American Joe Miedusiewski


March 24, 2007|By Jacques Kelly

American Joe Miedusiewski has not held elective office since 1995, but he has never really left Annapolis either. He's a lobbyist and marketer for the Baltimore law firm of Semmes, Bowen & Semmes.

At 57, the former delegate and state senator from Canton is now a man to see for insider knowledge of the legislative process.

"I'm working for my clients these days from dawn to dusk," he said yesterday as he was about to go into the Senate committee hearing on a proposal for a liquefied natural gas port at Sparrows Point. He represents AES Corp., a global power supply company.

His clients also include businesses doing work in telecommunications, health care and energy.

His office is on the 15th floor of the firm's building at Pratt and Howard streets, not far from the Inner Harbor, where you might spot him at lunch time - but not when the General Assembly is in session.

Born Joseph Francis Miedusiewski, he was raised above his father's tavern at Foster and Luzerne avenues in Canton. His father was a Democratic political operative who founded the Luzerne Avenue Democratic Club and was a lieutenant in the political organization of state Sen. Joseph A. Staszak of old Highlandtown fame.

Miedusiewski changed his name to American Joe in 1974 - and won five elections with the name before losing in a 1994 primary for governor.

When he's entertaining clients, you might catch him at Harry Browne's Restaurant or the Rams Head Tavern in Annapolis, or at Boccaccio in Little Italy.

Although long connected to the rowhouse neighborhood of Southeast Baltimore, Miedusiewski now lives in Monkton.

He likes to read American history. He recently completed Manhunt, The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer, the story of assassin John Wilkes Booth.

"Booth was buried in Green Mount Cemetery," Miedusiewski said of the famed resting place located at Greenmount Avenue and Oliver Street. "And Green Mount Cemetery is one of my clients, too."

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