The Baltimore County Code defines lobbying as follows:
“Lobbying” means communicating with a public official of the legislative or executive branch of county government, in the presence of that public official, for the purpose of influencing legislative or executive action.
“Lobbying” includes engaging in activities with the express purpose of soliciting others to communicate with a public official of the legislative or executive branch of the county government for the purpose of influencing legislative or executive action.
“Lobbyist” means a person who engages in lobbying in the presence of any official or employee of the legislative or executive branch, and who, within a reporting period:
(i) For the purpose of influencing legislative action:
- Communicates with a public official of the legislative or executive branch and:
- A. Incurs $100 or more of expenses, cumulatively, not including personal travel and subsistence expenses; or
- B. Receives $500 or more as compensation;
For the purpose of influencing executive action:
- Communicates with public officials of the executive branch; and
- Expends a cumulative value of $100 or more on meals, beverages, special events, or gifts for public officials of the executive branch; or
For the purpose of influencing the comprehensive rezoning process:
- Engages in lobbying; and
- Expends money, irrespective of the amount, on a public official for meals, beverages, special events, or gifts.
Every week dozens of individuals pass through the doors of our building (the lobbyists), each with a goal in mind on behalf of some entity or cause, and every week public officials must hear their arguments and the voices of our constituents, weighing arguments against one another and ultimately making a legislative decision using our best judgment. Make no mistake, it is the voice of our constituents (you) that I value above all else. As a check on the amount of influence a lobbyist can exert over public officials, there are laws and rules put in place to monitor their activities. The rules for Baltimore County are different from those required by the State of Maryland, and the rules enforced at the federal level.
Below are the Baltimore County reports of all individuals and entities that filed Registrations and/or Reports related to lobbying activities in Baltimore County for the entire year of 2016 and for the first month of 2017. It should be noted that it is incumbent upon the lobbyist to comply with registration and reporting requirements detailed in the Baltimore County Code, specifically § 7-1-501 – § 7-1-512. Failure to properly register and report lobbying activity can be enforced through criminal proceedings at the request of the County Council attorney. The mere absence of a name from these lists does not guarantee that they did not engage in lobbying activities. If an individual does regularly lobby in business practice, and their name is not on one of these lists, it may suggest that they did not report their activities. All questions, concerns, allegations, or complaints related to lobbying activities should be referred to the Baltimore County Ethics Commission, here. We would also like to note that our office is currently reviewing files related to lobbying activity that occurred on behalf of individuals not listed in these reports for 2016 because the names of several individuals have been brought to our attention, that engaged in lobbying activity with the Council, that are not on these lists. We will update this post as information becomes available.
2/17/17 – This list has been updated to include the CZMP related lobby registrations filed on behalf of John B Gontrum for the 2016 CZMP session. These forms do not apply to an unrelated issue for which he lobbied our office during 2016. The forms do show numerous clients related to issues which could lead to conflicts of interest for the Commission.
2016 Lobbyist Registration and Report List
2017 Lobbyist Registration and Report List
CZMP Related Lobby Filings by John B Gontrum and his firm