The arrangement appeared to be that "if you didn't join the committee, you wouldn't be able to get an endorsement," she said. "I was very surprised. I did join. I felt like I was pushed to join."
Henness and all other Capistrano Unified incumbents didn't receive endorsements, probably because of a string of controversies now being investigated by a county grand jury. Henness then asked Baugh for her money back.
"I told him how I felt about the $200 and having to pay that. He said he would have that money refunded to me," she said, noting that she has yet to receive a check.
Baugh confirmed that he approved refunding money to Henness and one other candidate.
"People that joined under a misconception, I've had no problem returning their money," he said.
Elizabeth Garrett, a campaign and election law expert at USC, said voters should be informed when candidates have paid for endorsements.
"An endorsement by a political party is an enormously valuable voting cue for a voter," she said.
"So, at a minimum it should be disclosed. Candidates ought to say, 'I paid for this endorsement.' "