Former Rep. Ron Klein (D-Fla.) is an active campaign bundler for President Obama, having raised between $200,000 and $500,000, according to campaign records.
He is also a registered federal lobbyist.
The revelation poses a challenge for President Obama, who has banned registered lobbyists from personally contributing or bundling donations to his campaign. The president even touted these self-imposed restrictions in a Dec. 28, 2011, fundraising e-mail, writing: “We don’t take a dime from D.C. lobbyists or special-interest PACs—never have and never will.”
That email was sent days before Klein filed his paper work to become a “D.C. lobbyist.”
A senior Obama campaign official tells Politico's Glenn Thrush that Klein is "no longer associated with the campaign" and that "the minute he became a lobbyist, he stopped raising money for the campaign." But that was news to Klein, who seemed to have found out through the media that he was thrown under the Obama campaign bus.
"A former Florida congressman who has been a top campaign bundler for President Obama said Wednesday he is taking immediate steps to de-register as a lobbyist for a Florida-based airline so he can continue to raise funds for the president," NBC's Michael Isikoff reports this afternoon. Isikoff adds:
When first contacted about Klein, an Obama campaign official said by email, "All of the funds he raised for the campaign were raised last year. At the moment, he became a federal lobbyist he stopped raising for the campaign."
But Klein said he had not heard from anybody in the Obama campaign. And, he added, he fully expects to continue raising money for the president's re-election.
"I understand the rules," he said.