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Washington Free Beacon: A Former Federal Prosecutor’s Bid To Bring Common Sense to Southern California

January 22, 2022

After chasing down heinous criminals, Republican Matt Jacobs takes on the far left

As a federal prosecutor in 2017, Matt Jacobs secured the conviction of Ibrahim Suleiman Adnan Adam Harun, a senior al Qaeda operative who killed U.S. service members in Afghanistan and conspired to bomb the U.S. embassy in Nigeria. A “rabid, unrepentant terrorist” to the end, Harun threatened throughout the trial to “continue his jihad” by killing Jacobs himself.

So when far-left Democrats equate the United States with Middle Eastern terrorists like Harun, Jacobs takes it personally.

“As someone who’s prosecuted terrorists, that just makes my blood boil. It’s absolutely absurd,” Jacobs told the Washington Free Beacon at Finney’s Crafthouse outside of Los Angeles. “When I hear these woke politicians ranting about how terrible this country is, how the American dream doesn’t exist, it drives me crazy.”

Jacobs spent more than six years as an assistant U.S. attorney, a job that saw him take down sex traffickers, fentanyl peddlers, and Russian mobsters—work he’s quick to say he “absolutely loved.” In that time, however, Jacobs also watched the Democratic Party undergo what he described as an extreme shift. As crime skyrocketed and riots gripped the nation, prominent Democrats fundraised for violent offenders and called for unrest in the streets. As schools shut down in Jacobs’s native southern California, liberal teachers’ unions demanded to defund police in order to reopen. For Jacobs, toiling over years-long cases focused on “one bad guy” began to feel inadequate. So he left the U.S. attorney’s office to run for Congress as a Republican.

As large-scale “smash-and-grab” robberies plagued neighboring Los Angeles last year, retail crime also spiked in Ventura, a development that Jacobs said has left many in the community “beside themselves.”

“Criminals don’t respect invisible county lines,” said Jacobs, who is also endorsed by the Ventura County Deputy Sheriffs’ Association. “When they’re doing smash-and-grabs, they’re not saying, ‘Oh, this is the county line, we don’t cross it.’ It’s the general movement on the left to be soft on crime that’s fueling it, and people in L.A. and Ventura County are receptive to that.” He added that “people don’t feel safe, and nothing is more important than public safety, because if your neighborhood isn’t safe, business can’t flourish, schools will fail—nothing else is possible.”

While Jacobs’s law enforcement bona fides are no doubt an asset in the race, it’s his opponent’s shortcomings on another top issue—education—that could give the Republican an opening.

“No one should ever sacrifice the well-being of children, frankly, for a donation from the teachers’ unions. We need politicians who aren’t in their pockets, who have the courage to say, ‘Hey, kids need to be in class to learn,'” Jacobs said. “For me, I take the side of parents. Parents should be in control of their kids’ education, not bureaucrats, not politicians.”

“We’re looking at issues here—public safety and education—that are transcending party lines in a way that we haven’t seen in prior years,” Jacobs said. “We’re bringing out people from all political stripes to our more common-sense positions.”

Read the full article in the Washington Free Beacon here.