Ten lobbyists combine for more than $15 million in billing, an increase vs. 2019

The Maryland State House.

The Maryland State House. (File photo)

Ten lobbyists reported billings of more than $15 million, a slight increase over 2019 according to reports filed with the Maryland State Ethics Commission released in December.

The combined reports for those top billing lobbyists — none of whom are strangers to the top of the list — represent nearly $3 in every $10 spent on lobbyists who reported billings of $50,000 or more and more than 27% of all billings reported by 563 people who reported any lobbying-related fees at all.

Overall, 173 people, one less than last year, reported client fees of $50,000 or more for a combined $50.8 million for the period of Nov. 1 2019 through Oct. 31 2020. The total amount represents an increase of more than $1 million compared to last year.

In all, more than $55.7 million in client fees were reported by the more than 560 lobbyists who reported any billings at all, according to the commission.

Reported earnings to the ethics commission represent the amount of client fees paide. The figures do not include factors including overhead nor take into account other lobbyists at the same firm who performed services for the same clients.

Two lobbyists — Timothy Perry and Gerry Evans — reported earnings of more than $2 million each. The pair combined to earn one-third of the amount reported by the top ten lobbyists in the report.

Perry, a former chief of staff to former Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. who is now a partner at Perry White Ross Jacobson, tops the list reporting nearly $2.8 million in client fees, roughly a $300,000 increase over the previous year.

Perry finished last year reporting the second highest amount of fee and this year flip-flops spots with Evans, who reported nearly $2.4 million in fees.

Bruce Bereano, another long-time power lobbyist, remained in third place with more than $1.6 million in fees, about $300,000 less than the previous year.

Michael Johansen, of Rifkin Weiner Livingston LLC, reported about $1.6 million in fees, roughly $100,000 more than the previous year.

Lisa Harris Jones, of Harris Jones & Malone LLC, remains the only woman on the list with fees of nearly $1.3 million, about $100,000 more than the previous year.

The year proved to be a turbulent one for Annapolis lobbyists with the dissolution of Alexander & Cleaver with most of the remaining staff leaving to form Z & C LLC — Zektick & Collaborators. Davion Percy struck out on his own, forming Percy Public Affairs and entering into a “strategic alliance” with The Bellamy Group, which is led by Lorenzo Bellamy, another former Alexander & Cleaver alum.

Top 10 lobbyists by reported earnings

  1. Timothy Perry, $2,771,549
  2. Gerard “Gerry” Evans, $2,356,833
  3. Bruce Bereano, $1,613,087
  4. Michael Johansen, $1,603,781
  5. Lisa Harris Jones, $1,294,600
  6. Jonas Jacobson, $1,249,550
  7. Frank Boston III, $1,162,833
  8. Nicholas Manis, $1,040,450
  9. John Stierhoff, $995,744
  10. Gregory Proctor Jr., $971,722

Top employers by reported expenses

  1. Maryland Jockey Club, $725,297.14
  2. CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, $673,579.47
  3. Johns Hopkins Institutions, $579,987.00
  4. Washington Gas, $578,987.00
  5. Maryland State Education Association, $542,196.00
  6. Strong Schools Maryland, care of The Fund for Educational Excellence, $486,177.50
  7. Pepco Holdings Inc., $475,745.61

Source: Reports on lobbyist compensation and employer spending as reported to the Maryland State Ethics Commission for the period Nov. 1, 2019, through Oct. 31 2020.

This article is featured in The Daily Record's Eye on Annapolis Summit.

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