Mattivi Lands Endorsements from Top Kansas Law Enforcement

Topeka, KS Former Kansas Bureau of Investigations (KBI) Director Bob Blecha, Sedgwick County Sheriff Jeff Easter, former Johnson County Sheriff Frank Denning, and Phillips County Sheriff Charles Radabaugh today endorsed Republican candidate for Kansas Attorney General, Tony Mattivi.

Endorsees had this to say of Mattivi’s candidacy:

“Kansas needs an Attorney General like Tony Mattivi. With his experience handling high profile cases like the Garden City domestic terror threat and the bombing of the USS Cole, as well as taking down drug cartels and traffickers, he has the know-how to keep our state safe and put criminals behind bars. I have no doubt that Tony will stand up for our families and our constitutional rights in the court room and beyond. I am proud to endorse Tony for our next Attorney General of Kansas,” Blecha said.

“It is critical that we elect an experienced prosecutor to run the Attorney General’s office. Not only has Tony worked in the AG’s office prosecuting cases in Kansas, but he has prosecuted terrorists on the world stage,” said Sheriff Easter. “We have worked with Tony for many years and know him to be the best candidate for this important position in our state.”

Sheriff Denning said, “It’s no doubt that Tony is the best person for this job. His extensive career working with law enforcement to put criminals behind bars and keep our communities safe is just what our state needs in an Attorney General. I believe Tony will fight for the rights of all Kansans both in and out of the courtroom and will help make our state safe again.”

“Tony has consistently put our state and our country first in his career. He’s taken on criminals ranging from terrorists to murderers to drug cartels to protect our families and our freedoms. Tony is the only candidate in this race that has a complete grasp of what it means to be Attorney General,” said Sheriff Radabaugh. “I know that Tony will protect our Constitution and back our men and women in blue, and for that, I am glad to endorse him.”

“I am proud to have the support of former KBI Director Bob Blecha, and Sheriffs Easter, Radabaugh, and Denning. These men have served our state with integrity and honor, and I am grateful that they have put their trust in me to do right by Kansas and our nation’s Constitution as the next Attorney General,” said Mattivi.


We Will Never Forget

Like most of my generation, I'll never forget where I was on 9/11. My day was unremarkable compared to those in New York City or the Pentagon or Shanksville, or any of those families. Nevertheless, I'll never forget having dropped my son – who had just turned two – at daycare. As I drove toward the federal courthouse where I worked, I listened to music instead of the news. I happened to notice the white contrail of a jet, high in what that day was a brilliant blue Kansas sky, turning a wide arc. That's unusual, I thought to myself. And then I noticed that every single contrail, of every jet I could see, was doing the same thing. Every airliner in the sky was being re-routed. And I knew from that single image – now etched in my brain – that something was horribly, dreadfully wrong.

I switched to the news, and the very first thing I heard was that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. Even into that iconic building, a single crash wasn't enough to warrant re-routing every jetliner in the sky. A moment later, I heard about the second plane. That, of course, justified what my eyes were telling me. As a federal prosecutor, I immediately recognized that our nation was under attack. Unfortunately, it appears the Biden administration is sending our country down precisely the same path that led us to that fateful September day in 2001.

At the time, I had no idea the extent to which 9/11 would change my life. The two-year-old that I'd just dropped at daycare is now an enlisted Sailor and a medic in the United States Navy. And although I was a federal drug prosecutor at the time, it wouldn't be long before that job took me to Iraq and then to Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. I went to Iraq as a civilian volunteer to help the Iraqis prosecute Saddam Hussein's regime members. On a larger level, I went there to help the citizens of Iraq emerge from generations of brutal dictatorial rule to implement a system of self-governance and democracy. I went to GTMO (shorthand for Guantanamo) again as a civilian volunteer, and I ended up spending nearly five years as the lead prosecutor against the alleged al Qaeda terrorist that Osama bin Laden had sent to Yemen to blow up the USS Cole. After returning to Kansas from that assignment, I prosecuted some of the country's highest-profile and most significant national security cases – all right here in Kansas.

