Activist Gene Stilp joined several supporters in front of his trademark, 15-foot-high pink inflatable pig Friday morning, the group holding a banner that read “100 years of corruption.”
State Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski, D-Wilkes-Barre, stood smiling on top of the Luzerne County Courthouse steps – about snout high with Ms. Piggie.
“Come on down and help hold the sign!” Stilp yelled up to Pashinski. The legislator demurred, flashing his toothy grin, and gestured with his hands toward the huge hog. “America at its best!” he shouted before heading into the rotunda for the courthouse rededication, which marked the start of the building’s centennial celebration.
Pashinski was, of course, referring to Stilp’s demonstration of a core Constitutional right: Freedom of speech.
Stilp conceded that his “100 years of corruption” banner had been recycled from a protest three years ago during the centennial of the Harrisburg Capitol building. That much was kind of obvious. The banner boasted a pink pig on each end that, at one time, had the dates 1906 and 2006 across their sides. Those dates had been painted over, making the sign suitable for any government centennial.
The veteran activist objected to having State Supreme Court Justice Max Baer as keynote speaker for the rededication, contending that Baer disgraced himself by accepting the “illegal pay raise” the legislation approved in the wee morning hours in 2005. Who would he rather see at the podium?
“Average citizens,” he said. Children who were jailed by the two disgraced judges. Courthouse workers who toil under the onus of corrupt officials. Better yet, “this should be the start of a weeklong ethics conference.”
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