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The digital director for Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto’s re-election campaign contributed to and helped promote the far-left Minnesota Freedom Fund, which has a history of bailing out violent criminals.
The Minnesota Freedom Fund (MFF), which raised millions of dollars to bail out protesters who were arrested in the demonstrations following the police-involved slaying of George Floyd in Minneapolis, was once promoted by then-Sen. Kamala Harris and has since made headlines for bailing out violent offenders, some of whom have gone on to re-offend.
In August 2020, the MFF defended itself after bailing out a convicted rapist who raped a woman just weeks after his release. He was later convicted and sentenced to 25 to 30 years in prison.
Last month, Minneapolis local media reported that another man bailed out by the MFF was out for three weeks before he allegedly murdered an old nemesis with whom he had a “beef.”
Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto listens to testimony during a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on July 27, 2021. (Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
Cortez Masto’s campaign digital director, Austin Dean, proudly announced in May 2020 that he had donated to the MFF.
“I hope you’ll join me in supporting the Minnesota Freedom Fund to directly provide relief for those protesting for their rights to be treated as human beings,” Dean tweeted on May 29, 2020.
Dean followed up that tweet with a screenshot showing he donated $50 to the organization.
At the time of the tweets, according to his LinkedIn page, Dean was a content manager at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), which Masto, of Nevada, chaired for the 2020 campaign cycle.
Masto has praised and done events with Battle Born Progress (BBP), a liberal nonprofit that also promoted the MFF in 2020.
“If you are as outraged as we are about the murder of #GeorgeFloyd please consider donating to the Minnesota Freedom Fund!” BBP tweeted in May 2020.
Cortez Masto praised BBP as “incredible advocates for our state” in November 2021, the Washington Free Beacon reported at the time.
On Nov. 8, 2021, Cortez Masto participated in a tele town hall with Battle Born Progress.
BBP has called to disarm police and “save money by defunding” the state’s police presence in schools. It has also said the pro-police phrase “Blue Lives Matter” is “a reactionary, racist response to #BlackLivesMatter that attempts to trivialize and distract from police killings of Black people.”
Cortez Masto, Nevada’s former attorney general, has said she does not support defunding the police but instead the “rethinking” of how “we police in the 21st century to address what we see, [this] systemic racism across the country.”
Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto after a lunch with Senate Democrats in the Capitol on Oct. 7, 2021.
Fox News Digital reported in May that nearly a dozen police groups that initially backed Cortez Masto switched their endorsement over to Republican candidate Adam Laxalt.
Senate candidate Adam Laxalt speaks during a panel on policing and security prior to former President Donald Trump giving remarks at Treasure Island hotel and casino on July 8, 2022, in Las Vegas. (Bridget Bennett/Getty Images)
“Instead of helping law enforcement, Cortez Masto has been focused on pushing the agenda of anti-police radicals in her party that undermines cops at every turn,” Laxalt said in a statement to Fox News Digital at the time. “I am focused on helping law enforcement to keep Nevada safe and I will always have their backs.”
Dean and the campaign did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s requests for comment.
Jessica Chasmar is a reporter for Fox News Digital. Story tips can be sent to [email protected] and on Twitter: @JessicaChasmar.