A former California business man now living in Sandpoint, Idaho, is being identified as the individual behind a series of racist, antisemitic “robo calls” targeting Sen. Dianne Feinstein.
The long-time California senator is facing a re-election challenge by Republican Patrick Little, described as an antisemitic racist who admires Adolf Hitler and denies that millions of Jews were killed in the Holocaust.
In robo calls made to media outlets and residents of California, a podcaster describes Feinstein as a “traitorous Jew.” The calls are from a web site that posted 11 racists podcasts between March 3 and May 19, according to an analysis by Hatewatch.
The man behind the podcasts is Scott D. Rhodes, a Sandpoint resident who previously was linked by police to the distribution of racist literature, including CDs in the north Idaho community.
Rhodes also was identified as a person of interest by police in Alexandria, Virginia, last year after the mayor and city council members began receiving racist, antisemitic phone calls, and racist literature was distributed. A criminal investigation was launched, but no charges were filed.
Multiple Sandpoint residents, including Ben Olson, the publisher of the Sandpoint weekly newspaper, identified Rhodes from his photos contained in the podcasts.
Rhodes did not respond to media requests for comment. His former business office in Sandpoint is now closed, but he apparently still lives in the community.
“There’s no doubt that it’s Rhodes,” Olson told Hatewatch.
The San Francisco Chronicle, which also received the robo call, reported that it reached Little for comment. “Asked if he approved of what was said in the ad or whether he renounced it, Little wrote: ‘Show me the lie, and I will consider renouncing it,’” the Chronicle reported.
One of the robo calls directed to media outlets was received by The Hill. It reported the message backs Little’s campaign and accuses Feinstein of being an Israeli citizen and calling her a “traitorous Jew.”
“He's [Little] going to get rid of all the nation-wrecking Jews from our country, starting with Israeli Citizen Dianne Feinstein,” the Hill reported last week.
One of the California residents who received the robo call is Paul Gerard, an Alameda, California, plumber, the Sandpoint paper reported. He is white and married to an African-American woman.
Gerald said the caller asked, “Are you tired of bad attitude negroes ruining every place they go? Tired of Jews running California into the ground and ripping you off? … Then relocate to North Idaho, where there’s almost no nig nogs, Jews or ching chongs.”
The unidentified called described North Idaho as “one of the whitest places left. Relocate to North Idaho where very white is very right,” Gerald said.
“First I thought it was a gag,” Gerard told the Sandpoint paper. “My wife came back to the table after I’d listened to the message and she saw my face was gray. She asked what was wrong and I didn’t really want to tell her and ruin her day. It’s just ugliness you don’t need to invite into your day.”