The last month I spent in Iraq, those of us working in the Embassy knew that a troop draw-down was coming. General Petraeus' counter-insurgency strategy had been hugely successful. We went from enduring 88 rocket and mortar attacks on the Green Zone in the first 90 days I was there to just four in the final 30 days I was there. It didn't take a crystal ball to see that the United States would be decreasing the number of troops in-country. My primary emphasis during those final days was to work with the State Department to obtain visas for the interpreters and others who had been so vital to the US mission in Iraq. We all knew that if we left those brave Iraqis behind, we would be leaving them – and their families – to inevitable slaughter.

One cannot help but forge a strong and unbreakable bond with the foreign nationals – whether Iraqi or Afghani – who sit knee-to-knee with us in those dangerous and overwhelmingly difficult circumstances to assist us in accomplishing our mission. Our government's mission. And we know that abandoning those courageous people means that they will without question be kidnapped, tortured, and brutally killed – likely after being forced to watch the very same gruesome treatment of their family members. That's why many of us cannot watch the events unfolding in Afghanistan without choking up. And it's why I will never be able to forgive President Biden and his administration.

Unfortunately, President Biden's foreign policy blunders don't stop there. When former CIA Director and former Secretary of Defense Bob Gates (a proud Kansan) said in his 2014 book that Joe Biden had "been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades," I suspect he had no idea what was yet to come. The events of 911 taught those of us who were paying attention (because we were the prosecutors or agents building cases against members of al Qaeda) that certain foreign countries were allowing al Qaeda a base of operations from which to plan and stage attacks against America. How I wish President Biden had been paying attention to that lesson. Instead, what he's done in Afghanistan is to cede control of an entire country to the Taliban, a mercilessly and brutally violent organization that will allow America-hating groups such as al Qaeda a haven from which to plan and train for attacks that undoubtedly will kill multitudes of American citizens – just like happened on 9/11.

I fervently pray that our country will not have to endure another devastating and debilitating terrorist attack that results in the slaughter of thousands more innocent citizens. But I fear that the current administration has not just abandoned some of our most valuable and most vulnerable friends; it also has exponentially increased the chances that one day we will be mourning our next 9/11.


Tony Mattivi is a career prosecutor who retired from the US Department of Justice last year. He also worked in the Shawnee County DA’s Office and the Kansas Attorney General’s Office. Over his career, he prosecuted offenses ranging from speeding tickets to terrorism and from mail fraud to murder, including nearly five years as the lead prosecutor on the USS Cole bombing case. He was a paramedic before law school and is now vice president and in-house counsel for a health care company. He is a Republican candidate for Kansas Attorney General.


AG candidate Mattivi convinced Kansans eager to elect seasoned law enforcement officer

TOPEKA — Tony Mattivi is persuaded voters want the next Kansas attorney general to be a seasoned law enforcement officer with extensive courtroom experience prosecuting complex cases.

Mattivi, of Topeka, retired last year from the U.S. Department of Justice as an assistant U.S attorney and the anti-terrorism and national security coordinator for the District of Kansas.

He worked on war crime cases in Iraq and the prosecution of an al Qaeda operative accused in the attack on the USS Cole. He handled cases of men who wanted to set off a truck bomb at Fort Riley and denotate explosives at a Wichita airport. He also was part of the team of prosecutors who convicted three Kansans who aspired to be domestic terrorists by plotting to kill Somali immigrants in Garden City by blowing up an apartment building.

“That is an area where the attorney general can have a great deal of involvement in keeping Kansans safe. There’s more of that kind of activity than the general public knows about,” Mattivi said on the Kansas Reflector podcast.

The stage is set for Mattivi to compete in the August 2022 primary against former Secretary of State Kris Kobach, of rural Lecompton, and state Sen. Kellie Warren of Leawood. The job is up for grabs because Attorney General Derek Schmidt, a Republican, is campaigning for governor.

On the GOP side of the ledger, the three contenders for attorney general mirror each other in terms of offering voters a conservative politician opposed to abortion and a champion of the right to bear arms.

Mattivi, who was a paramedic before law school and now works for a company providing onsite medical services, argued the attorney general’s office should be led by someone experienced enough to serve in a government position that combines the duties of the state’s top attorney and top law enforcement officer.

