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Rozner Tops Md. Lobbyist Listings

This year's legislative session produced some reshuffling among the best-paid lobbyists in Annapolis and added some new names to the top of the list.

Joel D. Rozner, a perennial top earner with Rifkin, Livingston, Levitan & Silver, claimed the top spot, reporting $905,211 in compensation between Nov. 1 and April 30, a period that included the 90-day session of the Maryland General Assembly.

Rozner, who represents a wide range of corporate clients, including energy and health-care companies, took the top spot from Bruce C. Bereano, who finished just $5,000 ahead of Rozner during the same period last year, according to listings compiled by the State Ethics Commission. The ever-colorful Bereano fell to No. 12 on this year's list.

Finishing second to Rozner on the new list, with $736,502 in earnings, was fellow Rifkin lobbyist Michael V. Johansen, whose clients include the Maryland Jockey Club. Despite getting no closer to securing a slots license, the Jockey Club, which operates Laurel Park racetrack, spent $390,000, more than any other entity, on lobbyists during the period.

Bryson F. Popham, whose book of business includes multiple insurance-industry clients, took the No. 3 spot, reporting $714,633 in earnings. He was No. 18 a year ago.

(UPDATE: Popham's number was considerably inflated by an error in his filings, which added a digit to one of his stated billings. His correct total is $369,033, good for 17th on the list.)

Another big leap was taken by Lisa Harris Jones, who finished No. 4 with $656,000 in reported compensation. She was No. 21 a year ago. Her firm's clout increased during the past session with the addition of Sean Malone, a former lobbyist for Gov. Martin O'Malley (D).

Finishing the in the No. 5 spot, the same as last year, was Gary R. Alexander, who heads Alexander & Cleaver, the other powerhouse firm in Annapolis besides Rifkin. Alexander reported $651,575 in compensation.

Six other lobbyists reported at least $500,000 for the period. Among those was Timothy Perry, the former chief of staff to Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller (D), who cracked the Top 10 for the first time, with $531,062 in earnings.

The full list released by the Ethics Commission can be found here.

By John Wagner  |  July 23, 2009; 9:43 AM ET
Categories:  John Wagner  
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My old company used Joel Rozner as their lobbyist in Annapolis. The few interactions I had with him left me with the impression that he was smart, friendly and really good at his job. Despite his apparent high power status as a top MD lobbyist, I didn't detect a hint of arrogance. Just a nice guy.

Anyway, that's my two cents.

Posted by: lkw15 | July 23, 2009 10:14 PM | Report abuse

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