Vulnerable Democrat Congressman Ron Kind (D-WI) claims racism is behind the latest attacks on him having received tens-of-thousands of dollars in income from a seedy massage parlor he rents to.
After the initial reports came out of Kind receiving tens of thousands of dollars from renting to a seedy massage parlor, Kind did not respond to Fox News regarding initial reporting. Kind gave a statement to a local news organization, La Crosse Tribune, about the reports claiming they are false and are racist for questioning an Asian-owned business.
According to the Tribune, Kind’s spokesperson “denounced the report.”
Though the statement given to the Tribune from Kind said, “as a former special prosecutor, I take any allegation of wrongdoing seriously. But that’s not what this is.”
“This is a baseless smear rooted in racism and insinuations. Tawni and I have never received any complaint from the community or police about this small business,” he continued in his statement. “Because of Derrick Van Orden and his allies pushing lies, local police are increasing patrols to ensure the safety of this Asian-owned small business.”
“In light of what has happened across the country and especially in Atlanta last month, it is irresponsible, dangerous and despicable of Derrick Van Orden to slander this local business owner and put law enforcement in harm’s way,” he added.
Retired Navy SEAL Derrick Van Orden, who was Kind’s opponent in last year’s general election, gave a blistering statement to Breitbart News, calling for a law enforcement investigation into any potential illegal activity happening at his property.
“Today’s report is incredibly disturbing and opens the door to many more questions that need to be answered,” Van Orden, who is running against Kind again in 2022, said. “I fully support law enforcement and encourage them to investigate this business to uncover any potential illegal activity. This industry has been proven to a component of human sex trafficking, the scourge of the 21st century and modern day slavery. It is all of our duties as Americans to help stop these heinous crimes from taking place here in our state and nation.”
The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) Communications Director Michael McAdams tweeted Wednesday night saying, Ron Kind “is in VERY VERY VERY big trouble!!!”
— Michael McAdams (@M_McAdams) April 28, 2021
McAdams included a screenshot from a local network, WKBT, report saying the news organization “obtained City of La Crosse police records to see if the department has received any complaints about the business.”
The report from WKBT claimed police have “responded to seven calls to its address” for the massage business, which opened in May of 2018, “located in a downtown La Crosse building owned by Kind.”
WKBT reported the seven calls did not result in any criminal complaint:
- 3/19/21 1:38 AM – 911 CHECK
- 9/3/20 – 4:27 PM – 911 CHECK
- 3/6/20 2:06 AM – 911 CHECK
- 10/13/19 6:29 AM – 911 CHECK
- 6/16/19 3:02 AM – 911 CHECK
- 1/22/19 4:08 PM – SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY
- 6/11/18 1:09 PM – WELFARE CHECK
La Crosse attorney Joe Veenstra released a statement defending his client, Asian Sunny Massage, following Derrick Van Orden's claims that the business located in a building owned by Rep. Ron Kind is posting on websites that advertise illicit sex. https://t.co/CSX3uuzu5U
— WKBT News 8 (@news8news) April 29, 2021
Joe Veenstra, a La Crosse attorney who works for Johns, Flaherty & Collins, released a statement Wednesday night on behalf of the owner of Asian Sunny Massage.
Recent news articles and stories have included defamatory implications regarding the operation of Asian Sunny Massage. These stories are a sad attempt to use politics in its worst way and, in doing so, to hurt an Asian-American-operated business in the process. Asian Sunny Massage runs a perfectly legitimate business. It operates in accordance with all state and local regulations. Any statements or implications to the contrary are defamatory and anyone in the press or politics saying otherwise is risking serious legal action. Again, these stories are political hit pieces hurting an Asian-American-run business and the people seeking to benefit from it should be ashamed. In today’s political climate in which Asians and Asian-run businesses have been the subject of bullying, harassment, and mass shootings, targeting an Asian business with these false assertions in a weak attempt to make some political point is really despicable.
According to WKBT, he added, “Asian Sunny Massage has been at its location since May of 2018 and employs licensed therapists.”
Breitbart News originally cited Fox News in the report Wednesday regarding the vulnerable Democrat’s alleged income from renting a property to a massage parlor that advertises on multiple websites used for spas that solicit paying for sex.
The report indicated Kind has not turned in his 2020 financial report yet, though the initial report did show in 2018 and 2019 he made between $15,001 and $50,000 in rent income from a building. The report indicated the business known as “Asian Sunny Massage,” which was previously named “Impression Spa,” opened in 2018. The same day the spa opened, reports show the advertisements on the “various illicit websites that are known as avenues for illicit sex” started.
Some of these websites appeared to be RubMaps, AssortList, and BodyRubsMap.
BodyRubsMap has been advertised as the “best alternative to Backpage,” a now-seized website known as “the largest online U.S. marketplace for sex trafficking,” according to the report. AssortList is site similar to Craigslist and Backpage — which reportedly lets users choose categories, like dating and massages, in addition to “adult” services which include phone sex, escorts, strippers, and strip clubs. Fox News cites a 2019 USA Today report describing RubMaps as a review site for illicit spas, like “Yelp.”
The report from Fox also indicated that the spa posted screenshots of their advertisements from one of the alleged websites, AssortList, onto their Facebook profile, which have since been deleted.