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Republican Party Member Apologizes For Racist Email

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

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IRVINE (CBS) —  The Orange County Republican Central Committee will meet tonight to discuss the email party member Marilyn Davenport forwarded to her friends with a picture of President Barack Obama’s face on the body of a chimpanzee.

According to committee member Tim Whitacre, Davenport is not expected to attend the meeting because she has received death threats.

The email featured a picture with Obama’s face superimposed over a baby chimp’s face over the caption, “Now you know why — No birth certificate!”.

In her apology Davenport said, “To my fellow Americans and to everyone else who has seen the email I forwarded and was offended by my action, I humbly apologize and ask for your forgiveness of my unwise behavior.”

The Fullerton resident went on to say, “I say unwise because at the time I received and forwarded the email, I didn’t  stop to think about the historic implications and other examples of how this could be offensive.”

Davenport labelled herself an imperfect “Christian lady who tried her best to live a Christ-like honoring life,” and said she would she would never do anything to intentionally harm or berate others regardless of ethnicity.

Republican Party of Orange County Chairman Scott Baugh said other than passing a resolution critical of Davenport there’s not much action the committee can take against her.

“The bottom line is state law precludes the committee from terminating her membership,” Baugh is quoted as saying. “She’s an elected member, elected by the public, and there are very narrow reasons you can remove her and her racist e-mail is not one of them.”

The committee can adopt a resolution condemning what she’s done and encourage her to apologize and to resign.  However, Central Committee member Whitacre said the call for Davenport’s resignation is “outrageous”, stating that Davenport should not be punished because she has apologized.

“I don’t condone the email — it wasn’t a wise thing to do and it shouldn’t have gone out,” Whitacre said, noting that the email didn’t go out with party letterhead and that it was sent from her personal account.  “But you don’t use a ton of bricks on someone when a switch is necessary.”

Davenport will appear on Anderson Cooper’s show on CNN Monday night.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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