96% of NoLaToya Recall’s contributions come from one New Orleanian
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Over the past week, some New Orleanians might have gotten a pamphlet from the city that recaps the achievements Mayor LaToya Cantrell was responsible for in 2022.
The list includes $97 million invested into priority roadwork projects, removing more than 2,700 illegal guns from the streets, and awarding $5.5 million in grants to cultural bearers.
Press Secretary John Lawson II says around 106,000 mailers were sent in the week of Jan. 23, and it all cost taxpayers $50,000 to do so.
“Taxpayer money can be used to communicate the accomplishments of the city, the activities of the city. That is lawful,” Dillard University professor and political analyst Dr. Robert Collins said. “The timing of the piece, since it was mailed out during the recall, it appears to be sort of a counter-campaign piece to counteract the campaign activity of the recall campaign.”
The Mayor’s administration did not respond about why the mailers were sent out.
But they come as the NoLaToya Recall is in the final weeks to get an additional 15,000 more signatures to trigger a recall election. The group needs around 54,000 signatures by Feb. 22 to move forward.
According to a financial disclosure report filed this week, the campaign spent $513,605.49 from October to December, mostly on ads.
In that same period, the recall group received $488,188.66 in contributions. Ninety-six percent of that comes from businessman and co-owner of Walk-On’s Sports Bistreaux, Rick Farrell. So far, he’s contributed $490,000.
- Organizers: 15K signatures needed in final month to trigger Mayor Cantrell recall vote
- Recall effort against Mayor Cantrell begins airing television ads, announces direct mail campaign
- With 3 months left in recall campaign, organizers have gathered 1/3 of signatures needed
- Poll: Over 50% of voters support a recall of Mayor Cantrell
- Nearly 2,100 sign Mayor Cantrell recall petition Monday in Lakeview, organizers say
- An official petition to recall Mayor LaToya Cantrell has been filed
Farrell did not respond to a request for an interview.
“Their primary benefactor has decided he is all in,” Collins said. “In an issue campaign like this, any individual has the right to spend money as they wish. So he is certainly exercising his first amendment rights.”
The other 4% of contributions were made by some out-of-towners, some New Orleanians, and local businesses like Crescent Bank & Trust, Algiers Properties, and Bourbon Pride. Donations ranged anywhere from $10 to a few thousand dollars but were nowhere close to the contributions made by Farrell.
“People who, for whatever reason, the current climate in the city being changed by the current mayor is not conducive to doing business in the city,” Collins said.
With the deadline approaching for the campaign, the mayor has said previously on CBS’ Face the Nation that the recall isn’t something she’s worried about.
“Based on what I see, the residents of my city definitely appreciate continuity in leadership. And so with that, that speaks to keeping progress moving and alive under my leadership,” Cantrell said.
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