Brian Sims Hits Rep. Josephs Over ‘Year of the Bible’ Apology

It’s the Year that won’t end. After Philadelphia State Rep. Babette Josephs joined a group of legislators to apologize for their vote in favor of House Resolution 535 — which bizarrely declared 2012 the ‘Year of the Bible’ in Pennsylvania — her primary challenger is hitting her back where it hurts: Her own statements.

“I call on Representative Josephs to reconcile her contradictory statements to constituents and the press regarding her vote on HR 535,” writes 182nd District challenger Brian Sims in a press release. He also regards two statements on the matter by Josephs as contradictory.

Among those statements Sims has a problem with is one she gave to a Philadelphia Magazine writer, in which she stated, “These ‘recognition’ or ‘awareness’ days, weeks or months like HR 535 are proclaimed to honor initiatives and ideas that many Americans hold dear.  They are not meant to be prescriptions for behavior or allegiance…That is the spirit in which I voted for this resolution.  I appreciate your comments.”

Those in favor of the resolution have argued it has everything to do with the history of the country—not declaring Pennsylvania a Christian State.

On Monday, Josephs, alongside State Rep. Mark Cohen and others, apologized for the vote. “I’m sorry I voted for [the resolution]. It came up very quickly. We didn’t have time really to discuss it. I would not vote for something like this again.” Cohen said at the conference, “[Declaring 2012 the Year of the Bible] is not fine as an official state action.” There is currently a petition going around online seeking to repeal the bill.

In the press release, Sims goes on to point out other problems he has with the current state Rep., including, he claims, her killing of the redistricting process. Josephs represents parts of South Philly, Fairmount and Center City, including the Gayborhood. Sims, an openly gay LGBT activist, was the subject of a PW cover story in September.

“We deserve better work from our elected officials,” he writes. “No politician should be entitled to believe they can say one thing to their constituents and another to the press. This series of comments is indicative of the entrenched Harrisburg culture of politicians who believe they can say or do whatever they want and alter facts about their voting behavior, regardless of reality.”

The Year of the Bible resolution, primarily sponsored by state Rep. Rick Saccone, was passed on Tuesday, January 24 by a vote of 193-0. PhillyNow first reported on the matter on January 28, and it has since become a hotbed of controversy in the state, especially with those concerned with church/state issues.

4 Responses to “ Brian Sims Hits Rep. Josephs Over ‘Year of the Bible’ Apology ”

  1. SoPhi says:

    Brian should be upset that legislators don’t read bills. I was at the PA Progressive Summit this weekend at a session on the Assault on Women’s Health. Rep. Pam DeLissio, D-Philadelphia made a very good and passionate point about the way in which the leadership in harrisburg, the Republicans, conduct business. They create complex laws, write amendments and give them to Democrats minutes before a vote. I’m not sure if he’s ever looked at a bill but I can assure that no one can read a bill in a few minutes.

    So Brian should be upset but he should be directing his anger to who is actually responsible, the Republicans who control all of our state government.

    I wonder how Brian will remedy this environment, if elected? Surely he does not believe that he will be viewed as special, that Republicans will let him in on the inside. The culture of Harrisburg is broke but Rep. Joseph’s has been fighting against extremist elements of our government for years.

  2. SoPhi says:

    *Rep. Josephs

  3. Paying Attention says:

    I’m confused with the first comment. Mr. Sims should not be upset with his own state legislator for failing to do her job BECAUSE she fell for a tactic by the Republican leadership? Really?

    Well I’m upset with my legislator and not JUST for falling for the obvious tactic of a Republican in leadership, but also for not reading a bill SHE VOTED FOR! I don’t care how long the bill is or how many they see, it’s the reason we elect them. Plain and simple.

    You’re attacking someone and using the argument that they shouldn’t be upset with their representative for being incompetent but instead should be upset with the Republican who’s actions highlighted that she’s not doing her job. This is foolish.

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