Group protests outside Rep. White’s district office

June 20, 2013
Muse resident Hedy Burns, right, looks on Thursday as Cecil Township Supervisor Elizabeth Cowden urges motorists to honk their horns during a protest in front of state Rep. Jesse White’s office on Route 50. About a dozen people protested against the state lawmaker over his use of fake identities on various Internet message boards. - Mike Jones / Observer-Reporter Order a Print

CECIL – A dozen protesters tried to keep the heat on embattled state Rep. Jesse White as they protested Thursday afternoon outside his district office in Cecil Township and demanded he resign.

The group of local protesters, led by Cecil Township Supervisor Elizabeth Cowden, stood along Route 50 and urged motorists passing by to honk their horns in support of their efforts to oust White, D-Cecil.

It was the second time in three days the group protested White after two dozen people traveled by bus to the state Capitol in Harrisburg Tuesday. The protests come less than a month after it was discovered that White had been posting anonymous comments on various Internet message boards attacking constituents.

“It’s not a matter of being a Republican or Democrat, it’s about the person,” said Cecil resident Dave Martincic, who noted he voted for White in the past three elections.

While most of the protesters stood by the side of the road holding signs calling for White to leave office, Martincic walked up the long, gravel driveway to the office to speak to the representative’s staff. White was not around because he’s working on the state budget in Harrisburg, but legislative assistant Nick Gerek spoke to him and offered the group bottles of water because of the sweltering heat outside.

“We’ll make sure he knows you’re here,” Gerek said in a friendly exchange between the two.

“I’m sure he already does,” Martincic said.

Reached for comment in Harrisburg, White said he plans to continue working on the budget and representing the district.

“I am focused on my legislative responsibilities in Harrisburg and on representing all of the more than 60,000 constituents in my legislative district, including those who disagree with me,” White said.

But group members said they will continue to protest White until he resigns or they defeat him in next year’s election.

“We’re not going to stop until he’s gone,” Cowden said.

Martincic said his biggest problem is about trust and acknowledged he might have forgiven White if he had immediately admitted to the online shenanigans. But the denials to both television and newspaper reporters were too much for him to ignore.

“It’s everything,” Martincic said. “His whole attitude. His whole demeanor. If you can’t use your real name, then don’t put (online comments) out there. He lost all credibility.”

Mike Jones has been a news reporter since 2005, covering crime, state and municipal government, education and energy. In addition to working at the Observer-Reporter, he also has spent time at the Charleston (W.Va.) Daily Mail and He holds a journalism degree from West Virginia University.

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