Recall effort against Mayor Cantrell begins airing television ads, announces direct mail campaign
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Organizers of the recall petition drive against Mayor LaToya Cantrell began airing television ads on Monday, Nov. 21.
The ads give voters notice of an aggressive new phase of the recall campaign, one designed to make it more convenient for voters to sign the petition if they choose to do so.
In the TV ad, recall organizing co-leader Eileen Carter says, “Attention New Orleans registered voters: The Recall LaToya campaign is alive and well. And to make it easier for you to join our effort and sign the petition, this form will be mailed to your home next week, so check your mailboxes. Fill out this form and drop it back in the mail, postage is free. Help save New Orleans and sign the recall petition.”
Carter told Fox 8 the message also will be delivered through radio advertising.
“People have been worried about retaliation,” Carter said. “Well, we’re eliminating all of those fears. We’re putting it in your living rooms, so that you have the ability to sign and the directions will be right there on the paperwork. The postage is already paid. You just need to sign your signature, you need to get a witness and then return the form.”
Carter and co-organizer Belden Batiste said last week that a third of the nearly 54,000 signatures required by Feb. 22 have been collected.
“About a week ago, we had about 35 percent,” Carter said. “We have not done a grand count because we’ve been scanning in all the signatures. We’ve had a grand effort to get all these signatures in the computer system, to make sure that we check all of the signatures, and that’s what we’ve been doing this past week.”
In seeking to trigger a recall election, they point to crime, potholes and other problems in the city.
“We can’t go three more years like this,” Batiste said. “We deserve better in the city.”
Carter said the mailer targets voters who have not yet participated in the petition drive.
“If you’ve already signed and nothing’s wrong, you won’t receive it,” she said. “But if someone in your household hasn’t signed and you have, you will still receive one to the household.”
Fox 8 attempted Monday to ask Cantrell about the ads, and about a federal investigation to which her stylist has been linked, but she walked away.
The recall organizers were asked who is paying for the ads.
“We’ve been raising money since Day 1,” Carter said. “We’ve had donations -- literally -- of a dollar. We’ve had donations up to $10,000. We’re asking people to donate to their ability. ... The New Orleans business community has been very supportive and we’re just excited about that.”
Batiste said, “It’s the lil’ bitty donations, you know? Community members have put $10, $15, and we’re just pushing the message. We just want what’s best for our city.”
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