Conviction No Problem For Maryland’s Top Lobbyist

Unfree State

A 1994 mail fraud conviction has not affected the earning power of Maryland’s top lobbyist Bruce C. Bereano, who reported $801,029 in lobbying compensation from November through April, according to the Washington Post.

He and nine other lobbyists grossed more than $500,000 during the Maryland General Assembly’s last legislative session.

Here is a list of the top 10 companies or industries that spent he most money last session lobbying your legislators:

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1. Pepco – $671,816.

2. Maryland Retailers Association – $407,284.

3. Maryland Bankers Association – $366,759.

4. Maryland Association of Realtors – $348,198.

5. Maryland Jockey Club – $319,619.

6. Philip Morris USA – $314,960.

7. Constellation Energy – $310,526.

8. Maryland State Medical Society – $295,690.

9. CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield – $277,231.

10. Mirant Mid-Atlantic – $260,953.

With these enormous amounts of cash being thrown around, how can the average citizen ever hope to have an equal voice?

Some call for a total overhaul and reform of campaign contributions and lobbying laws, while others say this would only force such money to go underground, and is against the First Amendment rights.

What do you think? Does the system need changing? If so, what solutions would you like to see?

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