GOP leader Marilyn Davenport e-mails photo of chimp-like Obama
4/16/2011, 5 p.m.
SANTA ANA, Calif.--A tea party activist and elected member of the county Republican central committee said she will not heed calls to resign because she e-mailed a picture of President Barack Obama's face on the body of a chimpanzee.
Marilyn Davenport of Fullerton recently emailed a picture of Obama's face superimposed over a baby chimp's face with the caption, "Now you know why--No birth certificate!"
O.C. Weekly political blogger R. Scott Moxley reported on the e-mail, causing civil rights activists and some Republicans, including county GOP Chairman Scott Baugh, to call for her to resign from the county central committee.
Baugh told the Los Angeles Times he received the e-mail Friday afternoon and sent a reply email telling Davenport it was "dripping with racism and is in very poor taste."
He said he thought the Orange County Republican's ethics committee should take up the matter.
"I saw the e-mail and I thought it was despicable,'' Baugh told the O.C. Weekly.
When Moxley reached her for comment, she said, "You're not going to make a big deal about this, are you? Oh, come on! Everybody who knows me knows I am not a racist. "It was a joke. I have friends who are Black.''
City News Service was unable to contact her today.
Earl Ofari Hutchison, a Los Angeles commentator and president of the L.A. Urban Policy Roundtable, said "Davenport's vile, crude, racist depiction of the president and his family demands immediate action by the GOP.''
The Times reported that Baugh sent an e-mail to committee members today saying Davenport called the Obama photo a "joke" and wanted to know who had leaked it to Moxley.
She called the leak "cowardly" and added, "Anyone brave enough to come forward?"
She described the hubbub as "much to do about nothing" and said she would not resign.
"I'm sorry if my email offended anyone, I simply found it amusing regarding the character of Obama and all the questions surrounding his origin of birth," she wrote.
"In no way did I even consider the fact he's half black when I sent out the e-mail. In fact, the thought never entered my mind until one or two other people tried to make this about race.
"We all know a double standard applies regarding this president. I received plenty of e-mails about George Bush that I didn't particularly like, yet there was no 'cry' in the media about them."
If Davenport refuses to step down, she should be expelled, Michael Schroeder, former chairman of the state Republican Party and an Orange County GOP activist, told The Times.
"I looked at it and my jaw dropped," he said.
Committee member Tim Whitacre defended Davenport, calling her "a polite, gentle grandmother," The Times reported.
He said Baugh was using the flap as "political payback" because Davenport has criticized Baugh's leadership.
He said Davenport sent him the Obama cartoon last week, but it did not offend him because he regarded it as "a light-hearted stab over the birther question."
"We send emails back and forth--motivational, fun, this and that," Whitacre said.
He said her email was personal and had no connection to GOP business.
He also said there were no grounds for an ethics case, The Times reported.