Top 10 Rep. Babette Josephs Quotes, 2011-2012
Since Gov. Tom Corbett’s election—and especially over the past year—our reporting has repeatedly led us to Capitol issues in Philadelphia. And I’ve spoken with a ton [approximate number] of Philly legislators to figure out what, exactly, the Republicans leadership’s plan for our city was. Of those legislators, State Rep. Babette Josephs (D-182) was often the most forthcoming and certainly the most animated of the crew.
Yesterday, she lost a bitter primary battle to LGBT activist and lawyer Brian Sims, who will, in January 2013, become the Pennsylvania state Legislature’s first openly gay elected member (Josephs will serve until then). And we’re no stranger to Sims, either. He was featured on the cover of Philadelphia Weekly shortly before deciding to run for office and is certainly qualified to represent the Center City/South Philly district in the State House. His victory was, as Equality PA put it today, “a long overdue victory” for the LGBT community. And we, of course, congratulate him on his win and hope he stands up for the city the way his former opponent has since the mid-80s.
Until then, we’re presenting, here, the Top 10 Quotes we’ve gotten (or read) from the toughest grandma we know, State Rep. Babette Josephs.
10. Josephs, shortly after the ultrasound bill was introduced: “I’m shocked at the people whose names are on this. They assume—all of them—that women are either childish, frivolous, brainless, stupid or evil.”
9. She continued: “If [constituents] can’t handle their own pregnancies, certainly they’re not qualified to vote for these people who are on this bill, and they should never vote for any of them.”
8. On female supporters of ultrasound legislation: “They must believe that [their constituents] are not capable of making their own health care choices, but they are capable of voting on bills that control all of our behavior…I don’t understand it … I don’t believe they’re really women. … I believe they’re men with breasts.”
7. On all supporters of ultrasound legislation: “What I find profoundly insulting is that these men and women on this bill think their own voters, who they assume are smart enough to vote for them, can’t figure out what their own pregnancies are about and are too stupid…or evil to handle it themselves.”
6. On another anti-abortion measure passed through the House: “I’m just amazed at that the people who are going to vote for this bill…They trust their constituents to vote for them, but not to make decisions for their own lives. That is unacceptable.”
5. On Voter ID: “There has been a lot of talk here from my good colleagues on the other side of the aisle along the lines of what’s the big deal about getting photo ID. ‘I need a photo ID to swim in the gym.’ And the maker of that remark, I have to tell you, our leader is a great swimmer, he’s up and down the aisle. He knows I admire his swimming…’You need a photo id ID you look youthful to buy a pack of cigarettes; you need a photo ID to get a bank account or a credit card.’ I think there’s a difference…Nobody died to swim in a pool no matter how good he or she was at swimming. Nobody died to buy a pack of smokes.”
4. On an anti-immigration measure in Harrisburg: “These bills show fear and contempt against a group of people — and we know they’re Latinos. I would flip an officer off if they or anyone else asked me about my citizenship.”
3. Rep. Josephs to Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, on the same issue: “Let’s not call people names. I don’t call anyone an ‘illegal’ — that is an insult. These people are here without papers or documents.”
2. On Harrisburg Republicans proposing ‘English Only’ legislation rather than ‘Job Creation’ bills: “People want to stay in Philadelphia, but they’re doing nationwide searches [for jobs]. Just so they can make a living. And what are the Republicans in Pennsylvania doing about this? They’re talking about English-only. What a good idea. And they’re making it harder for us to vote. That’s sure bringing a lot of jobs.”
1. I once told Rep. Josephs she was making me depressed with her talk about Republican proposals in the Capitol. She answered: “Believe me, I go around spreading joy wherever I go.”