Saturday, March 28, 2009

Fayette Commissioners Hired Delta Lobbyists Won't Release

them from the county's services.

Wait until the locals get hold of this right? The commissioner meetings will be packed with taxpayers who have to fork over nearly 10,000 per month for the organization, right?

don't bet on it. The public who put the two commissioners into office won't raise the barn, or storm the courthouse.

they didn't raise an eyebrow when the pair authorized the Delta Development Group to lobby on behalf of Fayette County for state and federal monies, and they won't be upset that the pair are staunchly defending the firm.

Net the Truth Online

Hempfield has second thoughts on lobbyist
By Richard Gazarik TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Saturday, March 28,

A lobbying firm with clients in Western Pennsylvania has become politically toxic after the revelation that it allegedly received $1 million in tax money as part of a no-work contract with a Beaver County nonprofit with ties to former state Rep. Mike Veon.

One day after the House Democratic caucus canceled a contract with Delta Development Group, based in Mechanicsburg, Republican Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi ordered members of his party to steer clear of Delta lobbyists.

"I am suspending any contact between any representative of Delta Development and my office until Delta provides an adequate explanation of the nature and extent of its relationship with the House Democratic caucus," Pileggi said Friday.

Two of Delta's clients are Hempfield Township and Fayette County. Both are paying the consulting group $8,500 a month to obtain state grants to fund improvement projects.

While the Hempfield supervisors will schedule a special meeting to discuss the future of Delta as the township's lobbyist, Fayette County commissioners say they are standing by the firm.

Hempfield supervisors are paying Delta more than $200,000 through October 2010 to obtain grants to fund several critical projects. They approved a contract with Delta in October.

The supervisors had second thoughts after Delta's name surfaced in connection with a criminal probe of Veon, who steered the $1 million contract to Delta on behalf of Beaver Initiative for Growth...

...Delta is being paid more than $100,000 by Fayette County, which signed a contract in January. Commissioners Vincent Zapotosky and Vince Vicites said the money is well spent. Commissioner Angela Zimmerlink opposed the hiring but declined to comment yesterday.

"I do intend to contact the folks at the office and get an understanding of what happened, why it happened and any ramifications," Zapotosky said. "I don't want to be (painted) guilty by association."

"We will be judged on the results. Hopefully, folks in Fayette County realize we are now on a level playing field with some of the bigger boys who tend to have gotten more than we've gotten," he said.

"They've impressed me with their skills," Vicites said. "This is too big of a funding year for us not to go 150 percent aggressively toward that funding."

"We're going to keep Delta's feet to the fire producing ... for Fayette County. We're going to get our money's worth."

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