updated 7/15/2010 7:32:44 PM ET 2010-07-15T23:32:44

An Ohio tea party founder is criticizing a Democratic state House staffer for distributing an editorial cartoon depicting a tea party activist wearing Ku Klux Klan robes.

Cincinnati Tea Party founder Mike Wilson, a candidate for the Ohio House, said Democrats owe the movement an apology for fostering bigotry.

A House communications staffer included the cartoon in a July 2 compilation of newspaper clippings from around the state. Spokesman Keary McCarthy said such an e-mail is sent daily to lawmakers of both parties and material expresses an array of political opinions.

Wilson says the tea party has backed black candidates who support the movement's conservative values, including 2006 gubernatorial candidate Ken Blackwell. His criticism follows an NAACP vote Tuesday urging tea party leaders to renounce the movement's "racist element."

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