The Baltimore Sun December 5, 1995, Tuesday,

                                            Copyright 1995 The Baltimore Sun Company
                                                        The Baltimore Sun

                                             December 5, 1995, Tuesday, FINAL EDITION

   SECTION: LOCAL (NEWS), Pg. 2B, The Political Game

   LENGTH: 755 words

   HEADLINE: They're lured back, as lobbyists; Call of the capital: Two former delegates can't pass up an opportunity offered by the Maryland
   Horse Breeders Association to see old friends and get paid for it.

   BYLINE: William F. Zorzi Jr., SUN STAFF

   CALL IT legislative karma: What goes around the State House usually comes back around the State House.

   The lure of that virtually self-contained little universe known as Annapolis is strong; that's why so many of its characters keep coming back.
   The return trip offers a chance to see old friends, schmooze the self-important and make a couple of bucks.

   The latest returnees through Maryland's revolving door are Tyras S. "Bunk" Athey and Dennis C. Donaldson, former House of Delegates members
   who will be back in the capital during the approaching legislative session to try their hands at lobbying.

   Both men are semiretired, but, for next year at least, they are teaming up in a loose affiliation with another delegate-turned- lobbyist, Thomas
   P. Kernan, to represent the Maryland Horse Breeders Association.

   Mr. Athey, who stepped down as Maryland's secretary of state in January, and Mr. Donaldson, who ran unsuccessfully for state Senate last
   year, are familiar faces around the State House -- and find it difficult to stay away.

   "I've been in and around Annapolis 15 years, and I can't imagine the session going on and not being there," said Mr. Donaldson, 57, a former
   Prince George's County delegate who now lives in Worcester County.

   "I think basically we're going into it for the same thing," said Mr. Athey, 68, a former Anne Arundel County delegate.

   "You meet an awful lot of nice people when you work in the legislature, acquaintances you just don't want to lose," he said. "Something like this
   lobbying thing seemed to be the ideal thing to do to stay in touch with people."

   Neither of them is in it for the money, they said in a telephone interview.

   "If [it] gets too complicated and keeps us tied up too much, we'll get out of it," Mr. Athey said, sharing a car phone with his colleague as they
   drove to a meeting.

   Mr. Donaldson agreed, saying, "At this point in my life if I can get a couple of clients, I'll be happy."

   But putting aside the fun factor of Annapolis, the horse breeders clearly know a good thing when they see it.

   It's no coincidence that the three former members of the House were picked from among the lobbyists wooing the breeders as clients this year.

   All three Democrats were members of the Ways and Means Committee, the lower house panel that considers horse-racing legislation. Mr. Athey
   was the chairman; Mr. Donaldson, the vice chairman; and Mr. Kernan, 47, a former committee member from Baltimore County who now heads
   the Public Sector Consulting Group.

   "We know a little bit about the industry," Mr. Athey allowed.

   Tim Capps, executive vice president of the Maryland Horse Breeders Association, said that's precisely why the group was chosen for next year's
   session -- at a time when the racing industry faces competition from legalized slot machines at nearby Delaware tracks and proposals for slots
   here in Maryland.

   "They came to the table with a significant amount of knowledge of the horse industry and of the legislative experience and history," Mr. Capps

   "They've got a good comfort level with us, and we've got one with them."

   This comfortable band of three replaces a pair of ex-legislators as the group's lobbyists.

   The Horse Breeders had been represented by the Maryland Public Affairs Group, a lobbying concern that includes Dennis C. McCoy, a Ways and
   Means alumnus from Baltimore, , and Dennis F. Rasmussen, a former Baltimore County executive who once chaired the Senate Finance
   Committee, the upper house's counterpart to Ways and Means on racing matters.

   Mr. McCoy, a lawyer, has become chief executive officer of Mars Super Markets Inc., and he told the breeders that in his new post, he wouldn't
   have the time to work effectively on their behalf.

   Mr. Capps said the decision to switch lobbyists had nothing to do with the fact that Mr. Rasmussen represents Maryland's two harness tracks,
   Delmarva Downs and Rosecroft Race Course -- in which Bally Entertainment, a Chicago-based casino company, has a financial interest and

   "It hadn't come down to a casino issue or anything like that," Mr. Capps said. "We never had to discuss that issue."

   Well then, the switch certainly did happen just in a nick of time -- when Bally officials are weighing a request of the legislature to approve
   hundreds, maybe thousands, of slot machines at Delmarva and Rosecroft.

   All in all, the breeders are quite pleased with their pick.

   "They're very savvy and genial guys," Mr. Capps said. "It's a good marriage."