NEW ORLEANS — Political Analyst Clancy DuBos appeared on the WWL-TV Noon News on Tuesday and gave his thoughts on the announcement by Governor John Bel Edwards that the NOLATOYA recall organization has fallen short of the number of validated signatures needed to force a recall vote.
NOTE: This story originally stated that a recall petition could not be filed against Mayor Cantrell for another 18 months, but that would only be true if the petition succeeded and went to vote. Another recall petition CAN be filed against the mayor since this one failed. We regret this error.
The real takeaway from that is: Will LaToya Cantrell learn anything from this or is she going to feel validated to continue doing the things that gave rise to the recall petition? We will have to wait and see. Only time will tell.
What’s interesting, is, if you look at it, there were two tranches, if you will, of petitions that were delivered. February 22nd, was the 180-day deadline that the recall organizers had to meet. There was another deadline five days later and there can even be some litigation about whether that five days should have included the weekend or not, but the registrar said five days, including the weekend, even though her office was closed on the weekend… They turned in 34,000 signatures on February 22. Five days later, on February 27th, they had a lot of mail petitions that were returned, and they turned in 32,000 of those. Of those 32,421 – 32,397 were rejected. That’s like 99-plus percent were rejected and most of them were for reasons described as “other.”
It could have been that they were dated wrong. That five-day period is a period in which voters can officially and specifically request to have their names added to the petition, but it has to be dated after February 22. So, if they turned them in and they had a date before or on February 22, they can be invalidated for that.
There are two giant takeaways. First, the legislature needs to do more to clean up the recall laws to put in more transparency, because no one has been transparent here – not the mayor, not the registrar, not the recall organizers and the law needs to require more.
And the other takeaway is, how will the mayor respond? Will she change or will she just keep being LaToya Cantrell that we know and love.