not be able to (sustained) and we will lose the content that has defined so much of this country for the best part of a century,” the letter said. “If the situation is bad now it will only get worse as new TV services are launched by other internet giants. We cannot afford a delay.

“We urge you: recognize the threat and help Ofcom to act to preserve our precious PSBs.”

Ofcom, Britain’s broadcasting regulator, closed a consultation on the matter of protecting the U.K.’s PSBs in October. It said that new legislation was needed if the U.K. Parliament wanted to keep PSBs easy to find amid the growth in internet television services.

The lawmakers behind the letter — which coincided with the birthdays of the BBC and Britain’s Channel 4 — called on him to give the matter parliamentary time, indicating that such legislation could be put on the agenda for debate.

A spokesperson for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said: “Ofcom are due to report by 2020 on whether we need to strengthen linear prominence and whether we need to extend prominence to on-demand. If Ofcom makes clear that there is a problem that needs fixing with legislation, government will look at bringing that forward.”

Spokespersons for Netflix and Amazon were not immediately available for comment when contacted by CNBC.


Kavanaugh to skip traditional walk down Supreme Court steps over security concerns

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Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh will skip a traditional walk down the court’s front steps during a formal ceremony Thursday over security concerns.

New justices typically walk down the court steps with the chief justice after their formal investiture ceremony. Every new justice since John Paul Stevens, who joined the court in 1975, has done the walk, court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg said.

She said Kavanaugh’s skipping of the tradition is “out of an abundance of caution due to security concerns,” Bloomberg reported.

Kavanaugh was narrowly confirmed to the court by the Senate 50-48 last month. He faced stiff opposition from Democrats after several women accused him of sexual misconduct dating back to his high school and college days.

He has denied the claims. During his confirmation process, Kavanaugh, his wife, and accuser Christine Blasey Ford all received death threats.

Arberg declined to say whether President Trump will attend the ceremony, as he did last year for Justice Neil Gorsuch.


Rupapera hopes to maintain traditional teachers for others

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Playing a ‘kaitiaki’ role in handling dead whales when rescue efforts had failed, Harina Rupapera is taking her experiences into schools and communities with the hope this knowledge doesn’t fade away.

At Te Rangihakahaka School in Rotorua, it was the first-hand life experience they were taught in the presentation from Rupapera.

“There is nothing better than our traditional Māori knowledge of our ancestors,” she says.

In May this year, 12 sperm whales were found dead on Kaupokonui Beach in Taranaki, that’s when Rupapera began learning traditional methods of dealing with dead whales.

“I’m new in relation to these teachings but once I was exposed to the knowledge it has made be very fortunate and blessed,” she explains.

Since then, she has shared her experiences when schools and communities.

Arapeta Williams of Te Rangihakahaka says, “These are the teachings that have been given to us from the past however for many of us these would be new methods.”

“What I want to do is to showcase and share this traditional knowledge that I have been given to those that don’t have the opportunity to learn it,” says Rupapera.

She heads back to Taranaki this month to continue to showcase what she has learnt.


Washington Republican under fire for setting out ‘Biblical Basis for War’

Matt Shea speaks at a gun rights rally in Olympia, Washington on 13 January 2017.

The Washington state Republican Matt Shea was this week abandoned by donors, over a document he distributed which condemned abortion and same-sex marriage while outlining a “Biblical Basis for War”.

Regarding opponents, the minority caucus chair in the Washington state house wrote: “If they do not yield – kill all males.”

Shea is seeking a fifth term as representative for district four, centred on the Spokane Valley. Amid rising concern over far-right invective, particularly over immigration, and its relevance to violent attacks such as the mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue last week, the case brought him to national attention. Now, new information has emerged about his beliefs and associations on the far right.

Shea’s oft-expressed belief that Muslims and leftists are organizing “counter-states” within the US appears to have been sourced from a conspiracy-minded seven-page memo by Rich Higgins, a national security council staffer in the Trump administration who was fired in July 2017 after the document became public.

Shea has promoted versions of Higgins’ claim that “the hard left is aligned with Islamist organizations at local … national … and international levels”, and its claim of links between “‘deep state’ actors, globalists, bankers, Islamists and establishment Republicans”.

Higgins also alleges such groups believe that “for their visions to succeed, America … must be destroyed” and Donald Trump removed from office.

According to Higgins, the broader aims of this “cabal” include “population control”, administered by “certain business cartels in league with cultural Marxists/corporatists/Islamists who will leverage Islamic terrorism in order to justify the creation of a police state”, and the maintenance of a high level of immigration.

Higgins also wrote that beneficiaries of supposed subversive activities include “international banking”, a term often used as an antisemitic codeword. The “cultural Marxism” narrative that underpins the document, meanwhile, has been described as inherently antisemitic, due to its baseless allegations of a subversive conspiracy among Jewish intellectuals of the Frankfurt school, with the aim of bringing down western civilization.

