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Democrats demand Ashcroft returns money from Bob Jones

September 20, 2000
By: Clayton Bellamy
State Capital Bureau

JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Democratic Party has called on Sen. John Ashcroft to return money Bob Jones University gave him after a speech at the campus last year.

Missouri Democratic Party Executive Director Roy Temple said Monday the speech provided no benefit for Missourians and therefore should not qualify as an official trip. Ashcroft designated the trip as official business to avoid rules prohibiting Senators from receiveing gifts, Temple said.

Ashcroft -- the GOP's candidate for U.S. Senate -- delivered a commencement speech and received an honorary degree from the controversial university. The university reimbursed Ashcroft $750 for travel expenses.

Bob Jones made headlines this presidential election season because of its policy banning interracial dating. GOP presidential nominee George W. Bush was criticized for speaking at the university during the South Carolina primary last February.