Maryland’s top echelon of lobbyists earned slightly less during a six-month period that includes the most recent legislative session compared to a year ago and their share of every dollar spent on lobbying fell to its second-lowest point in four years.
Growth in the total number of registered lobbyists — more than 660 — is nearly back to pre-pandemic levels, according to a review of data from the Maryland State Ethics Commission. The 13% increase year over year has driven a related surge in lobbyists who reported making at least $50,000 during the Nov. 1, 2022 and April 30, 2023 reporting period.
Nearly 150 lobbyists reported earnings of at least $50,000. In all, that group earned more than $39.4 million or 89 cents of every dollar spent on such activities. That represents a 6% increase over the same period a year ago, according to an analysis of data from the Maryland State Ethics Commission.
At the same time, the state’s top 10 earners in the lobbying corps took home less than 33 cents of every lobbying dollar. That is down nearly two points from the same time a year ago and under the average of the previous three years.
But don’t weep for the state’s top lobbyists just yet. The decrease in gross earnings — less than two-tenths of a percent compared to a year ago — won’t likely force changes in anyone’s standard of living.
In all, 664 lobbyists appear on the Maryland State Ethics Commission’s lobbyist compensation report. The report covers Nov. 1, 2022 through April 30, 2023.
Six lobbyists reported earnings of $1 million or more — about 25 cents of every lobbying dollar in the period. That’s down from nearly 27 cents of each dollar a year ago.
Two lobbyists — Gerard E. Evans and Lisa Harris Jones — reported more than $2 million each. Evans, who has an Annapolis firm with his daughter Hayley, reported nearly $2.3 million a decrease of about $100,000.
Meanwhile, Jones’ earnings increased by about $360,000 compared to the same period a year ago.
Bruce Bereano reported more than $1.9 million, down about $345,000 compared to the same period a year ago.
In all, 43 lobbyists — about 6% of the 664 registered with the ethics commission — reported earnings of at least $250,000.
Earnings for those 43 totaled nearly $28.1 million. And while the gross dollar amount is an increase from $26.6 million in earnings a year ago, the group saw a negligible decrease in their share of each dollar spent.
Several lobbying firms boasted top earners, including Manis & Canning; Harris Jones Malone; Perry, White, Ross and Jacobson; Rifkin, Weiner, Livingston LLC; and Schwartz, Metz, Wise.
Here is a list of the lobbyists who earned $250,000 or more between Nov. 1 and April 30:
- Gerard Evans, Evans and Associates: $2,288,000
- Lisa Harris Jones, Harris Jones Malone: $2,104,850
- Bruce Bereano $1,903,582.50
- Timothy Perry, Perry, White, Ross and Jacobson: $1,895,047.96
- Frank Boston, III, Law Offices of Frank D. Boston III $1,530,064
- Michael Johansen, Rifkin, Weiner, Livingston LLC: $1,439,468
- Jonas Jacobson, Perry, White, Ross and Jacobson: $968,000
- G.S. Proctor Jr., G.S. Proctor & Associates: $955,828.20
- J. Steven Wise, Schwartz, Metz, Wise: $745,188
- Delora Ifekauche, Cornerstone Government Affairs: $741,093.69
- Ivan Lanier, Greenwill Consulting Group LLC: $668,800
- Joel Rozner, Rifkin, Weiner, Livingston: $629,504
- David Carroll, Jr., Capitol Strategies: $628,370
- Sushant Sidh, Capitol Strategies: $627,267
- John Reith, Rifkin, Weiner, Livingston LLC: $613,040
- Danna Kauffman, Schwartz, Metz, Wise: $601,556
- Hannah Garagiola, Compass Government Affairs: $554,802
- Caitlin McDonough, Harris Jones & Malone: $526,250
- Nick Manis, Manis & Canning: $525,766
- Joseph C. Bryce, Manis & Canning: $454,750
- John R. Stierhoff, Venable LLP: $451,250
- Camille Fesche, Rifkin Weiner Livingston LLC: $282,628
- John Favazza, Manis & Canning: $429,100
- Patrick Hogan, Cornerstone Government Affairs: $428,432.39
- Josh White, Perry, White, Ross and Jacobson: $395,899.92
- Robert Garagiola, Compass Government Affairs: $392,303.90
- D. Robert Enten, Gordon Feinblatt LLC: $384,533.28
- Dennis Rasmussen, The Rasmussen Group LLC: $382,291.25
- Andrea Mansfield, Manis & Canning: $372,500
- Ashlie T. Bagwell, Harris Jones Malone: $354,550
- Jason Weintraub, Gordon Feinblatt LLC: $340,821.32
- Bryson Popham, $336,687
- William Kress, The Capital Law Firm: $331,249.98
- Bernie Marczyk, Cornerstone Government Affairs: $320,506.67
- Brad Rifkin, Rifkin Weiner Livingston LLC: $292,500
- John Pica Jr., Pica & Associates, LLC: 291,541
- Michael Arrington, Capitol Connections: $289,250
- Eric Gally, Gally Public Affairs, Inc.: $288,500
- Brett Lininger, Kress Hammen Government Affairs: $287,000
- Ann Ciekot, Public Policy Partners: $266,896
- Marta D. Harting, Venable LLP: $262,050
- Brian Hammock, CSX Transportation: $250,000
- Pamela M. Kasemeyer, Schwartz, Metz and Wise: $250,000
Meanwhile, more than $48.8 million was spent by various entities for lobbying services in the same reporting period, according to the ethics commission report.
In all, more than 260 businesses, educational institutions, nonprofits and other entities reported spending at least $50,000 during the six-month period that included the legislative session.
Eighteen spent $200,000 ore more. The top 18 entities spent nearly $5.8 million, led by the health care sector — hospitals and insurance companies — which spent nearly $1.9 million in the period.
Individually, Northeast Maglev LLC spent more than $542,000, the most of any entity in the reporting period. The company wants to build a high-speed magnetic levitation train that would one day connect Capitol Hill to midtown Manhattan in an hour.
Wayne Rogers, the former Maryland Democratic Party chair, is chair and CEO of The Northeast Maglev project. Rogers donated $6,000 to Gov. Wes Moore (D) in the 2022 campaign. The amount is the maximum amount an individual can donate by law to a single candidate.
Entities that spent the most on lobbying include:
- Northeast Maglev LLC: $542,205.30
- CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield: $425,353.67
- Johns Hopkins (total is likely combined spending of university and health system since the report does not specify): $416,260.68
- Constellation Energy Generation, LLC: $384,844.56
- Maryland Chamber of Commerce: $381,997.92
- Pepco Holdings, Inc.: $358,780.72
- Baltimore Gas and Electric Company: $338,369.36
- Maryland Jockey Club (Pimlico, Laurel, Rosecroft Racetracks): $335,618
- Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce: $326,100
- Maryland Association of Realtors: $321,021.61
- Maryland Hospital Association: $295,882.96
- CSX Transportation: $270,309
- MedChi, The Maryland State Medical Society: $266,460.92
- Maryland State Education Association: $245,682.11
- Maryland Citizens’ Health Initiative: $238,709
- Elevance Health and its Affiliates: $232,857.75
- Verizon Communications: $215,026.78
- Maryland Catholic Conference: $203,939.13