Teachers facing fines in failed recall efforts

The teachers who led unsuccessful recall efforts against Gov. Bobby Jindal and House Speaker Chuck Kleckley face fines for failure to file timely campaign finance reports.

Calcasieu Parish public school teachers Angie Bonvillian and Brenda Romero are each subject to $1,000 fines for missing a deadline for a report required 45 days after the recall drives began.

Bonvillian and Romero are asking the Louisiana Board of Ethics to waive — or in the alternative reduce — the penalties.

Both said they were not aware of the reporting requirement.

“Angie Bonvillian states that the group of four teachers that started the recall effort did not know what they were getting into,” according to Ethics Board documents.

“Brenda Romero states that she misunderstood the filing requirements. ... She further states that filing the recall petition was her first venture into anything related to politics,” according to Ethics Board documents in her case.

The Ethics Board is scheduled to take the issue up on Friday.

Neither Bonvillian nor Romero responded to email requests seeking comment.

Louisiana Republican Party executive director Jason Doré said he had filed a complaint against the recall organizers when they did not submit the documents on time.

Bonvillian and Romero launched the campaigns aimed at ousting Jindal and Kleckley, R-Lake Charles, because of their role in passing private school voucher and revised teacher tenure laws.

They claimed the laws undermine public education. Bonvillian chaired the Jindal effort, and Romero chaired the effort against Kleckley.

The campaigns ended without either effort gaining the required number of signatures of voters for a recall election within the six months allowed.

The petitions required signatures from at least one-third of the registered voters in an election district. In the case of Jindal, it would have been about 965,000 signatures statewide. For Kleckley, it was roughly 9,000 signatures.

In each case the required reports were filed 56 days late. When they were filed, the reports reflected little financial activity.

The Jindal recall campaign showed $525 in receipts and no disbursement.

The Kleckley effort showed $1,600 in receipts and no disbursements.

The Republican Party spent over $100,000 combating the Kleckley recall effort in two months time, according to disclosure reports filed by the party.