Pennsylvania State Rep. Brian Sims — Photo: Twitter
If you’re at all concerned about the fallout from last week’s election, Brian Sims is here to help make things (at least a little) better.
Donald Trump and leading Republicans across the country have seemingly waged full-scale war against democracy, after President-elect Joe Biden emerged victorious from a drawn out election that saw him clear the necessary 270 electoral votes required in order to become president.
Trump and his lackeys in the Republican Party are accusing, without evidence, Democrats of stealing the election, and claiming, again without evidence, widespread voter fraud — something the New York Times recently discredited in an extensively reported article.
If that’s getting you down, news out of Pennsylvania earlier this week likely didn’t help.
The Keystone State handed Biden 20 electoral votes, putting him over the line to be declared President-elect, but Republican leaders suggested they might ignore the popular vote and instead send electors to the Electoral College to vote for Donald Trump.
Enter state Rep. Brian Sims, to assuage fears that the GOP — who were recently accused of trying to hide a positive COVID-19 diagnosis from their Democratic colleagues — could actually pull it off.
In a video uploaded to his social media accounts, the openly gay lawmaker and outspoken LGBTQ activist said he wanted to “try to alleviate some of the fears that people are having around the country” after watching the “disjointed press conference that some of the more right-wing, conservative members of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives did earlier this morning.”
Sims noted that Pennsylvania House Republicans had been attempting for a couple of months to “create a scenario wherein they could essentially steal the popular vote from Pennsylvanians” should Biden win the state, and instead “replace the 20 electors for Pennsylvania with their own Republican electors and send that off to the Electoral College.”
“Now the first thing that I want to tell you is that…this idea is nothing new,” he said. “They were intending to do this whether they saw fraud or not, which they haven’t seen and aren’t able to produce any evidence of. And so really what they’re doing is continuing to sort of beat the same drum that they’ve been beating for months now.
“Part of this is to try to alleviate their constituents who have demanded this of them,” Sims continued. “For months, they’ve been laying claim that if the popular vote didn’t go the way that they wanted it to, that they would try to find a scenario that would allow them to choose their own electors, and so part of this is just having to follow through on the lie and the scheme that they created to begin with.”
Sims followed that by pointing to the investigations that have been carried out into claims of voter fraud — including in Pennsylvania, where Biden currently leads Trump by almost 50,000 votes as of press time.
“The second thing that I want to make sure people know is that this just isn’t going to go anywhere,” Sims said. “As both a legislator, a lawmaker, and as an attorney, I can tell you that Pennsylvania’s Attorney General Josh Shapiro, Pennsylvania’s Governor Tom Wolf, and [a] mountain of attorneys…have reviewed this claim and all the claims that the Pennsylvania GOP and the Trump White House continue to throw at us. And we know there’s just simply no there there.”
Sims, who was last week elected to his fifth term in the Pennsylvania House, recently spoke to Metro Weekly about the election, a Biden victory, and the historic wins for LGBTQ candidates across the country.
Asked about how we deal with Trump if he refuses to accept the result of the election, Sims noted that Pennsylvania’s results are largely out of Trump’s control.
“What I am very comfortable with is that, for as much of a dumpster fire as his administration has been, and as much of a crook as he is, Donald Trump has no control over the Pennsylvania General Assembly, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, and the governor’s mansion,” Sims said. “He has no control over Pennsylvania election law. As much as he would like to have those things, we have hundreds of years of jurisprudence that take those out of his hands. We have seen what he does with the things in his control, and it’s dastardly. But these are out of his control.”
He added: “Can Donald Trump and his lawyers file lawsuits? Of course they can. They were going to anyway — we’ve been watching their legal teams ramp up. But everybody in America knows that the difference between filing a lawsuit and having a leg to stand on in a lawsuit are two completely different things. Donald Trump has lived his life as kind of a litigious prick, suing and suing and suing his way to the top. And that’s not going to work here.”
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Rhuaridh Marr is Metro Weekly's online editor. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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