Mayor Cantrell’s recall petition plays out like a reality soap opera, Housewives of New Orleans and Scandal served “New Orleans Style.” Some people want to recall the first woman to hold the position of Mayor in the city’s 300+ years of history to be removed from office because of how she handled the pandemic, the economy, her bedroom, and everything else going on in New Orleans. The petition cites the reason for the recall: “Failure to put New Orleans first and execute the responsibilities of the position.”
Who knew that recalling a mayor could be as easy as getting a couple hundred signatures? And as we found, it was easy to get high-profile Disney characters to sign the petition to boot Mayor Cantrell from office. Maybe it was for laughs because that’s all I can do with this story! I’m still waiting for someone to come out of the woodwork and put a face to the characters’ signatures. I know they’re iconic Disney characters, but I didn’t realize they were someone who was that big of a fan of Disney that they wanted to give them life, well, at least as registered voters in New Orleans.
I know Princess Tiana lives in New Orleans, but Disney Lane is in Disney on Esplanade Ave in Treme. Let’s not forget Shrek lives in the Bayou, and so does Ray, the Cajun firefly. But Mickey Mouse and the Disney krewe all live in Orlando. It’s possible the signatures were gathered when Mickey and the krewe of Disney resided at New Orleans Airbnb’s this past Mardi Gras season. Shouldn’t we indulge in the foolery, if only a bit?
It disappoints me that someone can feel so driven about wanting the Mayor out of office that they could not use an ounce of creativity while falsifying documents. Let’s say they absolutely had to use Disney characters; New Orleans has local animated actors that could have been listed. To name a few:
1. All Dogs go to Heaven: Charles B. ‘Charlie’ Barkin, Anne-Marie, Stella Dallas, and Sir Reginald.
2. Princess and the Frog: Raymond, the Cajun Firefly, Mama Odie, Dr. Facilier, Charlotte “Lottie” La Bouff, Louis, and The Fenner Brothers.
The use of fictitious names on petitions for election recounts is a concerning issue that can potentially undermine the integrity of the democratic process. The implications of using fictitious names on petitions include challenges to the legitimacy of the election result, delays and increased costs in the petition verification process, and voter suppression. To mitigate the impact of the use of fictitious names on petitions, there is a need for increased transparency and accountability in the petition process. This includes measures to verify the identities of petitioners and improve voter education on the importance of accurate petition signing. In addition, steps must be taken to ensure that the electoral system remains transparent and accountable to the people it serves.
The use of fictitious names on petitions is not new and has been documented in several studies. For example, a study conducted by Kuklinski et al. (1997) found that 11% of individuals signing a petition for a ballot initiative in California had used fictitious or incomplete names. Petition fraud has also been documented in other states, such as Ohio and Michigan (Linzer, 2007; Odgers, 2018). These studies indicate that using fictitious names in petitions is a common problem in the United States.
But seriously, Mayor LaToya Cantrell is facing some harsh allegations. She used city funds to travel to events to promote New Orleans. Now, I’m not one to judge. The Mayor was on an assignment to show the people of New Orleans “laissez les bons temps rouler,” . And to do so comes with every bit of grandiosity that a representative of New Orleans can bring. And let’s be real; politicians have been misusing funds since the invention of democracy. It’s practically a job perk.
And don’t even get me started on the city council. They’re like a dysfunctional family who do not know each especially if yall dont share the same parents and only come together because of a clause in their inheritance. And council members were fired up about removing the Mayor from the head of the family’s dinner table.
New Orleans politics, am I right? It’s like a never-ending carnival, except instead of throwing beads, they’re throwing accusations and scandals.
Initially, I viewed the recall as an empowering outlet for citizens to feel they have a say in the political process. But apparently, some thought the only way to eliminate the Mayor was to create storylines with the most salacious allegations. So what better way for the NOLATOYA.ORG to show their ultimate dissatisfaction with the Mayor? The recall organization was so bold that it submitted falsified names, offensive language, and duplicate and duplicate forms to the registrar’s office without a bead of sweat. It makes one wonder what else was done to sabotage the Mayor.
But what’s a good political scandal without juicy corruption, controversy, and greed thrown in the mix? I mean, it would be New Orleans without a little bit of drama and some backdoor deals.
But in all seriousness, I think it’s important to hold our elected officials accountable. I’m not saying that Mayor Cantrell is perfect. I’m sure she’s made mistakes, but who hasn’t? If Mayor Cantrell is doing something wrong, we should do something about it. But if she’s doing a good job, let’s sit back, relax, and let the lady do her job.