Gangs, Drugs, Redemption, and Cancer

As a teenager, when Jeff was living out of broken down cars, addicted to methamphetamine, and trying to escape a gang, the last thing he thought was that one day he would be paid to run for governor of California, and become an international conflict zone reporter, but that’s the short of what happened.

Jeff was born and raised in Santa Rosa, CA. His parents, Jerry and Janis Rainforth, divorced when he was five.

The courts awarded Jeff to his father, who raised him from then on. Jeff’s younger and only sibling, Jodi, was awarded to their mother.

Jeff attended the private Christian school his uncle founded from the 2nd to 8th grades.

Jeff chose to attend public school beginning in the 9th grade because of constant bullying over his shyness. In his early teens, he showed an early interest in astronomy, computer programming, and electro-mechanical engineering.


When Jeff was 15, he read You Can if You Think You Can, a motivational book his father had given him. Jeff then made three goals for his life. His first goal was to be a rock star by the age of 23. His second goal was to be a millionaire by 30, and his third goal was to run for President of the United States. Shortly thereafter, Jeff bought a used keyboard and began teaching himself to play music by ear. Life was interrupted shortly thereafter.


At 16, Jeff was introduced to methamphetamine at the high school he was attending, and he subsequently began using the drug, believing it was a cure for the shyness that dogged him in his early years.

After several months of using the drug, it dissolved a membrane in his nose and ate through a blood vessel.

After two hours of profuse bleeding, Jeff lay dying on the walkway in front of his father’s house. Jeff’s stepbrother, Chris, showed up at the house as he was losing consciousness and called an ambulance.

The paramedics informed Jeff that they were unsure if he was going to live. At the hospital, the doctors cauterized the blood vessel to stop the bleeding. Afterward, Jeff walked several miles back home, blood still covering the clothes he was wearing.

Living on the Streets and Escaping the Hell’s Angels

On Jeff’s 18th birthday, he was told he had to leave home. A few months later, Jeff’s car broke down, he lost his job, and subsequently his place to live. On and off for the next four years, Jeff lived out of broken down cars, half-built buildings, and literally on the streets. During this time, Jeff became closely acquainted with hunger, loss, and, more frequently than not, bouts of despair.

When he was 19, Jeff moved into an apartment with a friend, a rare interruption in his years of homelessness.

Jeff began using methamphetamine again, and to feed his habit, he began selling the drug to friends. Realizing that selling meth could be a lucrative business, Jeff expanded his sales and his use of the drug.

Seeing that in order to earn more profits, the middleman needed to be cut out and the manufacturers dealt with directly, this is what Jeff did. This decision brought about unintended consequences.

At the time, the Hell’s Angels motorcycle gang was in a war with another gang for control of the meth trade in Sonoma County. Mexican cartels were supplying the biker gangs with ingredients needed for the manufacture of the drug. Jeff’s decision to cut out the middlemen brought him to their attention.

During this period, the Hell’s Angels attempted to induct Jeff into their organization as a drug transporter. Jeff was told by members that nothing he saw or heard could be talked about, even with his closest friends, or those involved in the gang.

Jeff was led to believe that “talking” could have serious repercussions and that the organization had contacts in high places, including police who were paid off. Because of this, Jeff began to fear for his safety, as he had no intention of being involved with the gang. Jeff was on the constant lookout for a way out, but there appeared to be none. Jeff’s father later told him that he had prepared himself emotionally for his death.


Jeff resisted the gang’s moves at every turn, slowly gaining confidence in himself as he became angrier at the position he was in. In the meantime, the Hell’s Angels trained Jeff how to fight, hold off rival factions, drug ambushes, and use strategies on drug transport.

One day, after being told that there was no way out, Jeff reached a breaking point. He had higher goals than being involved with a criminal gang. Jeff informed his “handler” that he wanted nothing to do with “scum” who would never amount to anything. The reaction was swift. Several days later, members attempted to set Jeff up for a shooting, and he was threatened at gunpoint with death.

Jeff continued resisting, knowing he had to escape. Jeff was living in a member’s converted chicken coop at the time and was told he had to leave. He left with a car his handler had given him and lived in it for several months.

