There seems to be a little movement on the front of the recall effort in New Orleans, which is approaching its deadline to turn in signatures soon.
The Secretary of State’s office has recalibrated the number of signatures necessary to force a recall election, and it pushed the recall organizers a little closer to their goal…
Sources tell FOX 8 the number of signatures needed to recall Mayor LaToya Cantrell is fewer than previously thought.
FOX 8 has confirmed the numbers through several sources and through a document received from the Secretary of State’s office.
The document received through a public records request shows the number of eligible voters in Orleans Parish. The properties of the Orleans recall data document show it was created on Aug. 26, 2022. It shows there are 249,876 active and eligible voters in Orleans Parish.
State law says recall petitioners need 20% of those voters to recall the mayor. That means recall organizers would actually need 49,975.2 active and eligible voters to sign the petition in order to recall Cantrell. That’s 3,368 fewer voters than previously reported.
Records from the Secretary of State show there are 266,714 eligible voters in Orleans Parish. However, about 17,000 of those voters are inactive, meaning they haven’t updated their address and haven’t voted in as many as 10 years. Sources tell FOX 8, because of that, state law doesn’t count them toward the total number of active voters.
Recalls are just about impossible to make happen in Louisiana. They’ve always been long-shot efforts, and as such to the extent they’re worth doing it has to be for reasons outside of whether the ne’er-do-well public official being targeted for recall actually gets removed.
Which might not necessarily register with Rick Farrell, the Uptown New Orleans businessman who kicked in $470,000 of the $488,000 the recall organizers collected in the fourth quarter of last year.
This one, though might actually get across the finish line, though our guess is it’ll fall just short. But what it does appear is the recall organizers are making Cantrell nervous, because she’s now embarking on a taxpayer-funded, and probably illegal, public relations offensive…
The campaign for a recall election of New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell has asked New Orleans Inspector General Ed Michel to investigate a brochure the mayor’s office mailed to more than 100,00 New Orleans residents.
NoLatoya.org chairman Belden Batiste and vice chair Eileen Carter hand-delivered their written request Friday afternoon.
“We believe this brochure was paid for by city funds (tax payer dollars) and sent only to a select number of registered voters (approximately 100,000) instead of the entirety of residents of the city,” the recall campaign leaders wrote.
Gregory Joseph, Mayor Cantrell’s communications director, said the flyer was mailed to “106,633 of our fellow New Orleanians who actively participate in our local democracy.”
The recall leaders went on to say in their letter that this appears to be the only mailer of this type ever issued by the mayor’s office.
“It leaves us to further believe that this is a self-promoting political mailer touting the mayor’s alleged accomplishments,” the letter states. “Could it be in response to the aggressive campaign that the NOLATOYA RECALL is waging. Could this be recall intimidation to residents?”
The thing is, this latest spat probably won’t push the recall effort over the top in the last couple of weeks if the scandal over Cantrell’s affair with a NOPD officer on city time and in a city-owned apartment didn’t do the trick.
But you never know. They’re coming up on the final days, and the recall crew seems to be ramping up their efforts to get those final 12,000 signatures or so. Maybe they will manage to force a recall election.
Or maybe Cantrell ought to think about resigning. It seems like she has some legal battles ahead which might make it hard to do her current job.