Bereano again is top-paid Md. lobbyist

June 01, 1991|By John W. Frece | John W. Frece,Annapolis Bureau of The Sun

ANNAPOLIS -- To land Maryland's lucrative lottery computer contract, the GTECH Corp. of Rhode Island seems to have decided, "You've got to pay to win."

GTECH paid Annapolis lobbyist Bruce C. Bereano perhaps the largest fee any company ever paid a legislative lobbyist in Annapolis during a six-month reporting period: $93,000.

And the investment paid off. The company won a $64 million contract from the Maryland State Lottery Agency, at the same time taking the business away from its computer industry rival, Control Data Corp.

Mr. Bereano shared the work -- and $20,000 of his fee -- with former Gov. Marvin Mandel. Both men have close relationships with Gov. William Donald Schaefer.

GTECH helped Mr. Bereano maintain his position as the highest-paid lobbyist in the state, according to financial disclosure forms filed yesterday with the State Ethics Commission for the period Nov. 1, 1990, to April 30, 1991.

"I think they realized the difficulty of the task and the amount of work involved," Mr. Bereano said yesterday of GTECH.

During the six-month reporting period, Mr. Bereano represented 57 clients and was paid $656,780. He was paid $46,000 by the Tobacco Institute to stop anti-smoking legislation, but was unable to ward off a double tax increase on cigarettes. Mr. Bereano insists that his tobacco clients were relieved the tax increases were not higher.

He was paid $46,500 by the state's nursing home industry; $30,000 by Motorola Inc., which wants the state to buy an expensive new emergency communications system; $27,600 by the Chambers Development Co. of Monroeville, Pa., a firm interested in legislation involving solid waste disposal; $15,000 from Radar, a radar detector company that he says works "in defense of motorists' rights"; and $50,400 from the Marine Spill Response Corp., a non-profit organization that he says is interested in legislation establishing uniform immunity from liability for those who respond to oil spills (other than the negligent party).

Second on the list of top moneymakers among lobbyists was veteran Baltimore lawyer Franklin Goldstein, who represented about half as many clients (25) as Mr. Bereano and earned about half as much money, $383,062.

Mr. Bereano was hardly the only lobbyist to bring home a large fee from a single client during the last reporting period, which encompassed the 90-day 1991 General Assembly session. Doctors and lawyers also proved to be big spenders.

The Medical and Chirurgical Faculty of Maryland -- the state's medical society -- paid lobbyist Gerard E. Evans $92,000 to represent its interests on dozens of health issues.

Barely outdone, the Maryland Trial Lawyers Association paid lobbyist Dennis C. McCoy, a former Baltimore delegate, a fee of $86,200, rewarding him, at least in part, for a relentless and ultimately successful campaign against no-fault insurance.

Together, the 10 biggest money making lobbyists brought in more than $3.1 million in personal earnings during the six-month period. Even so, Mr. Bereano said the recession affected lobbyists just like everyone else.

His earnings for the period, for instance, were down approximately $100,000 from the comparable six months a year ago. He also said he cut out, or cut back, the elaborate entertaining for legislators that has been a trademark of his career.

The recession, however, did not seem to slow the state's medical profession from spending. In addition to paying Mr. Evans $92,000, the society also paid his law partners, Alan M. Rifkin, Edgar P. Silver and Joel D. Rozner, $30,000, $2,000 and $1,000, respectively.

The city of Baltimore also paid Mr. Silver, a retired Baltimore Circuit Court judge, a fee of $9,500 to -- in Mr. Silver's own, handwritten words -- "influence legislation for the mayor of Baltimore."

10 top lobbyists

Here is a list of the top 10 money makers among legislative lobbyists in Annapolis during the six-month reporting period Nov. 1, 1990, to April 30, 1991:

1. Bruce C. Bereano: 57 clients; $656,780 in total compensation; largest single fee: GTECH Corp. (lottery computers), $93,000.

2. Franklin Goldstein

25 clients; $383,063 in total compensation; largest single fee: Maryland Association of Chain Drug Stores, $56,970

3. Alan M. Rifkin: 22 clients; $367,062 in total compensation; largest single fee: State medical society; Control Data Corp., (lottery computers); Colonial Pipeline Co.: $30,000 each.

4. Ira C. Cooke: 30 clients; $348,240 in total compensation; largest single fee: PIE Mutual Insurance Co. (malpractice insurance), $31,000

5. James J. Doyle Jr.: 21 clients; $301,883 in total compensation; largest single fee: American Insurance Association, $50,659

6. Dennis C. McCoy: 24 clients; $286,414 in total compensation; largest single fee: Maryland Trial Lawyers Association, $86,200

7. Joseph A. Schwartz III: 14 clients; $268,950 in total compensation*; largest single fee: Committee for Fair Statutes of Repose in Maryland, $47,008.*one client report unavailable

8. J. William Pitcher: 16 clients; $215,675 in total compensation; largest single fee: National Solid Waste Management Association, $29,064

9. Gerard E. Evans: 17 clients; $200,166 in total compensation; largest single fee: State medical society, $92,000

10. George N. Manis: 11 clients; $159,375 in total compensation; largest single fee: Maryland Podiatric Medical Association, $20,500

Source: Lobbyist disclosure forms filed with the State Ethics Commission

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