The Iowa Republican Party received $20,000 and Senator Chuck Grassley received $2,700 from a donor who was recently charged in a prostitution sting, and Progress Iowa is calling for them to donate those funds to charity to support the fight against human trafficking.
Billionaire donor John Childs was charged in the same prostitution sting that caught New England Patriots owner Bob Kraft. Childs donated $10,000 to the Iowa Republican Party on two occasions, according to FEC data, during the 2016 and 2018 election cycles, and $2,700 to Senator Grassley’s campaign in 2016. According to the Washington Post, Childs has donated roughly $17 million to support Republican candidates and conservative groups since 2007. Two Republican Senators, Martha McSally (R-AZ) and Mike Braun (R-IN), have already announced they will be returning donations they have received from Childs.
“Thousands of dollars from a donor charged in a prostitution and trafficking sting demonstrates the worst possible priorities for our state,” said Matt Sinovic, executive director of Progress Iowa. “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.”
In addition to his donations to the Iowa Republican Party and Senator Chuck Grassley, Childs also gave hundreds of thousands to national organizations that work on behalf of Iowa Republicans: $250k to the National Republican Senate Committee (NRSC), and $300k to American Crossroads, a conservative PAC founded by Karl Rove.
Hundreds of human trafficking cases have been reported in recent years in Iowa, according to the National Human Trafficking Hotline. To get involved, Iowans should contact the Iowa Network Against Human Trafficking and Slavery, that works to provide volunteer opportunities with the goal of ending human trafficking in all its forms.