Another Lucrative Session for Maryland Lobbyists

By Josh Kurtz

The American Petroleum Institute spent more money on lobbying during the recent General Assembly session than any other entity, according to a summary of lobbying activity just released by the Maryland State Ethics Commission.

API, which unsuccessfully fought an attempt to ban hydraulic fracturing in the state, spent more than $1.4 million, the ethics commission reported.

The report covered the period Nov. 1, 2016 through April 30, 2017 – but the lion’s share of lobbying activity takes place during the 90-day General Assembly session, which runs from mid-January to mid-April.

The ethics commission, which regulates state lobbyists, identified 16 entities that spent at least $200,000 on lobbying activity during the six-month period. They reflect the gamut of issues that came before lawmakers this year.

Digging deeper, health care, energy, financial services and gaming appeared to be among the most heavily lobbied issues during the session.

But corporations and their industry groups weren’t the only entities spending freely. The powerhouse Maryland State Education Association, which pushed for real and politically symbolic education reforms this year – and is frequently at odds with Gov. Larry Hogan (R) while being in sync with most Democrats – was the third biggest spender of the session.

The ethics commission also reported that 16 lobbyists earned at least $500,000 for their work during those six months. Topping the list were two old stand-bys: Gerard Evans, who earned $1,808,233.32, and Bruce Bereano, who earned $1,675,303.75.

The ethics commission report lists 211 entities that spent at least $50,000 on lobbying – from the ACLU of Maryland to Xerox Business Services, LLC and its affiliates.

Behind API, whose total expenditures were $1,422,374, those spending more than $200,000 were:

— Maryland Hospital Association, $499,711.03

— Maryland State Education, $474,956.35

— Exelon Corp., $349,365.33

— Baltimore Gas and Electric Co., $335,130.84

— Maryland Bankers Association, $306,716.16

— CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, $305,036.70

— Johns Hopkins Institutions, $294,491

— Maryland Catholic Conference, LLC, $275,269.17

— Comcast NBC Universal, $271,187.60

— MedChi, the Maryland State Medical Society, $257.013.80

— MedStar Health, $239,013.42

— Verizon Communications, $234,913.35

— Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce, $227,587.45

— Maryland Jockey Club, $206,499.67

— Law Offices of Peter Angelos, $203,662.35

According to the ethics commission report, 110 individuals reported being paid $50,000 or more for their lobbying services from Nov. 1 to April 30. More than half of that total – 65 lobbyists – reported earning at least $100,000.

After Evans and Bereano, those earning more than $500,000 were:

— Timothy Perry, $1,263,709

— Lisa Harris Jones, $981,311

— Frank Boston III, $951,500

— Joel Rozner, $915,583.80

— Michael Johansen, $902,868.60

— Robert Garagiola, $879,941.63

— Nicholas Manis, $780,400

— J. Steven Wise, $659,703

— Ivan Lanier, $628,595

— G.S. Proctor Jr., $625,741

— D. Robert Enten, $567,099

— John Stierhoff, $558,795.98

— Joseph Bryce, $536,109

— Pamela Kasemeyer, $522,100

 

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