Thursday, September 18, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Scary Pols for Halloween

Harrisburg activist Gene Stilp is back with a new take on the push to change the state's system of award Electoral College votes; pretty scary, kids.

Scary Pols for Halloween

(A brief discussion twixt Baer & Baer's editor, a.k.a. BE)

JB: Yo, boss, you remember Gene Stilp, right?

BE: Sure, Harrisburg activist, political gadfly, creator of the pink pig to protest the legislative payraise.

JB: We'll he's back in action for Halloween with, count `em, two political tricks that, for many, are a real treat.

BE: Do tell.

JB: Today, he scheduled a Capitol news conference condemning the attempt to change the state's system of awarding Electoral College votes in next year's presidential election.

BE: The plan put forth by Senate Republican Leader Dominic Pileggi to award the votes on the basis of congressional districts instead of the current winner-take-all system.

JB: Key-rect. Stilp's visuals? A six-foot depiction of Pileggi as Count Dracula, complete with fangs, and a silver stake to "drive through the heart" of Pileggi's plan.

BE: Oh boy.

JB: While Stilp was passing out his press release he told me Pileggi wants to count, "Vun, two, tree electoral votes!"

BE: A funny guy.

JB: There's more. He recently distributed homemade Halloween masks of state Sen. Jane Orie of Pittsburgh.

BE: The former Senate leader, still in office but facing a corruption retrial and possibly new charges related to forgery and perjury that grew out of her first trial, which ended in a mistrial.

JB: You know your stuff. Anyway, Stilp made life-size masks out of a full-color reproduction of an Orie photo in which she's offering a classic Orie scowl, sorta like this.


JB: You can cut it out and wrap around your face. The directions say: "Cut along lines. Put on head. Go Insane."

BE: That Stilp is one creative guy.

JB:  Yeah, but that Orie mask? Pretty scary, kids. Grrr.





John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
About this blog
John Baer has been covering politics and government for the Daily News since 1987. The National Journal in 2002 called Baer one of the country's top 10 political journalists outside Washington, saying Baer has, "the ability to take the skin off a politician without making it hurt too much." E-mail John at

John is the author of the book "On The Front Lines of Pennsylvania Politics: Twenty-Five Years of Keystone Reporting" (The History Press, 2012). Reach John at

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
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