Patriots Owner-Prostitution Charge Football Kraft

In this Feb. 4, 2018, file photo, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, arrives at U.S. Bank Stadium before Super Bowl 52 against the Philadelphia Eagles in Minneapolis.  (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara, File)

John Childs, a billionaire financier who was implicated in the same Florida police investigation of prostitution that caught up New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, has made political contributions to Republican causes in Colorado and nationally -- and donated to U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner.

And Kraft also has donated to Democratic causes in Colorado, records show.

Kraft and Childs -- the latter is the founder of Massachusetts private equity firm J.W. Childs Associates -- were among at least 165 people named in arrest warrants on suspicion of soliciting prostitution in connection with a multi-jurisdiction police probe of alleged sex trafficking involving Florida massage parlors, the Washington Post reports.

The accusations were announced Feb. 21 by police in Vero Beach, Florida. Childs has homes in nearby Indian River Shores and near  Boston.

Childs, 77, who was not arrested, denied the allegations in a Bloomberg interview the next day. "The accusation of solicitation of prostitution is totally false," he said.

Three days after the interview, Childs' firm announced his retirement.

Childs isn't a household name in Colorado, but he's very well known in Republican fundraising circles. According to the Post, he has donated $17 million to conservative causes and candidates since 2007.

He has been a generous donor to the National Republican Senatorial Campaign (NRSC) committee, which, until January, was run by Gardner, R-Colorado. In 2017-18, he contributed more than $4 million to Republican candidates and political action committees, including to President Trump's campaign.

According to the Federal Election Commission campaign finance database, Childs gave $287,300 to the NRSC and another $168,000 to the NRSC Targeted State Victory Fund between Jan. 1, 2017, and Dec. 31, 2018, when Gardner was in charge of the organization.

Childs has also given political contributions to Gardner and to the Colorado Republican Party.

Childs donated $2,600 to Gardner on Sept. 10, 2014, and $10,000 to the Colorado Republican Party on Nov. 10, 2014, the FEC database shows.

In the wake of news of Childs' prostitution charges, two GOP lawmakers -- newly appointed Sen. Martha McSally of Arizona and Sen. Mike Braun of Indiana -- have both said they would donate to charity the equivalent of the funds received from Childs.

McSally had received $8,100 from him; she told the Washington Post she would donate an equal amount to a veterans charity. Braun took in $5,400 and said he would donate an equal amount to an Indianapolis center that aids victims of domestic violence.

Asked about the matter by Colorado Politics, a spokesman for the Colorado GOP said it was not planning to return the money or donate it to charity.

Gardner did not respond to emails seeking comment.

Meanwhile, Kraft -- a lifelong Democrat and supporter of Democratic causes -- made at least one donation in Colorado, too: To the Colorado Democratic Party. Kraft gave the party $4,183 on Aug. 20, 2012, the FEC database shows. There was no record of a donation to a candidate.

A spokesman for the state Democratic Party said Wednesday the donation was for the Obama Victory Fund for Colorado activities. The memo line for the donation listed by the FEC confirms the money was intended for the Obama Victory Fund.

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