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Ruling lets parties run ads about legislation

THE BALTIMORE SUN

The Maryland attorney general has ruled that state political parties need not register as lobbyists to run advertisements that attempt to influence legislation.

The opinion posted yesterday on the attorney general's Web site stems from a complaint by the Maryland Democratic Party after Republicans ran radio ads this year. The ads urged listeners to contact three Democratic senators in Anne Arundel County and ask them to support Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s veto of a medical malpractice bill, which included a 2 percent tax on health maintenance organization policies.

Democrats claimed the ads were illegal under a state law requiring anyone spending more than $2,000 to influence legislation to register as a lobbyist.

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