Lobbyist scores a 'scoop' of sorts

When a reporter gets an exclusive, it's called a scoop. But what do you call it when a lobbyist gets to a key  opportunity to influence legislators that all of his colleagues have missed?

Whatever you call it, that's what W. Minor Carter got late Easter Sunday when he was the only lobbyist who managed to get into a locked House office building for the opportunity to talk with members of House leadership about the most heavily lobbied legislation of the year: casino gambling.

Carter represents the National Harbor development in Prince George's County, where Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller wants to locate a new luxury casino. By showing up and finding a way into the building, Carter got an exclusive opportunity to put in a pitch for the latest Senate gambling bill with Busch, Ways and Means Chairman Sheila Hixson and other influential legislators.

As  Busch met with key members of the Ways and Means Committee behind closed doors Sunday night to discuss casino legislation, Carter and a reporter were the only ones waiting in the room outside. For a lobbyist, it's a little like having a dead buffalo on the Great Plains and being the lone vulture to enjoy the feast.

That doesn't necessarily mean the Busch was sold on the Senate bill. In fact, he seemed rather cool to the idea. But Carter showed up. And isn't that 95 percent of what life's about?


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