Mayor recall effort labeled ‘Republican-backed maneuver’ by Cantrell campaign aide

Published: Aug. 30, 2022 at 4:11 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - LaToya Cantrell has yet to comment publicly on the recently launched effort to recall her as New Orleans mayor. But in a lengthy statement issued Tuesday (Aug. 30) from a campaign aide, the petition was attacked as a “Republican-backed maneuver by people with an agenda.”

The statement claimed “the recall effort to undermine and discredit the first Black woman mayor of New Orleans ... fits into a long history of taking away our vote and our voice. That’s why we have reason to believe a conservative DC firm has signed on to lead the effort. That’s why many GOP organizations in the city are encouraging people to sign the petition. That’s why Fox News is leading the propaganda charge.”

The statement, which offered no evidence supporting its allegations, first was issued anonymously, attributed to an unnamed “campaign spokesperson.” After reporters questioned the source of the statement, a revised version sent 53 minutes later attributed the message to Maggie Carroll, who managed Cantrell’s two mayoral campaigns.

The statement did not directly address the complaints of many of the nearly 2,100 registered Orleans Parish voters who lined up Monday night in Lakeview to sign the petition, which included Cantrell’s recent lavish travel expenses and her decision to sit with the family of an adjudicated juvenile carjacker to lend “support” during a sentencing hearing while his victims sat across the courtroom.

“Mayor Cantrell makes mistakes like every God-fearing person,” the statement said. “But we can’t forget that she led us courageously through the pandemic and Hurricane Ida. We can’t forget her historic investments in streets, drainage, parks and early childhood education. She also raised our city’s bond rating, making it easier to fund vital services, including public safety. When it comes to travel, she has been on the road to recover lost revenue by marketing New Orleans to the world. That’s fundamental to the work of any big city mayor.

“Crime is deeply personal to the mayor. She has an altar in her office where she prays over funeral programs of gun violence victims. She has embedded herself at NOPD roll calls to get a strong grasp of department needs. And she is fighting to end the federal consent decree which hurts (NOPD) recruitment, prevents them from chasing criminals and buries them in burdensome and unnecessary paperwork.”

Former City of New Orleans social media manager Eileen Carter -- who last Friday launched the recall effort along with Belden “Noonie Man” Batiste -- tweeted that the statement was full of lies.

Carroll’s statement concluded, “Mayor Cantrell hears your concerns and will continue to work tirelessly to address them. Let’s not let this Republican campaign undo our vote and distract our leaders from the real work that needs to get done.”

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