Jeff believed he had finally gotten free of the gang that had held him hostage. He would not escape the fear of being killed for several years, though.

Jeff quit using methamphetamine when he was 19 and never went back.


Between the ages of 20 and 23, Jeff formed a number of rock bands which he played and sang in. When Jeff was 23 he decided to give up on a dream of becoming a rock musician and began pursuing other options.

Cluster Headaches

Jeff began suffering from cluster headaches at 22. The malady also known as “suicide headaches” because of the excruciating pain, saw Jeff screaming and thrashing on the ground three times a day for one month of every year for 20 years. There were few ways back then to reduce the pain without powerful painkillers that would knock a person out.

Finding Faith & Politics

After leaving music behind, Jeff began studying the Protestant faith in order to become a teacher. After four years of studying theology on his own, Jeff became interested in politics. He enrolled at the local JR College, declaring a major in Political Science. Jeff earned national honors, the school’s highest honors, and was awarded an honors scholarship three semesters in a row.

After a little over two years in school, Jeff took a break and decided to run for Congress on Ross Perot’s Reform Party ticket. Jeff moved up quickly in the party’s leadership, and after two years was elected as the California Party’s Chairman. Jeff was also nominated as the party’s candidate for governor of the state.

Subsequently, Jeff earned a seat on the national committee of the Reform Party and was elected as the chairman of the national party building committee.

In 2012 Jeff began writing for Hollywood talent agent turned war correspondent, Pat Dollard. Jeff also headed up Dollard’s 30-person research team. Later Jeff would write for the Wayne Dupree Show.

In 2014 Jeff began organizing protests at Mexican consulates to pressure the Mexican government to free Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi from a Mexican prison. The rallies quickly went national, & the Tahmooressi family asked Jeff to assist. Jeff is mentioned in Andrew’s mother’s book, When Light Prevails, her account of what transpired during the ordeal.

I was an Army of one at the Mexican consulate in Sacramento today. All 3 times I've been here, it's been super windy….

Posted by Free United States Marine, Andrew Tahmooressi on Monday, May 19, 2014

Later, Jeff became friends with triple-amputee Iraq War vet, Senior Airman Brian Kolfage. He worked with Airman Kolfage on several projects, including being editor-in-chief for a major news organization that Kolfage was instrumental in growing.

In 2018, Jeff was asked by Rob O’Neill, the Navy SEAL who killed Osama bin Laden, for help with research on a Second Amendment project he was doing for Parkland School shooting survivor Kyle Kashuv.

In December of 2018, Senior Airman Brian Kolfage asked Jeff to join his new non-profit, We Build the Wall, Inc (WBTW).

Jeff was originally tapped to be the editor of the organization’s news site, but after team members saw his photographs of WBTW events, he was asked to also become the official photographer/videographer for WBTW.

In May of 2019, Airman Kolfage contacted Jeff and told him to get ready for a secret mission that very few knew of. Jeff was sent with one other WBTW team member (Foreman Mike) to the site of the organization’s first planned construction project.

Jeff spent two and a half weeks on a New Mexico mountain documenting the construction of the privately funded border wall via video & photography. Jeff hiked the mountain for up to 15 hours a day in temperatures that reached the high 90s and in dust storms where wind gusts reached up to 70 mph. No one could know of the project lest the news media & leftist groups got wind of it because they would have attempted to disrupt construction.

A few of the thousands of pictures Jeff took during the construction of the wall.

The project was so secret that Jeff could not tell other team members or even his family where he was or what he was doing. The property manager where Jeff lives actually called the landlord and said she was afraid he might have died because he hadn’t been seen at home for so long. Jeff was very much alive, though. He was documenting history.

Two weeks ago, Airman Brian Kolfage sent me on a super secret mission to document construction of the first section of…

Posted by Jeff Rainforth on Friday, May 31, 2019

Late in 2019, Steve Bannon sent Jeff to embed with the Hong Kong protesters, covering their fight for freedom against the Chinese Communist Party. Jeff regularly films inside riots in Democratic-run cities in the United States. Bannon also sent Jeff to film a documentary on border walls in mainland China as COVID was about to emerge from the country.

