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Pa. House Republicans ask Dems to ‘address’ Rep. Brian Sims’ social media flap

Sims, a Democrat from Center City, has promised to "do better for the women of Pennsylvania."

State Rep. Brian Sims, D-Philadelphia.
State Rep. Brian Sims, D-Philadelphia.Read moreMatt Rourke / AP

HARRISBURG — House Republican leaders this week asked their Democratic counterparts to “address” a controversy involving State Rep. Brian Sims of Philadelphia, whose posts of himself berating antiabortion protesters caused a social media firestorm.

“Rep. Brian Sims’ actions reflect the worst in how people should behave and treat one another in a civil society,” the Republican leaders said in a statement issued late Wednesday. “We expect him to accept full responsibility for his egregious and unacceptable behavior and to pledge that he will meet the high standards that the people of Pennsylvania have for their elected officials.”

The statement did not specify what they would like Democratic leaders to do regarding Sims, a Democrat who represents Center City. Sims drew national attention after he posted videos of himself berating protesters outside a Planned Parenthood clinic in his district, at one point calling a woman’s conduct “disgusting,” “racist,” and “grotesque.”

Shortly after the post went viral, one Republican leader called for a criminal investigation and another called for an investigation by the House Ethics Committee.

Sims could not immediately be reached. He previously acknowledged that his behavior was “aggressive” and promised to “do better.”

Bill Patton, a spokesman for House Democrats, said Thursday that Sims discussed his behavior “at length” with House leaders from both parties.

“Democratic leaders addressed the matter with Sims privately and are satisfied it will not be repeated,” Patton said in a statement. “Republican leaders are aware of this."