Screengrab from Leanna Louie’s Instagram account.

Updated Aug. 24 at 9:30 a.m.

District 4 supervisorial candidate Leanna Louie today referred to Joe Eskenazi, managing editor of Mission Local, as “EskeNAZI” in a post shared on Facebook and Instagram.

In the same antisemitic post, Louie referred to Chris Thomas and Ann Ravel, two election experts quoted in Eskenazi’s most recent story, as “his friends” and “members of the Weather Underground,” a radical left-wing terror group most active in the 1970s.

“These are the musings of a crazy person who is not fit to take public office.”

Supervisor aaron peskin

The post comes on the tail of reporting from Eskenazi, who is Jewish, on Louie’s apparent voting irregularities. Louie first described the allegations in that Aug. 10 article as “fake news,” and denied any wrongdoing.

Elections Department director John Arntz has since referred her to the District Attorney for alleged voter fraud. Mission Local has learned that Louie and her lawyers met with the City Attorney Monday over related allegations of residency fraud. The outcome of that meeting has not been announced.

On Tuesday, Louie was interviewed by a KQED reporter, and later used the news outlet’s photo booth to take photos that she shared in her post. “Have I shared these fun photos we took at KQED,” she wrote. “It was so nice to talk to a journalist who actually had a dialogue with me. Unlike Joe EskeNAZI … ”

“I am used to stuff like this, ever since grade school, when they teach non-Jews what the Holocaust is,” said Eskenazi.

“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,” he added.

Facebook post from 12 September 2021.

Louie has previously written anti-George Soros posts and comments on her personal Facebook account. Soros has been a lightning rod for antisemitic hate for decades.

Several supervisors and other San Francisco politicians have condemned today’s comments from the would-be supe.

“I think Louie should withdraw,” said District 9 Supervisor Hillary Ronen, who is Jewish. “She is not ready to be a supervisor.”

“Joe Eskenazi is not a reporter I always agree with,” she said. “Sometimes I get really frustrated with his reporting. But what I know about him is that he has the highest level of integrity, and takes his profession extremely seriously.”

“She is trying to silence a reporter who is doing real investigative journalism,” Ronen added.

Aaron Peskin, supervisor for District 3, called Louie’s comments “the musings of a crazy person who is not fit to take public office.”

“The arena of electoral politics can be tough and toxic,” said Peskin, who is Jewish. “But I have never seen this kind of racist, antisemitic behavior from anybody in, or running for, public office in San Francisco, in the quarter of a century I have been involved in local politics.”

“The Weather Underground has not existed since I was a young child,” he said, adding that associating critics with the group was a “paranoid, broad-brush, McCarthyist tactic.”

(Former District Attorney Chesa Boudin’s parents were members of the Weather Underground when they were arrested in 1981. Leanna Louie was an ardent opponent of Boudin, and earned herself the title of his “No. 1 hater” during the recall campaign.)

“It is totally unacceptable for somebody seeking to join the board of supervisors to say something like that,” said Supervisor for District 7, Myrna Melgar, who is also Jewish.

“Louie’s shocking antisemitic and hateful comments are absolutely unacceptable,” said incumbent District 4 supervisor Gordon Mar. “She should immediately apologize to Joe Eskenazi and to the elections experts for her absurd and inflammatory remarks.”

He added that this was yet another instance of San Francisco’s increasingly “toxic” political atmosphere, and of the “extremism that has infected the discourse.”

Twitter post from Connie Chan, supervisor for District 1.
Twitter post from Dean Preston, supervisor for District 5.
Twitter post from state senator Scott Wiener.

Joel Engardio, the other candidate seeking to oust Gordon Mar from his District 4 seat, wrote that it “is unacceptable to politicize and weaponize the terrible history of when Nazis murdered millions of Jewish people and targeted others, including LGBTQ people like me,” and added that democracy is dependent on freedom of the press. He stopped short of cutting ties with Louie, who he had formerly aligned himself with during his supervisorial campaign.

The Alice B. Toklas LGBTQ Democratic Club released a statement condemning the posts, calling them the “latest round of baseless attacks” and “anti-Semitic.”

The San Francisco Examiner’s editorial board has called for Louie to withdraw her candidacy, writing that the post was an “ugly, bigoted attack.”

Louie’s post was first published around 2:20 p.m. It has since been edited to remove the capitalization of “NAZI” in Eskenazi’s name, but otherwise remains unchanged.

As of press time, Louie could not be reached for comment by phone or email.

Update: At 11:45 p.m. Tuesday, Louie tweeted an apology for her comments. She said that she had not been aware that Eskenazi was Jewish. She said that Eskenazi had written “several inflammatory articles” about her and that she had “expressed [her] frustration with Mr. Eskenazi’s barrage of news articles in a highly inaccurate manner.”

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DATA REPORTER. Will was born in the UK and studied English at Oxford University. After a few years in publishing, he absconded to the USA where he studied data journalism in New York. Will has strong views on healthcare, the environment, and the Oxford comma.

