UPDATED -- Marilyn Davenport has asserted in a private email to Orange County GOP leaders that she will not be stepping down, and she apologizes to anyone who may have been offended. She maintains that "in no way did I even consider the fact he's half black when I sent out the email" and decries the "double standard" that applies to President Barack Obama. See the OC Weekly for the full text of the email.
The Associated Press reports that Republican Party of Orange County Chairman Scott Baugh wants to launch an ethics investigation about the incident, and that he thinks she should resign. Baugh said, "It's just highly inappropriate, it's a despicable message, it drips with racism and I think she should step down from the committee."
More from AP:
At the very least, Baugh said, Davenport should be apologizing for what she's done rather than attacking whoever leaked the email to media, referring to an email Davenport sent after the story broke calling on "the coward" who leaked the email to come forward.
Davenport, a tea party activist, represents the 72nd Assembly District in Orange County on the central committee.
She represents Brea, Placentia, Fullerton and portions of other Orange County cities to the county committee tasked with fundraising, campaigning and debating policy for the Republican Party.
PREVIOUSLY -- Marilyn Davenport, a Tea Party activist and member of the Orange County Republican Party's central committee, is drawing fire from people in her own party after circulating a racist email depicting President Barack Obama and his parents as chimpanzees. In the email: "Now you know why — No birth certificate!"
The OC Weekly broke the story and were able to reach Davenport for comment. Her response:
"Oh, come on! Everybody who knows me knows that I am not a racist. It was a joke. I have friends who are black. Besides, I only sent it to a few people--mostly people I didn't think would be upset by it."
CBS interviewed former chairman of the California Republican Party Michael Schroeder, who says that this email is Davenport's third strike. He is calling for her resignation, citing two previous incidents in which Davenport defended the racist actions of two fellow Orange County conservatives.
The first was during President Obama's inauguration, when Los Alamitos Mayor Dean Grose forwarded an email depicting a watermelon patch on the White House lawn to several people. According to Schroeder, Davenport defended Grose amidst calls for his resignation.
Schroeder also says that Davenport defended Newport Councilman Richard Nichols when he opposed installing grassy areas at a beach. His reason, according to the L.A. Times: "with grass we usually get Mexicans coming in there early in the morning and they claim it as theirs, and it becomes their personal, private grounds all day."
The Huffington Post's calls to the Republican Party of Orange County were not immediately returned.