Embedded with pro-freedom Hong Kong protesters, October 2019

Bannon and Kolfage then sent Jeff to film walls and counter-terrorism efforts in Thailand, Malaysia, Israel by the Gaza Strip, Hungary & Serbia, France, Spain, and north Africa.

I was filming on Israel’s border with Gaza in November of 2019. Rockets flew in where I was several hours prior to this picture being taken

In 2020, Bannon sent Jeff to film undercover inside the Portland riots.

Undercover in the Portland riots

For six weeks in 2020 and 2021, Jeff was the videographer for the March for Trump bus tour which crossed the country twice and ended on January 6th, 2021 in DC at the Capitol. He filmed the events that took place at the Capitol Building.

Jeff was the March for Trump tour videographer

In 2021, Jeff was contracted to film on the border with Ben Bergquam of America’s Voice News and also for Women Fighting for America.

Ben Bergquam and I in front of a “black” border wall.

Late in 2022, Jeff embarked on a self-funded border crisis tour, documenting cartel trafficking of drugs and humans.

At the We Build the Wall border wall in Sunland Park, NM, late 2022

In 2023, on his birthday, Jeff was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia, also known as CLL. At the time of this writing, the cancer is non-aggressive and at stage 1. Jeff has no plans of slowing down and regularly goes to the gym, boxes, swims, and goes mountain biking. Between 2019 and 2022, he lost 50 pounds and quit smoking.

Getting a PET scan in June of 2023

When he isn’t traveling the world and the country covering events, Jeff works as a news editor and composes music at his home recording studio in Sacramento. Jeff is single and has never been married.

Jeff and Steve Bannon at the WBTW border wall

Offices Sought
U.S. Congress, D-6, CA, 2002
Governor, Recall Election, 2003 – Reform
Sacramento City Council, D3, 2010 – Non-partisan

2022 to present – Border reporter, copy editor, photographer
2021 – Border reporter, copy editor
2020 – Conflict zone reporter in Portland and across the country with the March for Trump bus tour
2019 – News editor, photographer, & videographer for We Build the Wall, Inc
2018 – Freelance journalist
2018 – Editor-in-chief at RWN network (retired)
2016 – Editor-in-chief at Freedom Daily
2015 – Writer for Freedom Daily
2014 – Writer for Senior Airman Brian Kolfage
2014 – National Rally Organizer to Free Marine Sgt. Tahmooressi from the Mexican Prison
2014 – Writer for the Wayne Dupree Show
2012 – Writer/Research Director for war correspondent/Hollywood talent agent, Pat Dollard
2013 – National Social Media Director,
2011 – Advisor: Charlie Schaupp for Congress – GOP
2004 – Retired from all Reform Party positions & rejoined the GOP
2004 – Elected Reform Party National Party Building Chair (03-04)
2004 – Reform Party USA National Committee Member
2003 – Speaker at Victory celebration for CA Gubernatorial Recall, State Capitol
2003 – Elected Reform Party of CA. Chairman
2002 – Featured Speaker at RPUSA National Convention, Denver, CO
2002 – Elected Reform Party of CA. Vice Chair
2001 – Elected Reform Party of CA. Director

Independent Religious Studies 1991-95
Santa Rosa JR College 1999-01
Major: Political Science

Dean’s High Honors
Dean’s Highest Honors
National Dean’s List
Phi Theta Kappa International Scholastic Order (Honors Society)
Three-time winner of the Doyle Honors Scholarship

Father: Gerald Rainforth — Army Reserve, YWAM (Youth with a Mission) Procuring vehicles throughout Europe for smuggling Bibles into Communist China
Uncle: Loren Thomas Hines — Archbishop (Episcopal) for Southeast Asia, Europe
Aunt: Bonnie Argue — Assemblies of God Minister
Great-Grandfather: Thomas S. Sappington — Circuit preacher, church overseer. Founded churches in Arkansas, Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, and Kentucky
Great-Uncle: Loyd Sappington — One of the founding fathers of the Assemblies of God Denomination & overseer of 13 churches in multiple states
Great-Uncle: John Sappington — Church pioneer and minister