The Louisiana Ethics Commission website has 21 pages of political candidates who have unpaid campaign finance fines. State Representative Barbara Norton owes $1,500 for filing a 2011 campaign report 25 days late. Caddo Parish Commissioner Lindora Baker owes $6,500 for failure to properly complete her campaign finance report from her unsuccessful 2007 race for State Representative.
Norton and Baker head the list that includes former Caddo political office holders and unsuccessful political candidates including, Larry English, Theron “ TJ” Jackson, Craig Lee, Calvin Lester, Johnny Reed, and Shante’ Wells. English has numerous fines (total $1,340) for late filings from unsuccessful 1998 and 2002 campaigns for the Shreveport City Council. “TJ” Jackson owes $4,000 from a 2003 filing deficiency, and Craig Lee owes a total of $1,140 from his unsuccessful 2010 City Council race.
Former Shreveport City councilman Calvin Lester has outstanding fines of $5,400 dating back to his council races in 2002 and 2006. Former parish commissioner Johnny Reed has a $4,000 fine from a 2003 filing failure and unsuccessful Shreveport City court judge candidate Shante’ Wells has outstanding fines of $2,420.
The Ethics Administration has the statutory authority to collect fines assessed, although it is quite apparent that this agency is not aggressive in its collection against non compliant political office seekers. Seemingly it would be very easy to collect the outstanding fees from those persons currently holding office, – – – in this case State Representative Norton and Commissioner Baker who receive public pay checks. Perhaps pressure from the supporters of these two (2) ladies, – – – or their potential opponents in upcoming elections could resolve their deficiencies.