Update: Mark Cohen has responded himself, in the comments below. Read the lengthy rebuttal yourself, but here’s a flavor.
One of the things I have come to accept is that people (with minor limitations) have basically a constitutional right to lie about elected officials. The simple facts are that, in this session of the House, I have a nearly 100% attendance record on the House floor and in the State Government Committee, that I have sponsored more bills and resolutions than any other House member, that I pushed through the House with its Republican majority the broadest Buy American government purchasing legislation in Pennsylvania history, and that I played a key role in the passage of the largest transportation funding bill in decades, which gave SEPTA over $300,000,000.
Rep. Brian Sims has angered fellow Dems in Harrisburg by backing Jared Solomon, who is challenging longtime Northeast Philly state representative Mark Cohen. (Here’s one challenger he’s not crazy about.) In a Facebook comment underneath his announcement that he was hosting a fundraiser for Solomon, he essentially accused Cohen of having dementia.
I don’t hate Mark Cohen but his behavior in the Capitol has been one of the most shocking surprises of my time there. Virtually every single person in the Capital has a story about Mark being lost in a bathroom or arguing with the plants or with the pictures on the wall. Much more importantly, he’s simply not showing up to the one committee he serves on and chairs, across from Daryl Metcalfe!
One could see how this might backfire… The full post is below:
I don’t hate Mark Cohen but his behavior in the Capitol has been one of the most shocking surprises of my time there. Virtually every single person in the Capital has a story about Mark being lost in a bathroom or arguing with the plants or with the pictures on the wall. Much more importantly, he’s simply not showing up to the one committee he serves on and chairs, across from Daryl Metcalfe! I can’t tell you how many State Government Committee meetings start with the executive director frantically running over to one of the freshman democrats who serves on the committee to say that no one can find Mark, people are looking for him throughout the building and someone has to stand in for him until he eventually stumbles into the room half way through the meeting and tries in vain to backtrack through a schedule that 24 other legislators have already worked through and showed up for. On several occasions the issues that he missed were major. On most occasions, he leaves everyone including his own staff scrambling to cover for him. The stories of him being absent minded and lost are famous in Harrisburg and while that might have been funny or cute in years past, given the gravity of the issues we’re working on, given that Metcalfe is the other Chair, and given that Mark is billing all of us for an extra 100 days a year in the Capitol and not even showing up or showing up on time to his one and only committee, it’s beyond unacceptable. I have no ill will towards the man but in just 14 months of serving alongside him, I’ve come to the same conclusion that all of our colleagues who avoid working with him, and all of the colleagues who attack us because of his behavior have come to, he does not appear to have the faculties to do this job anymore. It’s sad, it’s disappointing, and it’s the truth. I don’t hate him. What I hate is someone who isn’t doing their job, is costing us support and strength at a time when it’s desperately needed, and is billing all of us for more than any other legislator in Pa history. I have 91 colleagues on the Democratic side. Some I like and agree with, others I don’t. Mark is entirely different. He’s no longer doing a job, good or bad, that he’s been paid more than anyone else in state history to do and rather than simply allow a new person to give it a shot, something every other legislator that has served as long as he has ultimately has done, he trying to go back to do more of the same. It’s not fair to his district and it’s not fair to all of us who are working, who are showing up, and who are trying to make a difference.
H/T Philly Clout