Thursday, October 25, 2007


Local patronage abuses are of course a bipartisan activity, but the Republicans seem to have a special talent for it.

The governor's comments followed a Daily News report that the Parking Authority payroll had doubled since Republicans took over six years ago, in a political coup engineered by House Republican leader John Perzel.

At least 20 Parking Authority employees are now drawing six-figure salaries, led by Vincent J. Fenerty Jr., a longtime Republican ward leader who makes $194,500 as the authority's executive director.

That's bigger than anyone on the city payroll. It's $50,000 more than Mayor Street makes and $30,000 higher than Rendell's salary.


"The Philadelphia Parking Authority has become a bloated political-patronage machine where employees feel compelled to contribute time and money to candidates to keep their jobs," McGeehan said in a memo to other House members.

Meanwhile, the authority has become "a quasi-law-enforcement agency" by taking over police functions including towing, impoundment and the new red-light-camera program, McGeehan said.

"No agency anywhere in the state with such broad law-enforcement authority permits any form of partisan political activity, and rightly so," McGeehan said.