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  1. Unless Joel Engardio immediately cuts his ties with Leanna Louie, he also should be disqualified in voters’ minds. He either supports or opposes what she did. He can’t have it both ways.

    1. 100% agreed. It appears that full time candidate and 4 time loser Engardio hopes to snag the votes of the racist crazy lady’s supporters if he doesn’t piss them off. Opting for a “winning strategy” over doing what is proper and right. Not a good look.

  2. i just became a monthly donor to mission local. thanks, leanna louie, for motivating me to support hard-working, local journalists.

  3. Also: who would vote for a candidate, ANY candidate, who touts themselves in the public and among San Franciscans as “Hater Number One?”

  4. Imagine if, as someone running for elected office and trying to win the public’s trust and our votes, you said something like this. Something hateful and racist. Would you double down? And then keep doubling down? This person is unhinged. She should end her run today. It is only going to get worse……in that she does not have the mental capacity to understand that she is making it all much MUCH worse.

  5. Just want to thank all of the journalists of integrity like those at Mission Local who do their work diligently and with integrity. You make all the difference. As my grandma used to say “Don’t let the morons get you down.” Keep on keeping on.

  6. I would advise Ms. Louie to go to City College and take classes on complete sentences, and how to tie them together to make a complete paragraph. That would begin her journey into rational and civil discussion, one with merit.

  7. Will,

    I distinctly recall a Twitter comment she made soon after the flak, that she didn’t know Joe was Jewish because “she doesn’t see race, gender, etc. And sees them as human beings.”

    Apparently, humans have no identity to her, and she certainly doesn’t care.

    Perhaps that is its own controversy in it of itself to add to the column to show how BS her apology really is.

  8. Thoughtful and decent people of all stripes question the sanity and the judgment of this divisive individual. Her comments are beyond revolting and upsetting. It is time for her to end her (and any future run) for public office. Apologies to Joe who is one of the most credible, responsible and professional independent journalists in the SF Bay Area and beyond. Louie must step down. The public trust is irreparably damaged by her bold faced racism.

  9. Hopefully this will convince her to just quit politics and look into another profession. We need cleaner streets, she could be a street sweeper and do something helpful for SF

  10. Aaron Peskin, labeling someone, “the musings of a crazy person who is not fit to take public office”, is the kettle calling the pot black. I’m sure she is crazy , but so is Peskin and the majority of the stupidvisers. So really, she would fit right in. Mr. Eskenazi is no Nazi (what a tired trope), but judging from his clever put downs in the comments, I’m sure he will be just fine.

  11. Ah, I just read the Chronicle, Joe.

    >The only other candidate in the District Four race is Joel Engardio, who is on his fourth bid for supervisor in recent years. Engardio has previously aligned himself with Louie, urging District Four voters to choose both of them as their first- and second-choice picks under the city’s ranked-choice voting system.

    >Engardio criticized Louie’s remarks on Tuesday but did not sever ties with her.

    Engardio seems to be jubilant at digging his own grave, skewering himself to a quote on the top viewed thing on the Chronicle that now implicates the philosophy of “falling not far from the tree”.

    Gordon Mar is probably the least surprised and just waiting for them to keep fighting his reelection campaign for him free of charge.

    I’d laugh harder, but I really can’t!

  12. Will Jarrett, thanks for laying out her words of wisdom in great plain text with sourcing like I would expect for anything with data.

    Oh, Joe!

    You really can’t write fake news, Breed’s favorites are just writing them all for you.

    The woe of the Onion is really reality.

    The new DA mired in a lie of getting bankrolled to sell the idea of self-sacrifice not earned, the school board member Hsu with casual racism so obvious you can see it a mile away, and now, a recaller that I’d bet Breed would love to take D4, ironically supporting a recall about crime, committing a crime, and when caught, deciding in the best interest to name call like a child in a tantrum using racism with nowhere to go. Even following in Trump’s footsteps to just say “fake news”.

    I have seen in my years some of the history of BS in the Board of Supervisors, but District 4 seems to never really fail to elect actual criminals over the last 20 years, and for a district so wealthy, a clear embarrassment to the City.

    She even makes Ed Lee look less foolish in comparison, at least he can hide it for as long as he did, she just let it out before she was even elected.

    Now, I can only hope those Leanna Louie signs are going to wash off fast enough on street shops to save the district from the embarrassment of her stupidity by Election Day.

  13. Nobody, and I mean NOBODY, gets to fire shots at Joe and get away with it.

    Louie? Gone.

    “Joe Eskenazi is not a reporter I always agree with,” said Ronen.”

    Ronen? You can go too!

    Joe – run for D9! (if eligible of course, and only if not in conflict with your mortgage lender)

    1. Eh, Ronen’s cool.

      Mission is her district, and this is hyperlocal Mission, and sometimes Joe is not happy with the decisions she makes.

      She’s still pretty good for Mission, though.

      1. She’s probably trying to say, “even if we don’t see eye to eye, that does not mean we cannot have a just and honest dialogue.”