Aug 22, 2011 10:54 AM by Lauren Wilson & AP

Deadline nears for Baton Rouge council recall

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Supporters of a campaign to remove Alison Gary from the East Baton Rouge Metro Council have one month left to collect the necessary 7,847 signatures needed to hold a recall election.
Despite an aggressive and visible recall campaign across Gary's district, Gary tells The Advocate she remains unfazed and focused on her constituency.
The recall effort was initiated March 22, after Hunter Bridges and Charles Bowden hand-delivered a recall petition to the Secretary of State's Office.
In order for the recall to be placed on the ballot, the petitioners must collect signatures from one-third of the registered voters in Gary's district - in this case, 7,847 signatures - within 180 days of filing the petition.
Gary represents District 11.
A Republican, Gary took office in 2009 and her four-year term ends next year.
Neither Bridges nor Bowden returned phone calls last week to comment on the campaign or on the number of constituents who have signed the petition.
It's clear, however, that the campaign continues in earnest.
"Recall Alison Cascio" signs can be found across different neighborhoods in her district.
Gary, the former Alison Cascio, changed her name after getting married a few months ago.
Volunteers with the recall effort staff a small headquarters in an office trailer near Airline Highway and Coursey Boulevard where constituents can sign the petition, pick up yard signs and stickers, or volunteer to canvass neighborhoods.
The Baton Rouge Tea Party supports the effort on its website.
"Your support in this drive for good government will be to sign the petition to RECALL CASCIO," the website says. "There is no stigma attached to this; in fact, it is a legal remedy against bad government provided by the Louisiana Constitution."
The Tea Party of Louisiana, on its website, calls for more volunteers to remove "the irresponsible representative of District 11."
The website cites some votes Gary has made with which the group takes issue, including voting in December to allow the Library Board to move forward with a $19 million downtown library, paid for with its dedicated tax funds.
Gary said she doesn't regret any of her votes.
If enough signatures are collected, an election will be held to decide whether to recall Gary.


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