Gene Stilp (CD 11)
Gene Stilp is a true American Patriot. He has dedicated his life to protecting the interests of taxpayers from the overreach of government . His actions on behalf of the people have caused him great recognition from the people and great contempt from the political elite. Regardless, Gene has never stopped in his quest to make government more responsible to the people. Now, he wants to take his fight to Washington to make the federal government more accountable for all of us.
Nearly all of Gene’s life has been spent in the11th District and he is the only candidate that lives in the district. His mother was born in Beaver Meadows, Carbon County and his father was a union carpenter in Wilkes-Barre. Gene was born in Luzerne County and went to St. Nicholas High School in Wilkes Barre. He then attended and graduated from Kings College. Gene also graduated from the George Mason School of Law in Virginia. He then settled into upper Dauphin County, where he has lived for over 20 years. Gene became a legislative aide at the Pennsylvania House of Representatives where he wrote legislation for ten years.
Gene has consistently fought against government overreach and greed – believing that the people deserve better representation. He worked against the illegal 2005 Pennsylvania legislature pay raise from the time it was passed in the dead of night. Gene personally filed the only state lawsuits against the pay raise and argued the case before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Gene’s efforts helped lead to the legislature reversing themselves and repealing the pay raise. These actions led to the Philadelphia Inquirer naming Gene a “Citizen of the Year” in 2005.
In these efforts, Gene was helped by many volunteers, and a really big Pink Pig. The giant inflatable pig became Gene’s constant companion, as it became the symbol of greed in government. Gene wants to take the fight against government waste, fraud and abuse to Washington – and the Pink Pig will be with him.
Gene also filed the initial complaint in the Bonusgate Scandal, which has led to significant upheaval and questions about the line between performing political work and working for the Commonwealth. Additionally, Gene won a major federal case in the 3rd Circuit against the State Ethics Commission, which opened the way for every Pennsylvanian to file an ethics complaint against elected officials without fear of retribution.
Gene hasn’t just fought against government greed. He has spent three decades speaking out against power utilities’ outrageous rate increases – most recently against PPL’s 30% increase in 2009. As an avid distance walker, Gene decided to take his case to the people. He walked across 20 counties with an oversized electric plug on his back, telling the people to “Pull the plug on PPL’s 30% rate increase.”
In further service to others, Gene is a volunteer firefighter and EMT. After the attack on the World Trade Center on 9/11, Gene went to Ground Zero days after the disaster, where he participated in the recovery process. To further honor that fateful day in our nation’s history, Gene designed the Flight 93 Memorial Flag in tribute to the heroes on the plane that crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, in the first battle in the War on Terrorism. Gene was honored when the federal government asked him to grant the design to them, so that it could be engraved on the commemorative coin for the Flight 93 National Memorial.
Gene has believed in American values for his entire life – so much so, that he took it upon himself to recreate one of the greatest embodiments of those beliefs – The Statue of Liberty. In 1986, to celebrate the monument’s 100 year birthday, Gene, with the help of many volunteers built a replica, made of venetian blinds and plywood and placed it in the middle of the Susquehanna River under the cover of dark. The Lady Liberty of the Susquehanna was supposed to only last 8 weeks, but so many people appreciated the American spirit that the original and the replica brought forth, that a more permanent version had to be created. The current statue, sitting on the same spot in Dauphin County, off Route 322, stands 25 feet tall on a 32 foot pier and weighs four tons. It continues to symbolize the American spirit of freedom for everyone who sees it.
As a strong environmentalist and supporter of Pennsylvania’s sportsmen and sportswomen, Gene helped preserve 8,000 acres of gameland in Stony Valley in Dauphin County. As a past co-chair of the Save Stony Valley Coalition, Gene worked with a coalition of committed volunteers to stop this important land being taken for other uses. This was a great victory for everyone who cares about preserving wildlife and helping to maintain the environment. Additionally, Gene was the State House of Representative’s designee on the Pennsylvania Environmental Quality Board for six years. In that position, Gene helped stop the Mid-Atlantic low level nuclear waste dump from being placed in the Commonwealth.
Gene has been married to Judith for 23 years and lives in Middle Paxton, Dauphin County.