POLITICS
08/17/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Gary Frago, California Councilman, Sent Racist Anti-Obama Jokes To Staff

UPDATE:Atwater, California Councilman Gary Frago has apologized for sending around racist anti-Obama emails to other city officials.

"I made a mistake," he said of the e-mails, circulated from October 2008 to February 2009. "It was a mistake I shouldn't have made and I apologize for it. I wasn't being racist, I was just passing on e-mails."

Yet another local official has gotten in hot water for sending around racist emails about the president. This time it's Gary Frago of Atwater, California.

In the past several months Atwater City Councilman Gary Frago has sent at least a half-dozen e-mails to city staff and other prominent community members containing racist jokes aimed at President Barack Obama, his wife and black people in general.

In all, the Sun-Star obtained seven e-mails that Frago sent from October 2008 to February 2009 from an anonymous source.

Some compared Obama to O.J. Simpson while others suggested that "nigger rigs" should now be called "presidential solutions."

"I don't see where there's a story, I'm not the only one that does it," Fargo said in his defense, after the Merced Sun Star published the offensive emails. "I didn't originate them, they came to me and I just passed them on."

Previous disastrous interactions between racially-insensitive public officials and modern technology include the "historical keepsake photo" sent around by a Tennessee state government staffer, the picture of watermelons on the White House lawn distributed by a California mayor, and the Michelle Obama gorilla joke posted on Facebook by a GOP activist and ex-official.

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