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Penn National tops General Assembly lobbying list

ANNAPOLIS — Gambling has been the issue du jour in Maryland since it apparently tied up budget negotiations in the final weeks of the General Assembly.

It should come as no surprise, then, that a gambling company spent the most lobbying dollars in Annapolis during the legislature’s regular session.

Penn National Gaming Inc., operator of Hollywood Casino in Perryville and owner of casino candidate Rosecroft Raceway, spent $877,432.84 on lobbying between Nov. 1 and April 30 – $375,000 more than any other employer, according to lobbying totals published by the State Ethics Commission on Wednesday.

Gerard E. Evans, who lobbied for Penn National and several organizations tied to horse racing, was the top-earning lobbyist for the period, pulling in $1.05 million. Evans was the only Annapolis lobbyist to earn more than $1 million in the six-month span.

Joel D. Rozner ($906,848.71), Lisa Harris Jones ($840,195), Bruce C. Bereano ($772,500) and Michael V. Johansen ($728,195.69) round out the top-five earning lobbyists.

The Maryland State Education Association spent the second-highest amount of money on lobbying ($502,345.36), followed by Human Rights Campaign ($494,044.86), Maryland Association of Realtors Inc. ($443,117.03) and Verizon Maryland Inc. ($356,080.58) in the top-five.