A fourth state representative who aligned himself with Gov. Bobby Jindal’s education revamp has become the subject of a recall effort.
Two St. Bernard Parish teachers on Monday filed a recall petition against state Rep. Ray Garofalo, R-Meraux.
Previous efforts have been launched against House Speaker Chuck Kleckley, of Lake Charles, and state Reps. Greg Cromer and Kevin Pearson, both of Slidell. All are Republicans.
Jindal too is a subject of a recall petition organized by teachers opposed to Jindal’s overhaul.
Teachers Peggy Schwarz, of Braithwaite, and Brenda Boleware, of Violet, filed the recall petition with the Secretary of State’s office.
The filing started a six-month time clock in which they have to gather the signatures of about one-third of the voters in Garofalo’s district to prompt a recall election. One-third is about 9,000 registered voters.
Garofalo received 7,153 votes or 53 percent of 13,415 voting – roughly 48 percent of those registered – in the November 2011 runoff to represent the 103rd House District. The 14 precincts of Garofalo’s district are mostly in St. Bernard Parish with small numbers in both Orleans and Plaquemines parishes. About 75 percent of the 27,000 registered voters are white, according to the Louisiana House.
Garofalo on Monday called the recall petition a retaliation from a special interest group.
Schwarz and Boleware failed to return multiple phone calls seeking comment.
A news release issued by the Recall Bobby Jindal Campaign Committee said the teachers were encouraged by fellow educators, family and friends to take action in response to Garofalo’s “non-response to the concerns of his constituency.”
“Rep. Garofalo is not doing the job he was elected to do which is to do which is to represent the interests of the people of his voting district. Despite a bombardment of letters, emails and phone calls from voters in his district opposing legislation harmful to K-12 public education, higher education, and state employees, he has voted against their interests every time,” the news release quoted Schwarz as saying.
Schwarz and Boleware complained that Garofalo would not come outside the State Capitol to talk with St. Bernard educators who had traveled to Baton Rouge during their Easter school break.
“Garofalo is on the record saying that he would support the governor’s agenda 100 percent regardless of the wishes of his constituents,” Boleware noted in the release.
Schwarz also said that some of Garofalo’s constituents are upset because he voted against calling for an attorney general’s investigation into the validity of the 1936 mineral lease contracts of the Win-Or-Lose Corp.
Monday’s petition was the teachers’ second attempt at filing against Garofalo, an attorney and commercial developer and owner of Garofalo Investments. One filed last week was returned by the Secretary of State’s Office because it did not list all the correct parishes in House District 103.