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By JoAnna Daemmrich and JoAnna Daemmrich,SUN STAFF | March 20, 1998
Darkness has long fallen by the time the cheerful legislators and lobbyists finish celebrating the birthday of a colleague and leave the Maryland Inn. But for Del. James W. Campbell, it's still early enough to get his fix.One more round on the Stairmaster.In a place that always had a reputation for overindulgence -- expense account dinners, receptions laden with rich finger foods and free liquor, late-night cigars and cognac -- a man such as Campbell once stuck out like a teetotaler at a fraternity party.
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NEWS
By Michael Dresser and Michael Dresser,SUN STAFF | July 18, 2003
When about 60 Maryland lawmakers take off for the National Conference of State Legislatures annual meeting in San Francisco next week, at least two dozen Maryland lobbyists won't be far behind. Their ranks include some of the top "hired guns" in Annapolis, as well as government relations officials for companies, trade associations and the state teachers union. Among them will be Bruce C. Bereano, who attracted attention to the event by inviting lawmakers on a luncheon cruise aboard a clipper ship during a conference work session.
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NEWS
By William F. Zorzi Jr. and William F. Zorzi Jr.,SUN STAFF | October 12, 1996
Michael W. Burns and Kimberly A. McCoy are consulting authorities higher than Emily Post regarding the do's and don'ts for their pending nuptials.He's a Maryland legislator. She's a lobbyist. And the rules of engagement are a little outside the norm.In fact, many of them will have to be decided by the State Ethics Commission before the wedding Nov. 23.The Burns-McCoy union-to-be has found itself in somewhat uncharted territory governed by the state's complicated ethics law -- which, among other things, generally prohibits legislators from receiving gifts worth more than $15 from lobbyists.
NEWS
By Jeff Barker and Michael Dresser and Jeff Barker and Michael Dresser,SUN STAFF | June 2, 2001
Despite efforts to curb the influence of big money in Annapolis, lobbying Maryland lawmakers remains a $22 million-a-year industry that heavily employs free food and drink to get legislators' attention. The State Ethics Commission released preliminary figures yesterday showing that interest groups paid lobbyists $22.6 million to push their causes in the General Assembly last year. The total was only $800,000 less than in 1999 -- even though legislators and lobbyists were operating under a major new ethics law designed to limit the influence of lobbyists in the State House.
NEWS
By William F. Zorzi Jr. and William F. Zorzi Jr.,SUN STAFF | April 7, 2000
The General Assembly gave final approval yesterday to an ethics reform bill that will require the disclosure of business transactions between legislators and lobbyists. With no debate, the Senate approved the legislation 40-5, sending it to the governor's desk for his expected signature. The compromise measure was developed by legislative leaders after a proposal to ban such transactions received a cool reception from lawmakers and others. "The bill continues to move us forward in our effort to strengthen the culture of our institution regarding ethics," said House Speaker Casper R. Taylor Jr. "Hopefully, it will continue to improve the public perception regarding the integrity of our state government."
NEWS
By Greg Garland and Greg Garland,SUN STAFF | January 7, 2000
Legislative leaders said they still plan to push for legislation this year to bar Maryland lawmakers from doing business with lobbyists, although the proposal got a cool reception yesterday from a task force studying lobbying reforms. During a three-hour task force meeting, the proposal -- which ethics law experts said would apparently be the first of its kind in the nation -- was criticized as overly broad and unworkable by several panel members. And to the surprise of many of them, the executive director of the government watchdog group Common Cause/Maryland said she shared that view.
NEWS
February 9, 1991
There is nothing like a crisis of confidence to get politicians moving forcefully on an issue. Such is the case with campaign finance legislation in Annapolis. The situation had been allowed to fester for years, growing so severe that top legislative leaders said they finally acted because of "the perception that democracy has been corrupted by special interests."That's pretty strong language. But then the overt effort by certain lobbyists to gain special favors from lawmakers has been pretty egregious.
NEWS
By Frank Langfitt and Frank Langfitt,Sun Staff Writer | April 5, 1995
An ethics reform package that would require lobbyists to reveal which lawmakers they wine and dine in Annapolis crossed a major legislative hurdle yesterday and appears headed for passage.The Senate Economic and Environmental Affairs Committee unanimously passed the bills, which would also prohibit lobbyists from giving legislators gifts worth more than $15.Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr., a Prince George's Democrat, said he expected the full Senate to enact the package before the General Assembly adjourns Monday.
NEWS
December 31, 2000
SINCE WE ARE governed by frail human beings, distinct boundaries must be drawn to separate legal from illegal behavior. We have anything but clarity in Annapolis now. The welter of rules governing legislators and lobbyists is impenetrable, often unclear and sometimes nonsensical. Cynics say it works that way on purpose: hard to understand from the outside and harder to enforce. Confusion is part of what a U.S. District Court judge recently called "a culture of corruption" in Maryland's state capital.
NEWS
June 14, 1995
In the Annapolis State House, money -- doled out by exceptionally well-paid lobbyists -- often proves persuasive. More and more, legislators are succumbing to the wiles of paid advocates whose livelihood depends on tilting the legislative process in their clients' favor.That trend was hammered home once again with the latest six-month report from the State Ethics Commission on the millions of dollars spent on lobbying in the most recent 90-day General Assembly session. Even when lobbyists didn't win an outright victory, they shoveled money into influence-peddling in a big way.Early in the 1995 legislative session, Gov. Parris N. Glendening, House speaker Casper R. Taylor, D-Western Maryland, and Senate president Thomas V. Mike Miller, D-Prince George's, pronounced all moves toward casino gambling this year dead.
