"What's black and white and read all over?"

Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Posted 1:41 PM by

If you can't beat them...

Will taxpayer advocate Gene Stilp accept a per diem if he gets elected to the state House? I think not.Become one of them?

Former Pennsylvania lieutenant governor candidate and anti-legislative pay raise activist Gene Stilp has found another way to get under the skin of state lawmakers.

He wants to join them.

Stilp told the Harrisburg Patriot-News he's collecting signatures with an eye towards the Democratic nomination for the 104th state House district seat. He ran unsuccessfully for lieutenant governor in 2006 and twice argued cases before the state Supreme Court, arguing each time that the Legislature was out of control.

Running for the state House "is another platform to produce reform," Stilp told the newspaper.

Lord knows, our legislators can't seem to do it on their own.

Case in point, the long-delayed "reform" of the state's Open Records Law.

Public access to county coroner's autopsy reports and arbitration documents for public school teachers involved in labor disputes are among the issues that still need to be resolved, said Deborah Musselman, a lobbyist for the Pennsylvania Newspapers Association.

Meanwhile, I'm willing to bet the update to the bill won't do anything to change the opaque nature of how our legislators spend our tax money.

As I wrote in 2006, Bob Bauder of the Beaver County Times wanted to know what his area lawmakers are spending and had to make at least two requests in writing, wait a few weeks in between for approval, shell out 50 cents per page for copying and be willing to sit in a closet for hours on end.

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