Monday, 18 June 2012 05:09

Louisiana teachers' unions issue statement on Jindal's recall efforts

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jindal-pic-mardi-gras-crime On Monday, the leadership from the Louisiana AFL-CIO and the Louisiana Federation of Teachers issued a joint statement regarding their positions on the recall efforts launched against Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal.  

That effort was launched as a result of the Jindal sponsored and coordinated legislation that passed early this spring during the Louisiana legislative session.



Here is the joint statement:

We have received some questions about the position of the Louisiana AFL-CIO and the Louisiana Federation of Teachers regarding the Jindal Recall Petition campaign.

We share the frustration of thousands of Louisiana citizens concerning the administration’s apparent disregard of the constitution and the rule of law, the misguided education agenda, and the assault on working families.

The sense of betrayal fueling the campaign to recall the governor is understandable.

The administration, as noted in numerous recent articles and editorials, can only blame itself for this maelstrom of resentment.  

The governor’s inflammatory rhetoric in a January speech to the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry unnecessarily defamed teachers and poisoned the possibility of a more serious, adult conversation about education reform.

A reckless disregard for the Constitution and the Machiavellian tactics used to steamroll the agenda through the legislature suggested a determination to serve the interests of Wall Street at the expense of Louisiana’s Main Street.

In response, the Louisiana Federation of Teachers felt compelled as a matter of civic responsibility to challenge the constitutionality of Acts 1 and 2. Lawsuits challenging other acts adopted in the 2012 session are under consideration.

Other good citizens, respectful of the law and acting within their constitutional rights, felt obligated to launch a petition to recall the governor.

We believe that what began as a spontaneous citizens’ response to a perceived betrayal of trust should remain just that: a grassroots effort by concerned individuals.

We are also very aware that the law is heavily weighted in favor of incumbents in such an effort. Nearly one million signatures must be collected by September 1 to trigger a recall election. That’s nearly 300,000 more votes than the governor received in 2011. It’s only slightly less than the total votes cast for all candidates.

Frankly, the numbers suggest problems with the law itself, a subject for discussion in the upcoming session.

In the meantime, the Louisiana AFL-CIO and the Louisiana Federation of Teachers will continue our focused efforts to defend public service, public education and the dedicated professionals who work for the people of our state. The lawsuits filed against Acts 1 and 2 of the 2012 Legislature are part of that campaign.

Finally, we understand that the ultimate solution is to provide voters with better choices in future elections. We pledge our best efforts toward that end

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