Kevin Blaum pens an opinion column for the Times Leader. It is no secret that the editorial room of the Times Leader is filled with some of the most liberal minds in the country. Therefore it naturally follows that Republicans are not a welcome sight for their board.
Kevin Blaum opined in his latest column that voters should send Eugene Stilp to represent the 11th Congressional District. It is an almost unbelievable endorsement considering the issues Blaum addresses and his previous role on those very same topics. Writing about Stilp he offers this perspective.
Best known for his work on a wide range of taxpayer concerns, Stilp is the proud owner of an oversized inflatable pink pig seemingly ubiquitous throughout central Pennsylvania.
Stilp's giant pink pig, coined Pignelope, represents his perception of government waste, fraud and corruption. She comes in three sizes as well as a school bus painted pink which Stilp uses on his campaign trail traveling around the district.
One of the person's who exemplifies Stilp's cause against government waste is none other than Kevin Blaum. Blaum was the architect of the infamous"midnight pay raise of 2005" that Stilp successfully argued against before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to stop.
Bill O"Boyle of The Weekender(Times Leader) filed this report on Stilp's effort.
“The giant inflatable pig became a symbol of greed and fraud in government and helped defeat many incumbent legislators in 2006 and 2008 who had voted for the midnight pay raise,” Stilp said. “The legislators were being hogs. They were giving pigs a bad name. The pig had to fight back.”
RocktheCapitol with a motto of "the price of apathy is to be ruled by evil men" published this paper on the "pay jackers" who benefitted monetarily from their actions at the expense of Pennsylvania taxpayers.
Blaum's role in this midnight pay raise was multifacted according to their publication.
Mr. Blaum voted for the pay raise, and as minority caucus secretary (the fourth highest-ranking party job) he was flown from Iowa to Harrisburg ($716) courtesy of Mr. DeWeese’s “leadership account” on November 7 to vote on the pay raise repeal.
(Herald Standard, May 12, 2006) Mr.DeWeese is incarcerated for his role in Bonusgate
“A car is a tool,” said Rep. Kevin Blaum, (D-Wilkes-Barre), who billed the state for a leased Ford Explorer and collected an average of about$1,500 a month in per-diems. “Certainly, no one is becoming rich off these expenses.” (Shamrock Times, November 13, 2006)
Rep. Blaum took 215 per diems in 18 months and made an extra $26,824
(Shamrock Times, November 14, 2006) (Keep in mind that per diems are undocumented reimbursements)
Monthly pension & Approximate Lump-Sum Wiothdrawal
$4,579 ($115,000). ( The Associated Press, February 8, 2007)In this report RocktheCapitol makes the point that Blaum was the recipient of a pension bump.
Retired from the legislature, but works as “Associate director for admissions at a private school (Wyoming Seminary).” (Sources: Patriot-News and The Associated Press)
So the questions for Eugene Stilp comes down to this. Mr. Stilp are you willing to acknowledge that Kevin Blaum was verifying you were right about the egregious acts against taxpayers? Are you willing to reject Mr. Blaum's endorsement as a conflict of interest against the principles you claim to represent? Or, is the showmanship on these issues just attention seeking manuevers to get you elected to some position in government? We are still paying for the benefits Blaum gets as a result of his self ingratiating actions.
After all Gene this isn't your first trip to the rodeo. Let's not forget your failed attempt against Representative Sue Helm(R) in the 104th district.
Stilp is starting to look like Steve Urban, wanting to run for any office hoping he gets something.