Broward News

Merick Lewin Says He Was Not Paid for 411-PAIN Lobbying

​Being a pro bono lobbyist sounds a little like being a volunteer stockbroker, but Merick Lewin says it's true. The Republican state House candidate from Davie contends he did lobbying work for his uncle's company,the 1-800-411-PAIN Referral Service, but wasn't paid for it. Yep, he just kept an eye on state legislation out of the goodness of his heart. 

Here's an excerpt from a statement Lewin provided to in response to New Times' reporting about his lobbying efforts. (When we called him about it weeks ago, Lewin never responded.)

The blog said I was a lobbyist for my Uncle's company 411 Pain. Important details were left out as to why I was registered. During this time I was working to build my company Whats Next Marketing, which has offices in Tallahassee. My uncle asked me to monitor an issue which was at the time being discussed in committee meetings during the legislative session. I was not paid for doing this work nor was I the lead lobbyist or strategist for this effort. I was just another set of eyes and ears to follow the issue. Out of an abundance of caution, to ensure I was in 

compliance with state rules, I felt it was better to do more than was required and register as a lobbyist. This was not my full time job and my involvement did not last long. My full time job was and is running What's Next Marketing, a small business that assists companies in marketing themselves via social networking and digital marketing.
To clarify, New Times did not say Lewin was a lobbyist for 411-PAIN, which is a network of chiropractors and lawyers soliciting clients who have been in car accidents. We said he was a registered lobbyist last year for one clinic, Broward Rehab Center in Lauderdale Lakes. The clinic and referral service are owned by Lewin's twin uncles, Robert and Harley Lewin. 

Interestingly, Merick Lewin's statement does not to mention the thousands of dollars in campaign donations he has received from clinics in the 411-PAIN network. But then, that would distract from his pro bono theme.

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Lisa Rab
Contact: Lisa Rab