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Ami Bera.JPGBowing to Republican demands, congressional candidate Ami Bera has returned a $250 campaign contribution from an official with the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) because of the group's alleged ties to Hamas.

The Elk Grove Democrat, who is trying to unseat Republican Rep. Dan Lungren of Gold River, returned the money to Basim Elkarra, executive director of the Sacramento chapter of CAIR.

"Our campaign is gaining a lot of momentum, and when we were flagged that there was an issue, we sent the money back," Lucinda Guinn, Bera's campaign manager, said today.

Bera returned the money after the California Republican Party last week urged Bera to give it back or give voters an explanation.

California Republican Party Chairman Ron Nehring noted that Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer rescinded an award she gave to Elkarra after investigating the role of the organization in 2006. At the time, Boxer said she made a mistake.

According to the Republican Jewish Coalition, the organization has links to groups that support terrorism. And other top-ranked Democrats, included Sens. Charles Schumer of New York and Dick Durbin of Illinois, have criticized the group for its activities.

PHOTO CREDIT: Ami Bera, Sacramento Bee file photo



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