DALLAS – Democratic Rep. Martin Frost (search) on Thursday offered to refund contributions to an October fund-raiser after canceling the appearance of Peter Yarrow (search) over the folk singer's 1970 child indecency conviction.
Yarrow, a member of the group Peter, Paul and Mary, was convicted of "taking indecent liberties" with a 14-year-old girl in 1969. President Carter pardoned him in 1981.
Frost said in a statement that "crimes against children are very serious offenses. ... I do not believe it is appropriate for Mr. Yarrow to campaign on my behalf."
Frost, who faces Republican Rep. Pete Sessions (search) for a Dallas-area congressional seat in November, often mentions his role in Amber Alert and anti-child abduction legislation.
Frost's campaign initially said he wouldn't return the money already raised for the Oct. 11 event, which will still be held. The ticket prices ranged from $250 to $1,000.
But after Sessions called it wrong of him to keep money raised using Yarrow as the attraction, Frost issued a statement Thursday afternoon allowing contributors to request refunds.
Frost also gave contributors the option of attending two other fund-raisers in October or "simply dedicate their contribution to the effort to defeat Pete Sessions."
Sessions' spokesman said just offering refunds isn't enough.
"He should just be writing the checks out to those folks," spokesman Chris Homan said. "He's not making a legitimate attempt to get rid of the money that he raised based on the appearance of a child molester."
Yarrow has been active in politics and other social causes for years. He appeared in Iowa for John Kerry (search) before the presidential primaries.