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House Speaker Chuck Kleckley, R-Lake Charles. (Associated Press)<br>

House Speaker Chuck Kleckley, R-Lake Charles. (Associated Press)

Kleckley asks board to waive ethics fines for recall organizers

Last Modified: Wednesday, November 14, 2012 7:47 PM

By John Guidroz / American Press

Two Barbe High School teachers who tried unsuccessfully to recall Gov. Bobby Jindal and House Speaker Chuck Kleckley face fines because they did not file campaign finance reports on time.

Angie Bonvillain and Brenda Romero each face $1,000 fines because they did not file a report within the required 45 days after the recall efforts started. The Ethics Board is expected to consider the issue Friday.

Bonvillain told the American Press in an email Wednesday that the teachers did not know about the filing deadline, but that she is “willing to pay” the penalty.

“We are not professional politicians,” she said. “We are teachers who were trying to educate the public about laws that are not good for education. If I have to pay a fine for speaking out against laws I think are not right, I can live with that.”

Kleckley, R-Lake Charles, sent a letter to the Board of Ethics on Wednesday asking them to consider waiving the fines. In an emailed statement, he said, “Deadlines and other campaign ethics requirements can be unclear to individuals not familiar with the political process.

“We are fortunate here in America to be able to voice our disagreements, and I strongly believe in protecting those rights,” Kleckley said.

The recall efforts were organized because of public education reform efforts backed by Jindal and Kleckley during this year’s legislative session. Bonvillain said Jindal and Kleckley “have shown their true colors; Jindal a bully and Kleckley a puppet.”

“Politicians need to be reminded they have to answer to the people that are affected by the laws they make,” she said.

The Advocate in Baton Rouge reported that the campaign finance reports “were filed 56 days late.” The Jindal recall campaign showed $525 in receipts and no disbursements, and the Kleckley effort showed $1,600 in receipts and no disbursements.

Both efforts required signatures from at least one-third of the registered voters within an election district over a six-month period. More than 960,000 signatures were required to recall Jindal, and about 9,000 signatures were needed to recall Kleckley.

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