Obama campaign to return lobbyist cash

The Obama reelection campaign plans to return donations from five registered lobbyists that were discovered by a campaign-finance watchdog. 

The Center for Responsive Politics reported that the Obama campaign violated its policy against K Street money last year by accepting $2,250 in contributions from five registered lobbyists. 

"When we catch [a contribution] from a federal lobbyist that slips through the cracks, we immediately return the contribution," Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt told the Center. "Unlike our opponents, our campaign does not accept contributions from Washington lobbyists." 

Three other donors gave $4,500 to the campaign, but registered to lobby “shortly after” they had given money, Open Secrets reported. 

President Obama has taken an anti-lobbyist stance in the White House. In Tuesday’s State of the Union, he called on Congress to ban campaign bundling by lobbyists.

The Obama campaign does not accept contributions from registered lobbyists, though critics point out the ban does not apply to everyone who works at a firm that tries to influence the government. 

Earlier this year, the Obama campaign brought on Broderick Johnson, who was previously registered as a lobbyist, as senior advisor.