The health-care industry emerged as the biggest spender on lobbying services in Maryland during a six-month stretch that included this year’s legislative session, a dynamic driven in part by the state’s effort to implement the federal health-care law.
The Maryland Hospital Association and the Maryland State Medical Society (MedChi) top a new list of spending released by the Maryland State Ethics Commission, reporting expenditures of $380,448 and $303,182, respectively, between November and April.
All told, health-care interests spent more than $3.6 million on lobbying during the period, according to an analysis of the numbers by Common Cause Maryland.
According to the group, other industries that spent heavily trying to influence policymakers in Annapolis included utility and energy companies ($1,858,460), builders and realtors ($1,363,898) and casinos and racing groups ($1,124,341).
Among individual lobbyists, Gerard E. Evans topped the ethics commission list, reporting nearly $1.2 million in compensation during the six months.
The stable of clients represented by Evans includes the Baltimore law firm of Peter G. Angelos, which alone spent $290,000 during the period.
Evans was followed by Joel E. Rozner, who reported $909,012 in compensation, and Lisa Harris Jones, who reported $864,625.
As a candidate in 2006, Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) vowed not to do business with either Evans or another lobbyist with a past felony conviction, Bruce C. Bereano. O’Malley has since lifted the ban. Bereano ranked seventh on the latest list, with $665,350 in earnings.
Evans was convicted on multiple counts of mail and wire fraud in 2000 in a case stemming from accusations of concocting a fictitious legislative threat that he charged clients to lobby against.
He has since rebuilt his practice. For the year ending in October 2011, he reported more compensation than any other Maryland lobbyist.