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OPINION
By ALLAN POWELL | May 4, 2012
A less paunchy and suave Jack Abramoff is now making his appearance on talk shows and book signings. His newly published book, “Capitol Punishment,” is a surprisingly open and candid account focused on his life as a lobbyist. The dust cover boldly avers that his story contains, “The hard truth about Washington corruption from America's most notorious lobbyist.” While watching Abramoff in action on television when reading his book was a roller coaster event. It ranged from the high point of a smiling, completely regenerated person to a replay of his former life of deceit and chicanery.
NEWS
By HEATHER KEELS | heather.keels@herald-mail.com | November 1, 2011
Concerned that a new state planning document will be used to "strong-arm" local governments, the Washington County Board of Commissioners decided Tuesday to join other Western Maryland counties in hiring a lobbyist to protect their interests. The commissioners also agreed to send a letter asking Gov. Martin O'Malley to delay implementation of the PlanMaryland document until it can be reviewed by the state legislature. "We want to work with the governor on this document, but we also want to be at the table," Commissioners President Terry Baker said.
NEWS
By HEATHER KEELS | heather.keels@herald-mail.com | September 15, 2011
Representatives of five Western Maryland counties are considering hiring a lobbyist to promote their interests as Maryland develops a comprehensive statewide growth plan, according to Washington County Board of Commissioners President Terry Baker. Baker said he met last week with commissioners from Garrett, Allegany, Frederick and Carroll counties, who discussed contributing $5,000 per county toward a lobbyist. "When we look at our community out here in Western Maryland, we are somewhat unique - we are in Appalachia - and we want to make sure that's discussed in the plan and it meets our needs," Baker said.
NEWS
by TARA REILLY | January 25, 2006
tarar@herald-mail.com The majority of the Washington County Commissioners agreed Tuesday to hire a lobbyist to help boost state lawmakers' support for the county. Two County Commissioners - Vice President William J. Wivell and John C. Munson - voted against the lobbyist, saying they didn't think one was necessary. "I'm not committed to using taxpayers' funding for a lobbyist," Wivell said. Munson said the county has employees who are competent at lobbying state lawmakers on the county's behalf.
NEWS
by JENNIFER FITCH | December 20, 2006
The City of Hagerstown will join a coalition of private and public entities hiring a lobbyist in Annapolis for the 2007 session of the General Assembly. The City Council voted 4-1 Tuesday to contribute $3,000 toward the hiring of Michael V. Johansen, who has been asked to focus on four things - funding for the agricultural commercialization program, protection of state funding for a central booking facility, reform of the prisoner release program and funding for library expansion.
NEWS
By JOSHUA BOWMAN | November 28, 2007
WASHINGTON COUNTY - The Washington County Commissioners on Tuesday voted 4-1 to contribute $10,000 to a local lobbying coalition headed by the Hagerstown-Washington County Chamber of Commerce. Commissioner William J. Wivell voted against the contribution, saying he has never been in favor of governments lobbying other governments. Every year, the coalition puts together a list of priorities and hires a lobbyist to pursue those priorities in Annapolis during the Maryland General Assembly's regular session.
NEWS
by ANDREW SCHOTZ | January 28, 2007
WASHINGTON COUNTY - While Washington County's leaders do business, govern and go about their daily lives, a paid lobbyist is guarding their interests in Annapolis. That's a local coalition's rationale for hiring lobbyist Michael V. Johansen last year and giving him four issues to pursue. Satisfied with last year's results, the business and government coalition - with one new partner - brought Johansen back this year and gave him four new issues. The coalition is paying him almost $20,000.
NEWS
by TIM ROWLAND | January 29, 2004
Today's column is titled "America's Funniest Home Lawmakers. " If you've been following recent news, the most notable is the hiring, by unnamed "businessmen," of Annapolis super-lobbyist Bruce Bereano to play mother hen for funding of Hagerstown's new university campus. Bereano was by far Annapolis' top lobbyist until the "unpleasantness" several years ago when he wound up in the calaboose doing time on a mail fraud rap. Now he's leading the university fight. From one institution to another, I suppose you could say. Known for speaking up for downtrodden organizations that have trouble getting their voices heard, like the tobacco industry, Bereano did not let his brush with the law embarrass or diminish his enthusiasm in the least.
NEWS
By DAN DEARTH | September 5, 2007
HAGERSTOWN - The Hagerstown City Council on Tuesday discussed hiring a lobbyist who would help the city secure state and federal funding to pay for road projects. The council talked about the proposal with Noel Williams of the Greater Hagerstown Committee. Williams said a lobbyist would cost about $50,000 a year and help land public dollars to pay for road projects in Hagerstown and other parts of Washington County. For instance, the lobbyist could be used to secure funding to help pay for making improvements to Interstate 70 and widening Eastern Boulevard from Conrad Court to Md. 64, according to a city memorandum.
ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
By KAUSTUV BASU | kaustuv.basu@herald-mail.com | January 30, 2013
Members of the Washington County Community Coalition met with legislators in the state capital Wednesday as part of an effort to give the county more visibility among lawmakers. The lobbying coalition, which includes the county government and the City of Hagerstown, also hosted a reception Wednesday evening that showcased businesses and organizations from the county. But before the reception, which featured cheese from Palmyra Farm, a Hagerstown business, and wine from Red Heifer Winery, located in Smithsburg, scores of coalition members trooped down the alleys of the Maryland State House, the Senate and House buildings as they met with legislators.
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NEWS
By ANDREW SCHOTZ | andrews@herald-mail.com | June 6, 2012
Michael V. Johansen, an Annapolis lobbyist who represents a Washington County coalition, recapped the 2012 Maryland General Assembly session Wednesday, going from zero to 90 days in about an hour. He quipped that his talk at a Hagerstown-Washington County Chamber of Commerce breakfast actually covered “2012 1/2,” noting the three-day special session last month in addition to the 90-day regular session. Johansen touched on some of the most significant measures that passed, such as the legalization of same-sex marriage, and those that failed, including an attempt to expand gambling in Maryland.
OPINION
By ALLAN POWELL | May 4, 2012
A less paunchy and suave Jack Abramoff is now making his appearance on talk shows and book signings. His newly published book, “Capitol Punishment,” is a surprisingly open and candid account focused on his life as a lobbyist. The dust cover boldly avers that his story contains, “The hard truth about Washington corruption from America's most notorious lobbyist.” While watching Abramoff in action on television when reading his book was a roller coaster event. It ranged from the high point of a smiling, completely regenerated person to a replay of his former life of deceit and chicanery.
NEWS
By JULIE E. GREENE | julieg@herald-mail.com | November 2, 2011
Concerned that parent groups such as PTAs would need to file as lobbyists under proposed new ethics regulations, the Washington County Board of Education Tuesday asked its legal counsel to clarify the issue with the state attorney general. Board member Justin Hartings said it would be "crazy" for a PTA to have to register as a lobbyist. "If the PTA wants the principal to put a welcome mat in front of the school, right, that's advocating for a school official to take an act. It gets silly, and I don't want it to be silly.
NEWS
By HEATHER KEELS | heather.keels@herald-mail.com | November 1, 2011
Concerned that a new state planning document will be used to "strong-arm" local governments, the Washington County Board of Commissioners decided Tuesday to join other Western Maryland counties in hiring a lobbyist to protect their interests. The commissioners also agreed to send a letter asking Gov. Martin O'Malley to delay implementation of the PlanMaryland document until it can be reviewed by the state legislature. "We want to work with the governor on this document, but we also want to be at the table," Commissioners President Terry Baker said.
NEWS
By HEATHER KEELS | heather.keels@herald-mail.com | September 15, 2011
Representatives of five Western Maryland counties are considering hiring a lobbyist to promote their interests as Maryland develops a comprehensive statewide growth plan, according to Washington County Board of Commissioners President Terry Baker. Baker said he met last week with commissioners from Garrett, Allegany, Frederick and Carroll counties, who discussed contributing $5,000 per county toward a lobbyist. "When we look at our community out here in Western Maryland, we are somewhat unique - we are in Appalachia - and we want to make sure that's discussed in the plan and it meets our needs," Baker said.
NEWS
By HEATHER KEELS | October 30, 2009
HAGERSTOWN -- When it comes to lobbying for local interests in Annapolis, next year's focus will be on protecting local resources from cuts, rather than requesting a lot of new funding or legislation, Hagerstown-Washington County Chamber of Commerce President Brien J. Poffenberger said Friday at a meeting of the Greater Hagerstown Committee. The Greater Hagerstown Committee, a group of local business and community leaders, is one of eight local organizations and agencies whose leaders meet each year to set an agenda for the Washington County Community Lobbying Coalition.
NEWS
By DON AINES | February 11, 2009
SCOTLAND, Pa. -- The Foundation for Scotland School for Veterans Children is hiring a professional lobbying firm to help its efforts to keep the 114-year-old school from being closed later this year by Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell. "The foundation has pledged itself as the coordinator and chief advocate for keeping the school open," said Frank Frame, the president of the foundation and the school's former superintendent. "By the end of the week, we'll be up and running with this firm.
NEWS
By DAN DEARTH | January 13, 2009
HAGERSTOWN -- The City of Hagerstown will spend about $108,000 over the next year to retain the services of The Ferguson Group, a federal lobbying firm that represents the city's interests in Washington, D.C. The City Council on Tuesday voted 4-1 during a special session to retain The Ferguson Group from Jan. 15, to Jan. 15, 2010, at a cost of $9,000 per month. Either party may terminate the agreement at any time by giving 30 days notice. The council hired The Ferguson Group in January 2008 for one year of service at a cost of about $100,000.
NEWS
By DAN DEARTH | January 6, 2009
HAGERSTOWN -- A lobbyist working on behalf of the City of Hagerstown told the mayor and City Council on Tuesday that the city could be awarded about $4.1 million in federal funding this year. Kareem D. Murphy of The Ferguson Group said during a City Council work session that about $4 million of the money -- if approved by Congress later this month -- would be earmarked to help pay for a project to extend Professional Court by constructing a bridge over Antietam Creek. The remaining $100,000 would be used to assist minority- and woman-owned businesses, he said.
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