Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Md. lobbyists raking it in

Seven Maryland lobbyists reported earnings of $1 million or more in the latest filing period and total earnings increased nearly 16 percent, according to figures posted Tuesday by the Maryland State Ethics Commission.

In first place was Timothy A. Perry, who reported more than $1.5 million in earnings. It was a repeat performance for Perry, who also topped the 2012 list, with earnings of more than $1.3 million.

Back then, however, he was a lobbyist at the firm of Gordon Feinblatt LLC. The former top aide to Maryland Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller left that firm in July to start his own firm, Perry, White, Ross & Jacobson.

The figures come from a report on 148 lobbyists registered with the ethics commission who reported earnings of $50,000 or more. The reporting period was Nov. 1, 2012 through Oct. 31, 2013.

Gerard Evans earned nearly $1.4 million, good enough for second place. The lobbyist was convicted of multiple counts of mail and wire fraud in 2000 related to accusations that he created fictitious legislative issues for which he then charged clients for lobbying services.

Robin F. Shaivitz was the third highest paid lobbyist in the state. Shaivitz, a lobbyist in the firm of Alexander & Cleaver P.A. reported earnings of nearly $1.4 million

Joel D. Rozner, who served as chief of staff to Parris N. Glendening when the latter was the Prince George’s county executive and was named to the Governor’s Commission on Lobbying Ethics after Glendening became governor, made nearly $1.3 million. Rozner, a lobbyist for Rifkin, Weiner, Livingston, Levitan & Silver LLC, finished fourth on the list.

Topping off the seven-figure lobbyists were Gregory S. Proctor Jr. of G.S. Proctor & Associates Inc. (nearly $1.2 million), Michael Johansen, another lobbyist for Rifkin, Weiner, Livingston, Levitan & Silver (more than $1 million), and Robert Enten (just over $1 million).

Johansen was previously legal counsel to the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee and a fiscal analyst for what is now the Maryland Department of Legislative Services. Enten is another Gordon Feinblatt member.

Overall, lobbyists on the list earned more than $37 million, up from $32 million in the previous reporting period.

Jennifer Bevan-Dangel, executive director of Common Cause Maryland, said the list makes the case for additional reforms to the industry.

“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.”

For the second straight year, the majority of money spent on lobbying in the state went to health care.

The health care industry spent more than $7.1 million, more than twice the amount racked up by utility and energy companies, who were second, spending nearly $3.4 million on lobbying.

Gambling interests, which topped the list two years ago, fell to third, spending nearly $1.9 million.

The amounts spent by the top three industries on the list jibe with rise of health care concerns related to compliance with the federal Affordable Care Act and the creation of the state’s health insurance exchange, as well as offshore energy legislation passed in 2013.

The federal government expects to auction two areas off Ocean City later this year for electricity generation.

Casinos and gambling interests saw their lobbying needs slow with the passage of expanded gaming laws in 2012 and the awarding of a sixth and final casino license in Prince George’s County.