Earlier today, Mayor Steve Adler pointed out that IndyAustin’s pathetically primitive online ad attacking Adler for the McKalla Place soccer stadium deal included an image of Pepe the Frog, the creepy cartoon character that has become a symbol of alt-right trolls. IndyAustin leader (and #1 AustinPolitics.NET trash-talker) Linda Curtis took down the ad and pled ignorance, saying she had no idea about the association between the animated amphibian and white nationalists.
A few hours later, Fred Lewis, the lead coordinator of anti-CodeNEXT efforts and a financial backer of IndyAustin, also sent out an email. (Lewis is not involved in the anti-soccer stadium deal, but he is teamed up with Curtis on Prop J, the referendum to require voter approval and a waiting period for any major land development code changes.)
I am Jewish, I had relatives who died in the Holocaust, and I am opposed to anti-semitism in all its forms. IndyAustin was wrong to post its video, but my critics were wrong to draw on Facebook a connection between that video and me. Let Us Vote Austin has had no involvement with IndyAustin’s current petitioning efforts. Let Us Vote Austin’s campaign to give Austinites the right to vote on our land-development laws is supported by the Austin NAACP, the Save Our Springs Alliance, the Austin Neighborhood Association, PODER, La Raza Roundtable, and members of our city council. Those who are attempting to draw a connection between IndyAustin and Let Us Vote Austin’s Prop J campaign are exploiting the very real problem of anti-semitism for their own political purposes, and they’re doing so at a time of national mourning. They should be ashamed.