“I’m the only candidate in the race that has that qualification. I’m the only candidate who has devoted most of his adult life and most of his legal career, not just to public service, but to enforcing laws and enforcing the rule of law,” he said.

He said the next attorney general should have extensive record of courtroom work that demonstrates a capacity to competently, confidently and persuasively argue on behalf of Kansans. The state’s attorney general should have administrative skills to manage a large office involved with law enforcement agencies of all sizes, he said.

He pledged to reduce the state’s violent crime rate and stand up to foreign actors striving to steal intellectual property from Kansas universities and businesses.

“I have spent a career dealing with the issues that the A.G. office deals with every day — prosecuting criminal cases, defending civil cases, making sure crime victims rights are protected, protecting consumers and investigating crimes through working with agencies like the KBI,” Mattivi said. “I don’t believe that you’ll find an attorney general candidate anywhere that’s better qualified for this job.”

Mattivi said he was a lifelong Catholic and pro-life on abortion. That extends to support for the proposed amendment to the Kansas Constitution going before voters statewide in August 2022 that would reverse a Kansas Supreme Court decision affirming a woman’s right to abortion.

“I have a great deal of respect for the justices on the Kansas Supreme Court,” he said. “I disagree with them on this issue. And, I support the ballot amendment.”

He said he was a supporter of the death penalty, but under the right circumstances. He said he was the only GOP candidate for attorney general who had personal handled a death penalty case. He also served on the U.S. attorney general’s death penalty case review committee.

The Second Amendment’s provisions on firearms are engrained in many people in Kansas and one key task of the attorney general is to protect those rights, he said.

“The fact of the matter is, the gun in somebody’s glove box isn’t doing anyone else any harm. If you take that gun out of the glove box, and you use it for something, you’re going to be held accountable for the judgment that you exercise, regardless of whether it’s concealed carry permit or constitutional concealed carry.”

Mattivi, who is vaccinated for COVID-19, said he wasn’t fond of government mandates regarding masks, testing or vaccinations. He said government should trust people to use good judgment when making decisions about medical care.

President Joe Biden was guilty of a coronavirus excess by issuing a moratorium on evictions the president probably knew was on weak legal footing, Mattivi said.

“When that impacts Kansas businesses, that’s where, again, in my view, the attorney general has not just the ability to step in, but the obligation to step in,” Mattivi said.

Read and or listen to the podcast here at the Kansas Reflector


Kansas Can Be The State To Set The Example For Correct Approaches To Criminal Justice

TOPEKA — Earlier this month, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation released a very troubling 2020 Crime Index. Violent crimes in Kansas were up 9.5% over 2019. Aggravated assault and battery were up by nearly 14%. Even more staggering, the murder rate was up an alarming 48.5% over 2019.

Our state hasn’t seen this dramatic an increase in the murder rate since 1991, and we experienced the most murders in the state (193 this year) since the FBI began tracking this information in 1959.

The KBI concluded “(f)inding a common circumstance surrounding these murders is difficult.” The KBI appropriately views this problem from a statistical perspective — and from that view, their conclusion is undoubtedly correct.

But this problem should also be viewed from a societal perspective. Viewed through that lens, the common circumstance is apparent and disturbing.

Our nation, and our state, are experiencing a “perfect storm” of circumstances fueling this dramatic rise in violent crime and murder. Our police are under siege not only due to increased negative sentiment toward the rule of law, but also the overall shift in mindset toward an ideology that being soft on crime is enlightened or praiseworthy.

For proof that the police are under siege, one need only turn on the nightly news. We see video footage of officers across the country being ambushed, attacked and even killed. We hear misguided demands to defund the police (demands I can’t stomach when coming from people who live in gated communities or who are protected by private security details).

Our country is built on the right to protest but to do so peacefully. Disrespect for the rule of law is evident from “peaceful protestors” who are anything but peaceful and who would more accurately be called looters than protestors.

And what some view as social enlightenment is oftentimes nothing more than a soft on crime approach that has resulted in decreasing or eliminating mandatory minimum sentences, shortening prison terms, and releasing inmates early.

In the face of this perfect storm, no one should be surprised that the rate of violent crime is increasing or that our state experienced more murders last year than it ever has. But Kansas is filled with kind, decent people with solid common sense and unshakeable values.

