Solid Waste Authorities; or,
“Two Party Systems” in the Suburbs

From May 4th to June 7th, 1993, the Pennsylvania Delaware County Republican Finance Committee raised more than $90,000 in contributions, mostly due to a big fund-raising dinner. The Democrats raised $6,330. The Republicans are about as dominant in this suburban Philadelphia county as they are in any County in the country.

Top contributors to the Delaware County Republicans include:

• Truman F. Painton, regional vice-president for Diversified Health Services (DHS) in Plymouth Meeting ($600). DHS maintains a $15,500-a-month contract with the county to perform administrative services at the county’s nursing home, Fair Acres Geriatric Center. Painton lives in next-door Chester County. Individual doctors at Fair Acres also contributed to the GOP.

• A. Alexander Fungaroli, president of Applied Geotechnical and Environmental Services Corp. (AGES) in Norristown, gave $3,000. AGES performs engineering work for the Delaware County Solid Waste Authority. Fungaroli also gave $1,000 to the county GOP in January. [continued]


• Matthew J. Hayes, chief executive officer of the Delaware County Solid Waste Authority, gave $2,000 to the county GOP in May and $1,000 in January.
• Joseph W. Vasturia, chairman of the Delaware County Solid Waste Authority and a frequent county contractor for engineering services, gave $450.
• William H. Ryan Jr., the county district attorney, gave $450.
• Joseph Petrovitch, co-owner of Radio Communications Services Inc. in Eddystone, gave $1,500. Last month, the county entered into a lease agreement with Radio Communications that will cost the county nearly $22,000. Since 1983, Joseph and his son, Dale Lee Petrovitch, have given more than $40,000 in contributions to the county GOP. During that time, Radio Communications has received many lucrative contracts from the county.
• John A. Yannacone, who has performed no-bid accounting work for the county, gave $1,500. He also gave $1,000 in January. [continued]
Not all givers are linked to contracts awarded. Dominic J. Cappelli Jr. gave the county GOP $1,500. But his firm of D&J Cappelli Inc. just lost a contract with the Solid Waste Authority to haul trash from the county’s transfer station in Chester Township to the Westinghouse incinerator in Chester, PA.

---from records filed with the Delaware County Election Bureau in 1993, discussed in an article by Robert Moran, Philadelphia Inquirer, 7-4-93, pp. MD1, 4.


Holding fund-raising dinners after many major contracts are decided: this way it looks as if there is no quid pro quo. Also, have several throughout the year, so it looks as if these have their own logic of scheduling (party business) separate from county business.

Other regular donors include officials who hold positions in the bureaucracy that are neither patronage nor elected positions; they were presumably hired by these organizations on their merits as professionals. But they clearly think it worth their while to contribute to the dominant political organization that runs County machinery---and many of them are likely to be registered Republicans as well.

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