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Lobbyists and Felons

Governor

In the waning days of the Maryland governor's race, Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley (D) proclaimed that if elected, neither he nor his running mate, Anthony G. Brown, would meet with lobbyists who had felony convictions.

The edict was aimed at two Annapolis institutions, Gerard E. Evans and Bruce C. Bereano, who both had good relationships with Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) despite his 2002 campaign pledge to end a "culture of corruption."
O'Malley and Brown will arrive in the State House next month, but it appears that business will be just fine for Evans and Bereano.

Bereano is being retained by at least 40 clients, according to recent filings with the State Ethics Commission, and Evans said his stable of clients is growing as a new legislative session approaches.

"I picked up three new clients in just the past few weeks," said Evans, who was convicted of fraud in 2000.

One Evans client that is raising eyebrows is Wal-Mart. The retailing giant has unsuccessfully fought a measure that would effectively require the company to improve health-care benefits for its Maryland employees.

The bill, which was passed over Ehrlich's veto, was struck down by a federal court, a decision now being appealed. O'Malley was a vocal supporter of the bill and on the campaign trail accused Ehrlich of "rolling over for Wal-Mart."

Evans's other high-profile clients continue to include Constellation Energy Group, the parent company of Baltimore Gas and Electric, whose planned 72.percent rate increase also became O'Malley campaign fodder; the law offices of Peter Angelos, with whom O'Malley has a strained relationship; and the Baltimore Orioles, the baseball team Angelos owns.

Evans, a former aide to Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert), said that his practice has always focused on the legislative branch and that his relationships there remain solid.

"It's unfortunate," Evans said of O'Malley's ban, "but it's one of those things where you just roll with the punches."

Bereano, who was convicted of fraud in 1995, would not comment.

His clients for the coming legislative session include the Medical Mutual Liability Insurance Society of Maryland, the state's largest provider of medical malpractice coverage for doctors, as well as many lower-profile entities, among them the Maryland Coalition of Professional Tattooists and Body Piercers.

O'Malley spokesman Steve Kearney said the incoming administration is sticking with its pledge.

John Wagner

By Phyllis Jordan  |  December 24, 2006; 7:12 PM ET
Categories:  General Assembly , Governor  
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Comments

It makes sense that Wal-Mart, Medical Mutual Liability and Constellation Energy would seek out Evans and Bereano. The vision of those companies was rejected by the MD populous when Ehrlich, a strong advocate for all 3 companies, was voted out of office in November. Prominate Democratic Lobbyist would want those companies - it would taint their good names.

Posted by: Patrick | December 25, 2006 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Wow. It IS going to be an interesting new year if we are concerning ourselves with possible damage to a lobbyist's "good name."

Posted by: ha | December 26, 2006 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Just like O'Malley's BGE deferral plan wherein everyone loses, this makes good publicity to the uninformed but it really has no substance. Anyone with an 8th grade education that pays attention knows that it's all an illusion. It's just a preview of the proverbial partisan axe grinding that we'll be seeing from O'Malley. Meanwhile, the same deals will be cut behind closed doors but only with people that are part of his good ole boy game.

It's great that O'Malley wants to show himself as Maryland's new moral compass but in the end, what does this do?

Nothing.

Do you think special interest entities, i.e. Wal Mart, are going to fold their tents and go home now? No, they'll just find another lobbyist firm to represent them.

Evans conficted of fraud? I guess he learned from the best while working with Mike Miller-all but the not getting caught part.

Posted by: Whatever | December 26, 2006 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Evans and Bereano have paid their dues and served their time (whether guilty or not). Lets all just move and allow individuals a second chance. Didn't O'Malley get one with his dads help and his DUI?

Posted by: Michelle | December 26, 2006 2:51 PM | Report abuse

If you remember Republicans took DUI's off the plate in 2000 and there they have remained, or is peoples memory so short, and yes that is a rhetorical question....So I hope the Republican faithfull have a dictionary handy, :)

To my mind though its less about fraud, than it is making very clear that in the last election there were winners and losers, BGE, Walmart, and these two lobbying companies are the losers, i.e. because their candidate lost the election, they are going to get hammered. Meaning a rewritten Walmart health insurance law that will pass judicial mustard, and a brand new State oversite board of BGE.

He is also sending a message to the legislature that says, hey, guess what, I'm watching who you are getting your money from, take money from the wrong people and your agenda just got sent to the back of the line.

Posted by: DCDave | December 26, 2006 3:51 PM | Report abuse

O'Malley is a saint, he's the most selfless public servant ever elected in Maryland. It's about time we had someone like him running the whole state. Go O'Malley. Eight years of O'Malley ruling our state, it's gonna be great.

Posted by: ron | December 26, 2006 5:01 PM | Report abuse

O'Malley is just trying to follow in the footsteps of Elliot Spitzer, the newly elected Governor of NY and the guy responsible for prosecuting all of those big, high-profile corporate fraud cases. It's just more politics as usual, nothing more nothing less.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 26, 2006 5:13 PM | Report abuse

DC Dave

If you keep calling a grapefruit a banana long enough, in your mind it becomes a banana. The same goes for your belief that Ehrlich actually had something to do with the BGE rate increase but we keep hearing the same lies repeated without merit. If Ralph Nader were on the PSC, we'd still have a 72% rate increase beginning this year thanks to the deal Democrats struck BEFORE Ehrlichs tenure. The truth is that O'Malley's grandstanding earlier this year ensured that EVERYONE pays interest on the deferral plan. Interest to BGE. O'Malley is the only one who's done BGE any favors in this mess.

Pull your head out of your ass and maybe one day you'll see the light.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 26, 2006 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Ok its out, so now I see, yes its becoming more clear:

Its the Democrats who took office before Ehrlich, not the guy who took millions in campaign donations from their lobbyists convicted of felonys that caused the BGE rate rise. Its the Mayor of Baltimore's fault... I'm getting sleepy....

Seems er, for want of a better word, yeah logical, I'm sure the people of Maryland will um er yeah, buy that one.....Did I tell you bout that land I bought on the Eastern Shore yet....

Posted by: DCDave | December 27, 2006 2:36 AM | Report abuse

For DC Dave and my other Democrat friends:

Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasion and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all. I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the generally accepted calendar year 2007, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great. Not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country nor the only America in the Western Hemisphere. And without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wishes.By accepting these greetings you are accepting these terms. This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal. It is freely transferable with no alteration to the original greeting. It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for herself or himself or others, and is void where prohibited by law and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wisher. This wish is warranted to perform as expected within the usual application of good tidings for a period of one year or until the issuance of a subsequent holiday greeting, whichever comes first, and warranty is limited to replacement of this wish or issuance of a new wish at the sole discretion of the wisher.

For my Republican friends:



Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Posted by: Holiday Wishes from BG from PG | December 27, 2006 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Ah come on I still go to Mass occasionally, but I gotta keep switching Parishes, somehow they associate the holy water turning to vinegar, and the eucharist turning fetid with my presence.

Well maybe its that ever present hint of sulphur that gives me away, :)

Posted by: DCDave | December 27, 2006 2:19 PM | Report abuse

kudos to O'Malley for calling out Bruce Bereano-- Bereano is a disgrace. He is an embarassment to the state. Any politician who does business with him should be ashamed of himself. O'Malley is NOT a saint, nor does he claim to be, but this decision of his is precisely on target and I applaud him for it.

Posted by: get real | December 28, 2006 9:47 AM | Report abuse

O'Malley is nothing more than a poor man's Bill Clinton, he will be an absolutely horrible Governor.

Posted by: tom | January 3, 2007 8:53 AM | Report abuse

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