NEWS
December 31, 2000
SINCE WE ARE governed by frail human beings, distinct boundaries must be drawn to separate legal from illegal behavior. We have anything but clarity in Annapolis now. The welter of rules governing legislators and lobbyists is impenetrable, often unclear and sometimes nonsensical. Cynics say it works that way on purpose: hard to understand from the outside and harder to enforce. Confusion is part of what a U.S. District Court judge recently called "a culture of corruption" in Maryland's state capital.
NEWS
By Paul G. Pinsky | August 8, 2000
ANNAPOLIS -- It was indeed strange appearing in federal court as a witness for the prosecution. I was cast as the bogeyman by an Annapolis lobbyist in a scheme to defraud his clients. It seems that my persistent unwillingness to toe the corporate line made me the perfect foil. After a month-long trial, Gerald Evans, the corporate lobbyist, was convicted in federal court on nine counts of fraud. The charges? He created a phony threat of legislation harmful to his clients so he could bilk his corporate clients out of higher fees -- close to $400,000 over three years.
NEWS
By William F. Zorzi Jr. and William F. Zorzi Jr.,SUN STAFF | April 7, 2000
The General Assembly gave final approval yesterday to an ethics reform bill that will require the disclosure of business transactions between legislators and lobbyists. With no debate, the Senate approved the legislation 40-5, sending it to the governor's desk for his expected signature. The compromise measure was developed by legislative leaders after a proposal to ban such transactions received a cool reception from lawmakers and others. "The bill continues to move us forward in our effort to strengthen the culture of our institution regarding ethics," said House Speaker Casper R. Taylor Jr. "Hopefully, it will continue to improve the public perception regarding the integrity of our state government."
NEWS
By M. Dion Thompson and M. Dion Thompson,SUN STAFF | March 24, 2000
The General Assembly moved a step forward in the continuing fight over ethics reform yesterday when the House of Delegates gave preliminary approval to a bill requiring disclosure of business transactions between legislators and lobbyists. "It's not everything we wanted, but it's another step in the right direction," said House Speaker Casper R. Taylor Jr. "It will help further enhance an internal cultural change in our institution regarding our relationship with lobbyists." The bill was one of two that legislative leaders submitted early last month.
NEWS
By Greg Garland and Greg Garland,SUN STAFF | January 7, 2000
Legislative leaders said they still plan to push for legislation this year to bar Maryland lawmakers from doing business with lobbyists, although the proposal got a cool reception yesterday from a task force studying lobbying reforms. During a three-hour task force meeting, the proposal -- which ethics law experts said would apparently be the first of its kind in the nation -- was criticized as overly broad and unworkable by several panel members. And to the surprise of many of them, the executive director of the government watchdog group Common Cause/Maryland said she shared that view.
NEWS
July 2, 1998
THE Little Campus may not rank as an historic site in the state capital where Washington resigned as commander of the Continental Army, but it has been a fixture on Maryland Avenue as long as most Annapolitans can remember.Annapolis saw dramatic changes in the 74 years that the Nichols family ran the restaurant, changing from a sleepy port into a tourist mecca. But residents, legislators and visitors could always depend on a home-cooked meal there at a reasonable price. Come tomorrow, though, owner Evangelos T. Nichols closes the doors.
NEWS
July 2, 1998
THE Little Campus may not rank as an historic site in the state capital where Washington resigned as commander of the Continental Army, but it has been a fixture on Maryland Avenue as long as most Annapolitans can remember.Annapolis saw dramatic changes in the 74 years that the Nichols family ran the restaurant, changing from a sleepy port into a tourist mecca. But residents, legislators and visitors could always depend on a home-cooked meal there at a reasonable price. Come tomorrow, though, owner Evangelos T. Nichols closes the doors.
NEWS
By M. Dion Thompson and M. Dion Thompson,SUN STAFF | March 24, 2000
The General Assembly moved a step forward in the continuing fight over ethics reform yesterday when the House of Delegates gave preliminary approval to a bill requiring disclosure of business transactions between legislators and lobbyists. "It's not everything we wanted, but it's another step in the right direction," said House Speaker Casper R. Taylor Jr. "It will help further enhance an internal cultural change in our institution regarding our relationship with lobbyists." The bill was one of two that legislative leaders submitted early last month.
NEWS
By JoAnna Daemmrich and JoAnna Daemmrich,SUN STAFF | March 20, 1998
Darkness has long fallen by the time the cheerful legislators and lobbyists finish celebrating the birthday of a colleague and leave the Maryland Inn. But for Del. James W. Campbell, it's still early enough to get his fix.One more round on the Stairmaster.In a place that always had a reputation for overindulgence -- expense account dinners, receptions laden with rich finger foods and free liquor, late-night cigars and cognac -- a man such as Campbell once stuck out like a teetotaler at a fraternity party.
NEWS
January 17, 1997
ONE AXIOM about politicians continues to ring true: They never fail to disappoint. Newly appointed state Sen. Robert R. Neall's decision to register as a lobbyist while serving in the Maryland General Assembly is profoundly disillusioning.Even though Mr. Neall says he has registered as a lobbyist so as to comply with Anne Arundel County's strict ethics law, he has created an impossible conflict of interest. His two clients are developers. One is Driggs Construction, which is planning a $300 million townhouse complex near Baltimore-Washington International Airport.
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