A San Francisco supervisor candidate is under fire after implying a veteran Jewish journalist is a Nazi in social media posts that played on his last name.
Leanna Louie, who is running to represent District 4—encompassing the Outer Sunset, Parkside and Lakeshore neighborhoods—took to Facebook and Instagram to post about Joe Eskenazi, managing editor of the Mission Local website. The comments came after Eskenazi’s reporting raised questions about whether Louie truly lives in District 4, where she is running for office, and whether she might have committed election fraud by recently voting in District 10.
In her original post, Louie claims Eskenazi “talked over me and didn’t even write any of my responses,” unlike a KQED reporter. She also capitalized the last four letters of his name in the post, suggesting he is a Nazi.
Louie further claimed in her post that elections experts Eskenazi called in reporting the story were members of the Weather Underground, a radical left-wing militant organization that carried out a series of domestic terrorism activities from 1969 through the 1970s. The parents of former District Attorney Chesa Boudin, who Louie attacked vociferously during the recent recall campaign, were Weather Underground members.
Louie subsequently edited her social media posts to uncapitalize the last four letters of Eskenazi’s last name, and then later deleted the posts.
Eskenazi’s reporting led to the city attorney launching an investigation into whether or not Louie truly lives in the district she is running for office in. In addition, the Department of Elections has now referred Louie to the District Attorney’s Office for potential voter fraud, according to the outlet, because she voted in a different district in April after registering at a Sunset address in March.
In a text message to The Standard on Monday, Louie confirmed she interviewed and submitted residency evidence with the city attorney earlier that day and was now waiting to hear back.
On Tuesday evening, another local journalist, Gil Duran of the SF Examiner, posted a screenshot of Louie’s social media posts to Twitter. Within several hours, the post had hundreds of likes and retweets.
“I am used to stuff like this ever since grade school when they teach non-Jews what the Holocaust is,” Eskenazi said in a statement. "I think Ms. Louie owes an apology to Chris Thomas, the famously non-partisan 36-year election director of Michigan and Ann Ravel, an Obama appointee to the Federal Election Commission, whom she described as terrorists."
Louie did not respond to repeated requests for comment on Tuesday, but posted a response on social media at 12:45 a.m. on Wednesday.
Late Tuesday, Louie's opponents and others were demanding that she withdraw from the race.
"There is no place in SF for this kind of racist behavior,” said Aaron Peskin, a veteran member of the Board of Supervisors.
Incumbent District 4 Supe Gordon Mar said: "Louie’s shockingly antisemitic and hateful comments are absolutely unacceptable and she should immediately apologize to Joe Eskenazi."
Another District 4 candidate, Joel Engardio, tweeted that "SF politics have become far too divisive and downright toxic."
Editor's Note: This story has been updated to add comments and more accurately characterize Louie's social media posts.
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