Gene Stilp

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Gene Stilp
Born (1950-07-01) July 1, 1950 (age 64)
Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania
Known for political activism

Eugene Paul Stilp is the 2014 PA 104th district House of Representatives candidate, running on the Democratic ticket. Stilp is well known for opposing the 2005 Pennsylvania General Assembly pay raise and his combined use of targeted legal action and creative media-generating props to achieve political change in Pennsylvania. He was born in Wilkes-Barre.[1]

Political advocacy[edit]

Gene Stilp at an anti-pay raise rally in front of the Pennsylvania Capitol

He is a non-practicing attorney who has filed many public advocacy suits against the government of Pennsylvania.[2] He is best known as an opponent of the 2005 Pennsylvania General Assembly pay raise controversy.[3]

The Philadelphia Inquirer named Stilp one of the three "Citizens of the Year" in 2005.[4]

The Payraise Pig, one of Stilp's political props, in front of the Pennsylvania State Capitol in 2005.

The Pennsylvania Report named him to the 2009 "The Pennsylvania Report 100" list of influential figures in Pennsylvania politics.[5]

Stilp designed the Flight 93 Memorial Flag.[6]

He was praised by Ralph Nader for his use of props for political activism.[7][8]

Known for ribbing former Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell about his weight, Stilp passed out bumper stickers in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania on February 2 during Rendell's term as governor which read, "PLEASE, GOV. RENDELL - DON'T EAT THE GROUNDHOG!"[9]

Statue of Liberty replica[edit]

Stilp built and installed a replica of the Statue of Liberty on a pier of the late Marysville Bridge in the Dauphin Narrows of Susquehanna River north of Harrisburg. It was made of venetian blinds and stood 18 feet (5.5 m) tall. Six years later, after it was destroyed in a windstorm, it was rebuilt by Stilp and other local citizens, of wood, metal, glass and fiberglass, to a height of 25 feet (7.6 m).[10][11][12][13]

2012 congressional campaign[edit]

Stilp announced in January 2012 that he would seek the Democratic nomination to challenge Republican incumbent Lou Barletta in Pennsylvania's 11th congressional district.[14] In the April 2012 primary, Stilp won 54.6% of the vote defeating Wilkes-Barre attorney Bill Vinsko. Vinsko's campaign spending far outpaced Stilp's; Vinsko spent $102,463 to Stilp's $13,814.[15]

On October 31, 2012, Gene Stilp was endorsed by the greater Harrisburg, PA area by the Patriot News.[16] This article is titled "Give Gene Stilp a chance: Activist makes sense for 11th District." In the article, Gene is heralded for protesting against government excess and acting upon it. For example, after Pennsylvania lawmakers enacted a late-night pay raise in 2005, Stilp was the one who, acting alone on principles of injustice and exploitation, filed the lawsuit and won part of the state Supreme Court case against the method used to award the pay increases. While there are many examples of Gene's candor and resolve, he continues to champion higher education and job creation, a vitally important and current issue in Pennsylvania.[17]

On November 3, 2012, right on the heels of the endorsement by the Harrisburg Patriot-News, Gene Stilp was endorsed by the Citizens' Voice, one of the largest and influential newspapers in the 11th Congressional District.[18] The major points the article goes on to say in its endorsement for Gene as a candidate representative of the 11th Congressional District are as follows: Gene...

   - "has proven to be an effective taxpayer advocate and his positions on the issues"
   - "[will] protect Medicare benefits, supporting fairer taxes, implementing Obamacare"
   - "[will] better reflect the interests of residents of the 11th Congressional District,
      which, after redistricting, now stretches from Wyoming County in the north to
      Cumberland County in the south."

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Barnes, Tom (2007-02-05). "Political watchdog battles for change in Harrisburg". Pittsburgh Post Gazette. Retrieved 2008-04-20. 
  3. ^ Bumsted, Brad (2006-01-08). "Gene Stilp, the court jester". Pittsburgh Tribune Review. Retrieved 2008-04-20. 
  4. ^ "Citizens of the Year". Philadelphia Inquirer. 2006-01-04. Archived from the original on 2006-01-04. Retrieved 2008-04-20. 
  5. ^ "PA Report 100". Pennsylvania Report. Capital Growth, Inc. January 23, 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-08-14. 
  6. ^ Arbogast, Sarah (September 11, 2010). "Thousands Remember Victims of Flight 93 in Shanksville". FOX43. Retrieved 28 October 2012. 
  7. ^ Nader, Ralph (2000-03-28). "Art Attack: Gene Stilp Uses Props And A Wicked Sense Of Humor To Focus Media Attention On Public Policy Issues". Common Dreams. Retrieved 2008-04-20. 
  8. ^ Nader, Ralph (2004). In Pursuit of Justice: Collected Writings 2000-2003. Seven Stories Press. p. 435. ISBN 1-58322-629-X. 
  9. ^ Philadelphia Weekly article which references Stilp passing out bumper stickers Retrieved 2011-11-13
  10. ^ Hartman, Steve (October 28, 2011). "Mystery builders of Lady Liberty replica revealed". CBS Evening News. Retrieved 28 October 2012. 
  11. ^ Scolforo, Mark (2004). "Master of props lends visual effects to memorable publicity campaigns". Associated Press. 
  12. ^ U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Susquehanna River Trail, "Dauphin Narrows/Statue of Liberty"
  13. ^ R. Craig Kochel, personal website, image of the Stilp statue
  14. ^ Gibson, Keegan (January 9, 2012). "Updated: Anti-Pay Raise Activist Gene Stilp to Challenge Barletta". PoliticsPA. Retrieved January 10, 2012. 
  15. ^ Sisak, Michael (April 25, 2012). "Stilp outpolls Vinsko in 11th, will face Barletta". Retrieved 28 October 2012. 
  16. ^ "Give Gene Stilp a chance: Activist makes sense for 11th District". Patriot-News.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  17. ^ "Gene Stilp: We need real reformers in government". Patriot-News.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  18. ^ "Gene Stilp". Citizens' Voice.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)