The Tea Party group Americans for Prosperity (AFP) has registered to lobby for the first time.
The group, which is backed by the billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, said on its registration form it plans to lobby on issues related to “energy, spending, health care, intellectual property [and] technology.”
But in a twist, the group didn’t register any lobbyists, which is standard practice on the forms. Instead, the group specified that no AFP employees would meet the legal threshold to be considered a lobbyist.
Federal law defines a lobbyist as anyone who spends more than 20 percent of their time making contact with policymakers — including the time spent conducting research or planning that contact — on behalf of a person, corporation or other organization.
Federal law requires lobbyists to register within 45 days of a person meeting the 20 percent threshold.
AFP says it filed the forms out of an "abundance of caution" and will not come close to meeting the 20 percent threshold neeed to register. A spokesman said they would likely file an amendment to the registration, nullifying it.
AFP says it promotes “economic freedom and opportunity.” It has spent millions on election-year ads, most recently attacking the ObamaCare rollout and vulnerable Democrats.
Democrats have attacked the Koch brothers and used them as a foil in the fundraising pitches for the midterm elections.
This post was updated on Feb. 24 to include comment from Americans for Prosperity.