LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Rep. Ken Calvert says comments made by the Los Angeles World Airports chief operating officer that included a reference to the Inland Empire as “inbred” touched a raw nerve.

“I’m tired of people in Los Angeles or anywhere else disparaging the Inland Empire,” Calvert told CBS2’s Tom Wait.

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The comments made by Steve Martin referenced the “inbred Inland Empire” during an email exchange in April 2013 with an airport consultant, according to court documents.

In the email exchange in question, the consultant identified as Warren Adams, says “I thought reporters were supposed to be objective?” Martin responds, “Not in the inbred Inland Empire.”

A spokesperson for the LAWA confirmed that the comments were made but says Martin was taken out of context and that he was only referring to the reporting being inbred, not the people.

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“I read what exactly he said. He said inbred California, inbred Inland California. And now he is trying to say he was referencing it to reporters,” said Calvert, whose district includes Corona, Temecula and Menifee.

The remarks were made during a recent deposition in an ongoing legal battle for control of Ontario International. LAWA would not comment on the litigation and only stated that they would continue to support Ontario International.

A ruling on the future of the airport could come Oct. 31.


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