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Sheriff Baca 'gets his ire up' in Response to Repub's 'bully pulpit'

Baca in a Feb. 2010 appearance (Photo by NewsSpy via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)
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During a hearing yesterday in DC, Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca got into an argument with Republican congressman from Indiana Mark Souder after "the lawmaker questioned his relationship with an Islamic nonprofit group," according to LA Now.Souder's questioning about Baca's attendance at fundraisers for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) angered Baca, who disagreed vociferously with Souder's assertion that CAIR "espouses radical speech" and that his attendance at such events represents allegiance with US enemies.

In a heated exchange captured on audio by a reporter for KPCC 89.3, Souder claimed Baca had been to 10 such gatherings; Sheriff's Department spokesman Steve Whitmore said after yesterday's argument records indicate Baca has been to just two of CAIR's events.

Whitmore qualified Baca's impassioned response: "The sheriff gets his ire up when politicians begin to use their bully pulpit for personal attacks," adding, "just because [members of CAIR] are Muslim Americans does not mean they want to destroy Israel or the U.S."

You can listen to the audio recording here.