Josh Kurtz: New Numbers Shed Light on Annapolis Lobbying World

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Ten lobbying firms earned more than $1 million in Maryland during the past year – and three cleared $3 million, according to new figures released this week by the State Ethics Commission.

It’s yet another reminder that contract lobbying in Maryland can be a very lucrative business. Some of the firms have been among the top earners for years. Others are newer – or are benefiting from a beefed-up roster of lobbyists and clients.

Perry, White, Ross & Jacobson, a firm that burst on the Annapolis scene just a few years ago, topped the list, earning $3,692,076 from Nov. 1, 2014 to Oct. 31, 2015, commission records showed. The firm includes two former top aides to Senate President Mike Miller (D), as well as former Del. Justin Ross (D).

That firm was followed by two powerhouses that have dominated the Annapolis lobbying scene for the past two decades: Rifkin, Weiner, Livingston, Levitan & Silver, LLC ($3,359,718) and Alexander & Cleaver, P.A. ($3,184,191).

Rounding out the list:

Manis Canning & Associates $2,747,715

Harris Jones & Malone, LLC $1,992,850

Gerard E. Evans, Ltd. $1,883,900

Venable, LLP $1,872,866

Capitol Strategies, LLC $1,848,086

Schwartz, Metz & Wise, P.A. $1,546,563

G.S. Proctor & Associates, Inc. $1,307,013

Josh Kurtz is editor of Environment & Energy Daily, a Capitol Hill publication. He can be reached at . Follow him on Twitter -- @joshkurtznews

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Josh Kurtz has been writing about Maryland politics since late 1995. Louie Goldstein, William Donald Schaefer and Pete Rawlings were alive, but the Intercounty Connector, as far as anyone could tell, was dead.

But some things never change: Mike Miller is still in charge of the Senate. Gerry Evans and Bruce Bereano are among the top-earning lobbyists in Annapolis. Steny Hoyer is still waiting for Nancy Pelosi to disappear. And Maryland Republicans are still struggling to be relevant.

The media landscape in Maryland has changed a lot, and Kurtz is happy to write weekly for Center Maryland. He's been writing a column for the website since it launched in January 2010.

In his "real" job, Kurtz is editor of Environment & Energy Daily down on Capitol Hill. But he'll always find Maryland politics more fascinating.

Kurtz grew up in New York City and attended public schools there. He has a BA in History from the University of Wisconsin and an MS in Journalism from Columbia University. He's married with two daughters and lives in Takoma Park, Md. He hopes you'll drop him a line, or maybe go out for a meal with him, because he's always hungry -- for political gossip.