Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Pa. political activist Gene Stilp (and his pig) to retire

Gene Stilp has inflated his last pig, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Kate Giammarise reports

Mr. Stilp, 64, a longtime Harrisburg activist, a frequent filer of ethics complaints and lawsuits against legislators, a master of political props and protests, and a general thorn-in-the-side of Capitol politicians for many years, has said he will be retiring from activism to focus on health concerns and other activities.

The Dauphin County resident is perhaps best known for his most famous prop, a giant inflatable pig, which he used to protest the Legislature’s 2005 late-night pay raise. The pig became a frequent sight at the Capitol and elsewhere, and the 25-foot-high pink porker has reappeared over the years at other protests of Legislative perks.

“Gene is brilliant at bringing attention to an issue — through his props, through his theatrics, and through his passion,” said Steve Miskin, a spokesman for the House Republican majority, which has frequently been the object of Mr. Stilp’s criticisms.

“His heavyset porcine friend [the pig] flew over my district office parking lot from time to time,” recalled former House Speaker Bill DeWeese, perhaps one of the most infamous of Mr. Stilp’s targets. DeWeese served prison time for using state employees to illegally perform campaign work.

“I am blessed with enough of a sense of humor to have always reacted with a chortle. I don’t hold him in any disesteem or vexation,” DeWeese said."

The full story: Pennsylvania political activist Gene Stilp will retire | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

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