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Report: Top Md. Lobbyists Bring In More Than $37M

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland’s State Ethics Commission says the state’s top lobbyists earned more than $37 million in the latest filing period.

The Daily Record reports that the number in the report released Tuesday is up from $32 million in the previous year.

The report includes details from 148 lobbyists registered with the ethics commission who reported earnings of $50,000 or more from Nov. 1, 2012, through Oct. 31, 2013. Seven lobbyists reported earnings of $1 million and total earnings increased nearly 16 percent.

Timothy Perry led the list with more than $1.5 million in earnings reported. The former top aide to Maryland Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller also topped the 2012 list, when he was with Gordon Feinblatt LLC, earnings of more than $1.3 million. He has since left to start his own firm, Perry, White, Ross & Jacobson.

The health care industry led lobbying spending with $7.1 million and utility and energy companies came in second with nearly $3.4 million spent. Gambling interests ranked third with nearly $1.9 million.

The list makes the case for additional reforms to the industry, Common Cause Maryland Executive Director Jennifer Bevan-Dangel said.

“While lobbyists have a role to play, with these top lobbyists reporting over $37 million in income — and a growing cadre of former elected officials and upper-level staff joining the ranks of the lobbying corps — we are concerned that the voice of special interests is growing louder than the voice of constituents,” said Bevan-Dangel.

“We support legislation to strengthen training and reporting requirements for lobbyists and to slow down the revolving door from public servant to private lobbyist.”

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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