The conspiratorial overtones of the Higgins memo resonate with recent concerns about far-right discourse in the US.

Far-right claims about immigration have come under greater scrutiny since similar beliefs were expressed by Cesar Sayoc – the suspect in the sending of pipe bombs to prominent Trump critics including Barack Obama, the Clintons and the financier George Soros – and by Robert Bowers, who is charged with killing 11 people and wounding six at a Pittsburgh synagogue.

The Higgins memo has been heavily promoted by groups like the John Birch Society (JBS), with which Shea has formed an apparent alliance.

Shea has hosted Alex Newman, a writer for the JBS magazine the New American, on his podcast. The two men shared a stage at last month’s New Code of the West conference in Whitefish, Montana, which also featured the leader of the 2016 Oregon wildlife refuge occupation, Ammon Bundy. Shea has promoted visits by Newman to the Spokane area. Newman has laudedShea’s speeches.

Ammon Bundy speaks to reporters at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon in January 2016.
 Ammon Bundy speaks to reporters at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon in January 2016. Photograph: Rick Bowmer/AP

At the New Code of the West conference, Shea recommended his listeners read the Higgins memo.

“There are two counter-states that have been established in America,” he began. “Rich Higgins’ memo … is a must-read for everyone. Rich Higgins’ memo is tremendous.”

He then explained his belief that far-left “antifa” groups were cooperating with Muslims in subverting the US government.

The Higgins memo has also been promoted by members of the so-called “American Redoubt” movement, which encourages religious conservatives to relocate to the Pacific north-west. On the 29 October episode of Radio Free Redoubt, the host, who broadcasts under the pseudonym John Jacob Schmidt, read the memo in full.

Shea contributes a pre-recorded weekly message to Radio Free Redoubt, which also broadcasts on ACN, a Christian radio network in eastern Washington state. Shea’s campaign expenditure records show four monthly payments to ACN of $1,250 each.

‘A theocratic state’

Following a Rolling Stone story, Spokane resident Tanner Rowe released the “Biblical Basis for War” document on his Facebook page. Rowe showed the Guardian a version of another document which he said came from a January meeting of the Liberty State movement, which aims to create a new state in eastern Washington.

Another local man, Ian Pickett, said he attended a rally in Colville at which Shea spoke in support of Liberty State. Pickett said flyers were handed out under the heading “Stevens County Property Rights Group”. The flyer contained a list of policies to be pursued in the notional 51st state, he said, among them “open public lands”, “no gay marriage” and “no legalized marijuana”.

Since drawing attention to the flyers on social media, Pickett has been characterized by Shea as “antifa”. He said he had received threatening texts from disguised phone numbers and had been criticised several times on Radio Free Redoubt.

Rowe said he worked on Shea’s security detail in 2016, but had not spoken to him since 2017. He said he was given the “Biblical Basis for War” document by someone who attended an American Redoubt-related event at a hotel in 2014. Shea has acknowledged that he wrote the document, though he has disputed the interpretation of it as a “battle plan for when the government collapses”.

Rowe described his own politics as “libertarian” and “constitutionalist” and said he and Shea “share some beliefs”. But he said he supported liberty for all: “If you want to buy a gun, go buy a gun. If you’re gay, go and get married.” Shea’s involvement in plans to carve a 51st state out of eastern Washington, he said, was motivated by his wish for “a theocratic state”.

Spokane county sheriff Ozzie Knezovich, a longtime Shea critic and a Republican, pointed to the politician’s links with the Marble community in Stevens county, north of Spokane.

In a recent series of video podcasts, Knezovich alleged that Marble county was linked to the white supremacist Christian Identity movement. He also pointed to Shea’s relationship to the Coalition of Western States (Cows), a group of conservative legislators who involved themselves in the Malheur occupation in Oregon in January 2016.

Knezovich said Shea has been building a political machine. “They have a game plan of taking over local governments and they are steadily working towards that,” he said. He added: “Anyone who criticizes Matt Shea is immediately demonized, hounded and harassed.”

Asked if he thought Shea was a white supremacist, Knezovich said he could not say.

“But,” he added, “he does hang out with a whole bunch of people who are in that sphere.”

Shea’s opponent in Tuesday’s election, Ted Cummings, said that since the “Biblical Basis for War” document broke, donations had come in from around the US. The sums were not enormous, he said, but “the donations say that all across the country people are saying that we’re not letting hate take root”.

Over time, he added, “the campaign has shifted from issues like labor, jobs, and healthcare to Matt Shea’s fitness for office”.

Shea once called journalists “dirty, godless, hateful people”. He did not respond to a request for comment.