Thursday, February 04, 2016
Landfill Dumped Nearly $150k in Lower Saucon Council Race
IESI is the corporation that owns the Bethlehem Landfill, and it wants to expand. In order to do that, it needed a compliant Council. On October 23, I reported that the landfill had quietly dumped $95,600 into the Lower Saucon Township Council race, according to campaign finance reports on file at the Northampton County elections office. Its goal was to remove landfill opponents Priscilla M deLeon and David Willard, who were incumbent Council members. It was supporting incumbent Tom Maxfield and challenger Sandra Yerger.
On election eve, I told you the landfill had dumped another $28,700 into the race. The company reported its expenditures. All very legal.
This strategy succeeded in part and failed in part. Landfill opponent Dave Willard was narrowly defeated, but so was landfill proponent Tom Maxfield. Priscilla deLeon managed to hold on to her seat by defeating Maxfield by a scant five votes. Sandra yerger, who is supposed to be an environmentalist, was swept into office with the landfill's money.
According to an annual report that IESI just filed with the elections office, it spent another $21,596.67 after the election, on 11/30/15, for what it calls "individual employee services."
Adding it all up, IESI spent $146,796.67 to buy a local government. Legally.