Democratic Rep. Ron Kind was already deemed to be a vulnerable incumbent facing a tough re-election fight in Wisconsin, but his bid to retain his congressional seat may have become even more difficult.
According to a report from Breitbart, a property owned by Kind in La Crosse, Wisconsin has a history of being a “house of prostitution,” disguised as a massage parlor, and there is some scrutiny regarding whether the current occupants are engaged in similar illicit business.
History of illicit activities
Since purchasing the property in 1993, Kind has been the owner of 219 Pearl St. in La Crosse, which is currently occupied by Asian Sunny Massage, formerly known as Impressions Spa, which was established in 2018.
The property was used as a massage parlor for several periods in the past, and prior to Kind taking ownership of it, was busted by the police on multiple occasions for being a front for illicit sex services and prostitution.
Between the mid-1970s through mid-1980s, massage parlor businesses were shut down and the owners faced varying levels of legal punishments for facilitating prostitution and other related crimes, including at least one instance that involved a minor.
Suspicions about current occupants
In April, Fox News reported that Kind earned between $15,001-50,000 in rental income from the 219 Pearl St. property in 2018 and 2019, according to federal disclosure forms.
The report noted that the current occupants, Asian Sunny Massage, had also advertised the business on websites linked to illicit sex and adult services.
According to local media outlet WKBT, that news prompted Kind’s Republican opponent, former U.S. Navy SEAL Derrick Van Orden, to call for a thorough investigation to ensure that the current occupants of the congressman’s property weren’t engaged in the same sort of illicit sex business that prior occupants were busted for decades earlier.
Kind dismissed any allegations of wrongdoing and accused Van Orden of “racism,” due to the fact that the current business is owned and operated by Asian Americans.
According to police records obtained by WKBT, police have been dispatched to the property at least seven times since the business first opened in 2018, though it is unclear exactly why and no criminal charges ever came from those law enforcement visits.
Questions deserve answers
While Kind is certainly not directly linked to the previous occupants who ran afoul of the law, he is linked to and responsible for what occurs under the auspices of the current business occupying the space.
The current occupants may well be in full compliance with the laws, but given the past history of the property and the potential for illicit activities — not to mention Kind’s immediate use of “racism” as a defense against scrutiny — there’s no doubt that questions need to be asked and deserve an answer.