Louisiana GOP lawmaker facing recall as opponents say he fails as a conservative

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A Louisiana State Republican lawmaker who launched his career in politics during a special election in 2017 is now facing a fierce recall over his repeated failure to meet the most basic requirements of being a true conservative.

An official website for the recall, RecallStagni.org, states that state Rep. Joe Stagni has violated traditional conservatives beliefs at least three times. And in violating traditional conservative beliefs thrice, he’s struck out a total of four times.

First Time

“Most voters are against crazy ‘mandates’ that shut down businesses, put masks on schoolchildren or force people to get vaccinations. But Joe Stagni refused to sign the petition to limit the so-called ’emergency powers’ behind these mandates,” the recall website states.

The spate of failures began in 2020 when Stagni refused to join an effort by his Republican colleagues to “limit” Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards’ COVID powers, which the recallers say “were improperly used to close small businesses, kill thousands of jobs and ruin many lives.”

Strike one.

(Source: RecallStagni)

Second Time

“Most voters believe honest citizens should have the right to protect themselves with a legally owned firearm without getting a government permit. But Joe Stagni voted against the law that would have extended that protection,” the recall website states.

Also in 2020, he voted against a bill passed by the GOP-led Louisiana State Legislature that would have granted constitutional carry to Louisiana citizens.

Strike two.

Third Time

“Most voters believe that female athletes, including junior high and high school girls, should not have to compete against boys and men or have them in locker rooms. But Joe Stagni voted against the law to give girls and women that protection,” the recall website also states.

In May of 2021, the State Legislature passed a bill prohibiting “transgender girls and women in the state from competing on girls’ and women’s public elementary, secondary and college sports teams,” as reported at the time by CNN.

Stagni voted against the bill. Strike three.

Edwards predictably vetoed the bill shortly thereafter. Two months later, the GOP-led Louisiana House held a vote to overturn his veto.

Stagni voted against overturning the veto. Strike four.

“Despite intense pressure from leaders and outside organizations, the Kenner Republican had been an early and consistent opponent of the ban, repeatedly voting against efforts to push the measure through. And, it turns out, nothing they said was going to change that,” Nola.com reported at the time.

“They are a vulnerable group that are working to stay alive. They’ve been bullied by everybody around them, sometimes by their own family, and there’s no reason we should be bullying them, too,” Stagni reportedly claimed.

Critics would argue that biological males who seek to compete against biological women are the ones perpetrating bullying.

But according to Stagni, the complaints against him are somehow unfounded. Speaking with The Advocate this week, he specifically said the recall effort paints a “false and misleading” picture of his voting record.

“I have full faith and confidence in the voters of District 92 that they will see through this charade,” were reportedly his words.

It’s not clear though that there is any charade. His voting record clearly appears to jibe with liberal beliefs, and it does technically make sense given that his district voted “voted for Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump” in 2020 and 2016, respectively, according to The Advocate.

And indeed, Jeff Crouere, a popular local radio talk show host who’s reportedly also the spokesperson for the recall effort, wonders why Stagni even identifies as a Republican.

“Maybe you can be the only Republican against one thing, but if you’re a Republican against most things, I think you have to ask if he’s in the right party,” he reportedly said.

The bad news for Stagni’s critics is that the recall effort is just beginning.

“In order for the recall to move forward, petitioners are going to have to collect signatures from one quarter of the voters in Stagni’s district. They have six months to do so,” the pro-Second Amendment site Bearing Arms notes.

If they’re successful, however, a recall vote will be included on the ballot come November.

Bearing Arms also notes that this is the first real opposition Stagni has faced since taking office: “The Republican ran unopposed in the Republican primary in 2019, and since Democrats didn’t field a candidate either, Stagni was gifted with a full four-year term.”

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