Former Rep. Ron Klein (D-Fla.), a bundler for the Obama re-election campaign, told NBC News that even though his firm registered him as a lobbyist last week, he is not a lobbyist and the disclosure filed with Congress was a “clerical error” by the firm.
Klein’s firm, Holland & Knight, filed a registration on his behalf for client Spirit Airlines. It was posted last week on the website of the Senate Office of Public Records. President Barack Obama bans registered federal lobbyists from donating money to his campaign and from bundling contributions from others.
Klein is a partner in Holland & Knight’s lobbying practice, known as the public policy and regulation group. However, not everyone who engages in lobbying activities or represents public policy clients needs to register under the Lobbying Disclosure Act. The law requires those who spend at least 20 percent or more of their time on lobbying for any client and who make at least two contacts with covered government officials to register as lobbyists.
“I’m not a lobbyist,” Klein told NBC News.
Klein also told the network that he was taking immediate steps to de-register and that he plans to continue to raise money for the president’s coffers.
Through a Holland & Knight representative, Klein declined to discuss the issue with Roll Call.
Each year since 1990, CQ Roll Call has reviewed the financial disclosures of all 541 senators, representatives and delegates to determine the 50 richest members of Congress. This year's report, derived from forms covering the calendar year 2012, shows it took a net worth of $6.67 million to crack the exclusive club.