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MNGOP Scum Lazzaro Donated to Dusty in 2020

Sally Jo Sorensen of Bluestem Prairie finds that Congressman Dusty Johnson had a little sleazy money in his campaign kitty last year:

Given former Republican Party of Minnesota state chair Jennifer Carnahan’s scheduling of party events in South Dakota (one’s here), we grew curious about whether any South Dakota politicians took money from her friend Anton Lazzaro.

Sadly,  the South Dakota Secretary of State provides no searchable database of state campaign finance donors; curious citizens can go to–then search each candidate’s non-searchable PDF filings for contributor names. Lovely.

But one can search the Federal Election Commission’s databases by contributor. We found this July 30, 2020 contribution from Lazzaro to our congressman Dusty Johnson.

We’re unable to find any connection between Johnson and Lazzaro, however, other than the cash.

…Perhaps Congressman Johnson could donate the money to a South Dakota non-profit that works to end sex-trafficking or to aid its victims, if he has not already done so [Sally Jo Sorensen, “In 2020, Dusty Johnson Received $500 from GOP Donor & Alleged Sex Trafficker Anton Lazzaro,” Bluestem Prairie, 2021.10.10].

Johnson received Lazzaro’s $500 a year before the feds arrested Lazzaro and charged him with recruiting six minors to sell for sex and porn, but at least one victim reported Lazzaro’s criminal activity before and at the time of his Dusty donation:

During the hearing, a police detective who was part of the Lazzaro investigation said the alleged victims ranged in age from 15 to 17 and were given gifts, such as vape pens and alcohol, as well as money in exchange for exposing themselves or doing sex acts.

The investigator who was part of a sex-crimes task force, Minneapolis police officer Brandon Brugger, told the court that Lazzaro, 30, offered one girl money and alcohol to stay silent and even floated a non-disparagement contract with another following a raid on his apartment.

Magistrate Judge Hildy Bowbeer noted at the start of the hearing that some of the alleged victims and their parents were listening by telephone.

Brugger testified that one girl and her parents went to police in July of last year. The officer said he contacted the FBI, which was already on the case, and it became a joint investigation with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

Brugger said Lazzaro “was the sex buyer” and paid 19-year old Gisela Castro Medina to seek out girls through Snapchat and other social media apps. Castro Medina is also charged in the case; she’s being held in Florida and has yet to enter a plea.

Authorities said Lazzaro had a dedicated page on the adult site “Pornhub” that referenced teens and an account on at least one other adult platform [Brian Bakst and Matt Sepic, “GOP Donor Lazzaro Denied Release After Federal Court Hearing,” MPR News, 2021.08.24].

According to the complaint in a federal lawsuit filed by an anonymous victim and her parents on September 7 of this year, Lazzaro and Castro Medina’s lawyer Daniel Adkins called the parents on July 29, 2020, and offered the family $1,000 to sign a non-disclosure agreement “to keep silent about Lazzaro’s sex trafficking activities so Lazzaro could continue the sex trafficking enterprise.”

Ew. That’s not a donor whose name or money I’d want on my record. There’s no reason Congressman Johnson would have had any knowledge of this Minnesota operative’s illegal activity in July 2020, but now that Lazzaro sits in jail awaiting trial, Team Johnson might want to take Sorensen’s advice and send $500 to a suitable charity.


  1. Eve Fisher 2021-10-14

    Well, perhaps Mr. Lazzaro sold himself as a freedom-loving Russian gun-rights advocate touring the midwest – no, that was Maria Butina. Still more proof that Dusty falls for whoever “seems nice.”

  2. mike from iowa 2021-10-14

    Has Johnson made any public statements disavowing the donor or claiming to be the victim?

  3. Loren 2021-10-14

    Can always use the Trumpian excuse, “Well, I know he is scum, but he likes me.”

  4. larry kurtz 2021-10-14

    “Gisela Castro Medina is the University of St. Thomas College Republicans chair.” Birds of a feather flocking together: priceless.

  5. sx123 2021-10-14

    I’m sure lots of candidates get donations from those they’d rather not.
    I would think candidates would have someone on the team vetting donors, but who knows.

  6. ArloBlundt 2021-10-14

    Well, either Dusty is morally ambiguous or he’s a chump, who is for sale to any donor regardless of the source of the money. In his quest for re election, he has gotten himself into these sticky situations several times. Not only is his moral compass a bit off true north, he is also a chump, ripe for exploitation.

  7. Mark Anderson 2021-10-14

    What’s with all the underage girls and Republicans? Are they reflecting all the beauty pageants that Trump used to love. They were mostly legal and backstage was just partial undress so he didn’t really hurt his divinity status with his base. I’m just wondering?

  8. ArloBlundt 2021-10-14

    Mark…there is a Young Republican type that grows up repressed and conflicted and only capable of the most immature kind of emotional commitment. Sex is a huge stumbling block for these awkward individuals. For reasons known only to God and Freud, they find some kind of release and recognition in being active in the Republican Party…there are repressed gays and child enticers by the hundreds in the ranks of the Republican Party more than willing to take on volunteer organizing tasks, especially those that involve teenagers. Many are switch hitters. As Representative Gaetz admitted they have trouble with “dating”.

  9. grudznick 2021-10-14

    Switch hitters, Mr. Blundt, usually have a more prominent side. Mickey Mantle, for instance and as I’m sure you recall, claimed to be better as a right-handed hitter but he hit more than twice as many home runs from the left side. This tells me that some fellows, misguided as they may be, are better dating some than they think and not as good dating others as they think. There are gene tests that can identify these people, but I am told the Young Republicans don’t require those sort of tests.

  10. larry kurtz 2021-10-14

    Y’all know catholic Jason Ravnsborg has never had a date in his life, right?

  11. grudznick 2021-10-14

    My close personal friend Lar is righter than right, there. It is true, I am told.

  12. ArloBlundt 2021-10-14

    Grudz…have a feeling you’re right on several counts….I’m a fan of the Mick, a stand up guy, who overcame a lot of adversity. Had he not torn up his knee as a rookie, who knows how good he would have been. Liked a cocktail and the company of a good looking lady, never made an excuse, and would never have considered being a Young Republican or Young Democrat for that matter..

  13. RST Tribal Member 2021-10-15

    If “the Dusty” didn’t have a scandal or two in his pathetic life he would not be a true inbred Republican that is electable.

    When mentioning moral compasses the key is a person should one. Cannot claim the inbreds running SD and camped out in Washington for SD have a working compass.

    As 2022 comes around the corner the inbred Republicans will turn on the campaign ads telling the voters the democrats will tax them out of existence and take away their freedom to buy guns and bullets. The same ads that have been ran for several decades. The ads work every time as the Democratic Party fumbles and trips over themselves trying to iron out a platform that pats themselves on the back but does not to get the voters to look left or even center.

    The only contribution the state of many places and some faces make is sending followers and/or corrupt inbred Republicans to Washington. As Thune yelled in the mirror pretending it was the Senate Majority Leader he assured himself he gave that guy a piece of his mind. Haha. As Dusty now claims he can be bought and Rounds is still finding his voice and stance 2022 elect follies are starting. However, Queen Gov aka America’s Governor aka Bully Gov is waiting for the signal from 45 on what she should do.

  14. Mark Anderson 2021-10-15

    Well grudz, my favorite tennis players uncle had him start hitting lefthanded and the rest is history. Mickey was good too bad he lived the live fast die young career. It isn’t all about switch hitting.

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