Kansas should take the lead in pushing back against the perfect storm of lawlessness, disrespect for authority and wrongheaded approaches to criminal justice. To reduce the violent crime rate, rather than allowing it to continue to increase, our society must fight back against these forces.

Kansas can and should be the state that sets the example of how to right these wrongheaded approaches to criminal justice.

Tony Mattivi is a career prosecutor who retired from the U.S. Department of Justice last year. He is a Republican candidate for Kansas attorney general.

Read more on CJonline.com


Kansas State Troopers Association Endorses Tony Mattivi

TOPEKA — The Kansas State Troopers Association’s PAC and the Sedgwick County district attorney endorsed former federal prosecutor Tony Mattivi for attorney general.

Elsewhere in the Republican Party’s primary contest, 10 county sheriffs have placed their faith in Kris Kobach, the former secretary of state and unsuccessful candidate for governor.

And, Johnson County Sheriff Calvin Hayden touted the GOP candidacy of one of his constituents, state Sen. Kellie Warren of Leawood, in the showdown for attorney general.

Early in the primary contest of August 2022, the three hopefuls continue to send signals of legitimacy by rolling out endorsements from the law enforcement community. It’s a time-tested approach of grabbing attention for candidates not well known to voters statewide or of offering assurances to voters who may be uneasy about established candidates in need of reputation rehabilitation.

So far, no Democrat in the deep red state has entered the race to become Kansas’ top prosecutor and law enforcement officer.

The prosecutor

Mattivi, of Topeka, became the latest entrant in the quest to find a replacement for Attorney General Derek Schmidt, who also with former Gov. Jeff Colyer aspire to the GOP nomination for governor. Mattivi recently retired from his job at the U.S. Department of Justice as assistant U.S attorney and the anti-terrorism and national security coordinator for the District of Kansas. He took a job as an attorney with Medcor, which works with companies to provide on-site and mobile clinics and telemedicine services.

“Mattivi is a career prosecutor with a resume replete with successfully pursuing the  interests of justice for the citizens of Kansas and the United States,” said Bryan Clark, of the KHP’s PAC. “During his 20 years as a federal prosecutor, Mattivi prosecuted drug trafficking, violent crime, racketeering, gangs, organized crime, money laundering  and terrorism cases.

“It is imperative to me that the attorney general is qualified, competent and professional,” said Bennett, who will be Mattivi’s campaign treasurer.

Mattivi led a team of Justice Department prosecutors who convicted three Kansas men who aspired to be domestic terrorists by plotting to blow up a Garden City apartment building and kill Somali immigrants. He prosecuted Terry Lee Loewen, the former U.S. Marine who pled guilty to attempting to detonate a van filled with explosives at the Wichita airport. He handled the case of John Booker, who pled guilty to trying to detonate a truck bomb at Fort Riley. He also worked on war crime cases in Iraq and the case against an al Qaeda operative accused in the attack on the USS Cole in 2000.

Mattivi said he was an experienced federal litigator who could effectively challenge overreach by the administration of President Joe Biden.

“I felt like there’s room in this race not just for a conservative, pro-life, pro-Second Amendment Republican, but for a conservative, pro-life, pro-Second Amendment Republican who is an experienced prosecutor, is an experienced litigator, and who will stand up credibly and confidently and competently for the citizens of Kansas,” he said.

Read more on kansasreflector.com


Retired Assistant U.S. Attorney Running for Kansas AG

A retired assistant U.S. attorney who once led the prosecution of the accused mastermind of the deadly 2000 bombing of the USS Cole is running for Kansas attorney general next year.

Tony Mattivi on Monday launched his campaign for the Republican nomination by announcing that Sedgwick County’s district attorney will serve as campaign treasurer. Former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach and Kansas Senate Judiciary Chair Kellie Warren also are seeking the GOP nomination.

Mattivi served more than 20 years as a federal prosecutor and was the coordinator of anti-terrorism and homeland security efforts in Kansas before retiring in November. He led the USS Cole prosecution team for five years.

