A major national Republican donor was charged with soliciting prostitution in the Florida sting that also nabbed New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft. John Childs, a billionaire who’s given $20,000 to the Republican Party of Iowa and $2,700 to Chuck Grassley, is one of hundreds of people ensnared in a sweeping bust of a sex trafficking network in Florida.
The founder of J.W. Childs equity firm (a company from which he quickly resigned after the charges), Childs has poured money into Republican and conservative efforts over the years. The Washington Post reported that he’s donated over $17 million to Republican candidates and conservative causes since 2007.
That includes Iowa politicians and organizations. Childs and his wife donated over $20,000 to the Republican Party of Iowa in 2016 and 2018. He gave the maxed-out contribution level to Chuck Grassley during the senator’s 2016 reelection race.
“Thousands of dollars from a donor charged in a prostitution and trafficking sting demonstrates the worst possible priorities for our state,” said Matt Sinovic of Progress Iowa said in a press release. “Human trafficking is a serious problem in Iowa, and Jeff Kaufmann and Senator Grassley have the chance to do the right thing. I hope they take that chance and give the money they’ve received to a worthy cause.”
Two other senators – Martha McSally of Arizona and Mike Braun of Indiana – already decided to donate the amount of money they got from Childs to charity last week.
by Pat Rynard