The campaign to recall Jefferson Parish President Mike Yenni is sending out mailers today in a last-ditch effort to collect more than 30,000 certified signatures in less than two months.
Recall Yenni has collected more than 50,000 signatures since October, after WWL-TV exposed Yenni’s explicit texts seeking sex with a 17-year-old boy. While that’s more than the number of people who actually voted Yenni into the parish president’s office, it’s far short of the 91,000 signatures needed under the state’s recall law to get a measure on the ballot to remove Yenni from office.
The Recall Yenni campaign collected most of its signatures in the first few months of the six-month process. Now, the rate of signatures has slowed to a crawl with an April 6 deadline looming.
Yenni has admitted sending improper texts to a young man when he was mayor of Kenner and running for Jefferson Parish president in the summer of 2015. But he has repeatedly refused to answer questions about the teen’s allegations that Yenni kissed him in a mall bathroom and gave him designer underwear that he wanted to see him model.
Yenni is banned from public schools and from working with children in Catholic schools and churches, and the parish council unanimously called for his resignation in October. But Yenni refuses to step down, and only a recall vote can force him out.
The new Recall Yenni mailers feature a petition form similar to the ones available at the Recall Yenni headquarters in Metairie and several pop-up locations around the parish. The mailers encourage recipients to collect other signatures, as well, and send them in to Recall Yenni this week.
They are being mailed to several thousand registered voters in certain geographic areas so the recall group can determine if a parish-wide mailing would be worth the cost, Recall Yenni spokeswoman Karen Carvin said.
Carvin also said Recall Yenni will have volunteers at Family Gras and Mardi Gras parades to collect signatures in person.