Read more on KFDI.com


Ex-prosecutor who led USS Cole team running for Kansas AG

A retired assistant U.S. attorney who once led the prosecution of the accused mastermind of the deadly 2000 bombing of the USS Cole is running for Kansas attorney general next year.

Tony Mattivi on Monday launched his campaign for the Republican nomination by announcing that Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett will serve as its campaign treasurer. His campaign said it plans a formal kickoff in the near future.

The GOP race already has two other major candidates. They are polarizing conservative Kris Kobach, a former Kansas secretary of state known nationally for advocating tough immigration laws, and Kansas Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Kelly Warren.

Mattivi served more than 20 years as a federal prosecutor and was the coordinator of anti-terrorism and homeland security efforts in Kansas when he retired in November.

For five years, he led the team prosecuting Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, accused of orchestrating the USS Cole bombing in Yemen that killed 17 sailors. That case has yet to go to trial before a military commission.

Incumbent Attorney General Derek Schmidt is running for the GOP nomination for governor.

Just before Mattivi’s announcement, Kansas House Speaker Pro Tem Blaine Finch said he would not run for attorney general.

Read the full article on apnews.com


Tony Mattivi Announces Campaign Kickoff for Attorney General

[Wichita, KS] – Republican Tony Mattivi will formally launch his bid for Kansas Attorney General on July 28th at the Historic Sedgwick County Courthouse (510 N Main St, Wichita, KS 67203 please note we will be on the south steps). The kickoff event will be from 12:00PM-1:00PM. It will be open to the public and press.

The problems facing Kansas today require courageous and decisive leadership; an earnest desire to serve is not enough. Tony Mattivi’s unique experience prosecuting terrorism, drug trafficking, violent crime, racketeering, gangs, organized crime, and money laundering give him qualifications that no other candidate in the field can match.

Tony Mattivi recently retired from his position as an Assistant United States Attorney and the Antiterrorism and National Security Coordinator for the District of Kansas. He was a federal prosecutor for more than twenty years, with a strong record of success in Kansas and surrounding states. He also briefed and argued cases in the Tenth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, as well as in Kansas appellate courts.

For five years, Tony was detailed to DOJ’s National Security Division, where he was the lead prosecutor on the capital case against the al Qaeda operative who masterminded the bombing of the USS COLE in Yemen in 2000. In recognition for his work on the case, he was awarded the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Civilian Service. In 2007, Tony spent six months working for DOJ’s Regime Crimes Liaison Office in Baghdad, Iraq, advising and assisting the Iraqi High Tribunal with the trials of members of Saddam Hussein’s regime for war crimes and other atrocities.

Tony prosecuted Terry Lee Loewen, the former U.S. Marine who pled guilty to attempting to detonate a van filled with high explosives at the Wichita airport on behalf of al Qaeda during the Christmas travel season. He prosecuted John T. Booker, who pled guilty to trying to detonate a truck bomb at the base hospital on Fort Riley on behalf of ISIS. He led a team of DOJ prosecutors who convicted three Kansas militia members for plotting to blow up an apartment building and slaughter more than a hundred Somali Muslim refugees as they worshipped in their mosque.

After a distinguished career of public service putting the worst of the worst behind bars, Tony is turning his attention to serving the people of Kansas. Previously Tony named Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett as his campaign treasurer.

For press inquiries, please contact:

Christian Hulen

chulen@thelukenscompany.com


Tony Mattivi Announces Campaign Treasurer

[Topeka, KS] – Tony Mattivi will formally announce Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett as his campaign treasurer for his upcoming bid to be Kansas’ next Attorney General.

Tony Mattivi’s unique experience prosecuting terrorism, drug trafficking, violent crime, racketeering, gangs, organized crime, and money laundering gives him qualifications that no other candidate in the field can match.

Mattivi recently retired from his position as an Assistant United States Attorney and the Antiterrorism and National Security Coordinator for the District of Kansas.  He was a federal prosecutor for more than twenty years, with a strong record of success in Kansas and surrounding states.  He also briefed and argued cases in the Tenth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, as well as in Kansas appellate courts.

Details for Mattivi’s formal announcement will be disseminated in the days to come.

For press inquiries, please contact:

Christian Hulen

chulen@thelukenscompany.com