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Md. lobbying firm: Thank you... for making us rich

Maybe it was intended to come off a little nicer than it did. Maybe it elicited exactly the response that Maryland's top lobbying firm was looking for. Either way, an e-mail thank-you note from last year's top money earner in the Annapolis lobbying game is making the rounds this week in Maryland's State House.

"Thank You For Making Us Number 1 Again!" begins the e-mail to clients from Rifkin, Livingston, Levitan and Silver. Number one, that is, "for total year reportable billings."

Rifkin's Tuesday e-mail was spurred by an announcement largely buried amid the flurry of Gov. Martin O'Malley's budget release: RLLS, it appeared, had reported the most lucrative business of any Maryland lobbying firm in 2009, according to the latest tally published by the Maryland Ethics Commission.

"While touting the posture of #1 is awkward, we are humbled because we see the rankings as an indication of client satisfaction and a validation of our "team approach" to complex governmental matters before the legislative and executive branch agencies," read the e-mail.

On Wednesday, it turned out, there was just one problem: A computer glitch at the Ethics Commission meant that not all lobbyists' earnings had been correctly linked with their respective firms before the release.

Realizing the error, ethics commission staff pulled the list from its Web site until it could be verified, said Executive Director Robert Hahn.

MD-Joel Rozner.jpgIt may be that no other firm can catch RLLS, which has the No. 1 individual lobbyist by earnings, Joel D. Rozner, who reported compensation last year of $1,287,174.00. As well as No. 3: Michael V. Johansen ($1,126,002.00); No. 16: Alan M. Rifkin ($460,640.00); No. 18: Laurence Levitan ($425,491.00); No. 29: Eric L. Bryant ($314,866.00); No. 32: Josh White ($283,500.00).
Until the firm's No. 1 spot is secure, however, the e-mail is all the buzz as competing firms hope RLLS may yet have to eat its words, and a little pride. The e-mail:

--------

RLLS Government Relations Group Says
"Thank You For Making Us Number 1 Again!"



RLLS extends its sincerest thanks and appreciation to the scores of clients that made our Government Relations Group the #1 ranked lobbying firm for total year reportable billings and Joel Rozner the #1 individually ranked lobbyist according to information made available today by the Maryland State Ethics Commission (http://ethics.gov.state.md.us).

While touting the posture of #1 is awkward, we are humbled because we see the rankings as an indication of client satisfaction and a validation of our "team approach" to complex governmental matters before the legislative and executive branch agencies.

"The rankings exemplify the confidence and trust our clients have in the Firm's Government Relations Division and our commitment to providing our clients with quality representation. I am also pleased to congratulate Joel Rozner, who heads the Firm's Government Relations Division, for again receiving his due recognition as the top-ranked lobbyist as reported by the Maryland State Ethics Commission. Mike Johansen is also to be congratulated for ranking third," said Alan Rifkin, RLLS managing partner.

In addition, Larry Levitan, Eric Bryant and Josh White were all ranked among the State's top lobbyists for reportable income according to the State Ethics' report.

Please contact us if we can be of any assistance to you or your business during the 2010 General Assembly or at any time.

By Aaron C. Davis  |  January 20, 2010; 7:10 PM ET
Categories:  Aaron C. Davis  
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