|Leach in November 2012|
|Member of the Pennsylvania Senate
from the 17th district
January 3, 2009
|Preceded by||Connie Williams|
|Constituency||Parts of Delaware and Montgomery Counties|
|Member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives
from the 149th district
January 7, 2003 – November 30, 2008
|Preceded by||Wallis Brooks|
|Succeeded by||Tim Briggs|
|Constituency||Part of Montgomery County|
June 23, 1961 |
|Spouse(s)||Jennifer Anne Mirak|
|Children||Brennan Alice, Justin Robert|
|Alma mater||Temple University
University of Houston Law Center
Daylin Leach (born June 23, 1961) is a Democratic member of the Pennsylvania State Senate who has represented the 17th senatorial district since 2009. He was previously a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, representing the 149th district from 2003 to 2009. On April 2, 2013, he announced his candidacy for the U.S. House of Representatives for Pennsylvania's 13th congressional district.
Senator Leach is a prominent voice for women's issues and liberal causes in the Pennsylvania legislature. He ended the practice of shackling women in the criminal justice system during childbirth, passed legislation to raise awareness of human trafficking and create a hotline for captive workers, and battled unnecessary restrictions on abortion clinics. He has called for the acceptance of same-sex marriage and legalizing marijuana.
Early life, education, and early career
Leach was born in Philadelphia and graduated from Parkland High School in 1979 in Allentown, PA. He received a B.A. in political science from Temple University in 1983 and a J.D. from the University of Houston Law Center in 1986.
He practiced law for 16 years, focusing on family and education law. He taught constitutional law, legal ethics and First Amendment law as an adjunct professor at Cedar Crest College and Muhlenberg College. Leach served as president of the Pennsylvania Young Democrats in the early 1990s and on the Allentown Zoning Board from 1990 to 1994. He previously co-hosted a weekly political TV debate program entitled Lehigh Valley Firing Line.
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Leach first ran for the 149th legislative district in a special election on February 12, 2002 following the resignation of Democrat Connie Williams. Leach was the Democratic nominee and lost to Republican Wallis Brooks 48%-44%, a difference of just 273 votes.
In the November 2002 rematch of their February special election, the Brooks campaign sent dozens of direct mail advertisements, including one accusing Leach of defending child molesters as an attorney. On the Saturday before the election, one was sent to voters accusing Leach, a practicing Jew who lost family in the Holocaust, of being anti-Semitic. The mailer carried a bold headline of "Anti-Semitism, Neo-Nazism, Holocaust Denial. They are not 'a big joke.'" The incendiary charges stemmed from Leach's 1999 defense of an in absentia client from Texas who was sued in Allentown, Pennsylvania for comments allegedly made in an Internet chat room. Following the dismissal, the plaintiff took to the internet and posted diatribes denouncing Leach and the Texas man as anti-Semites that were unearthed by a Brooks researcher and used in the mailer. "She had to know I was Jewish, because it had come up in a debate. But since I have a non-Jewish surname, she apparently thought she could get away with this," Leach said. The campaign immediately convinced a local Jewish newspaper to denounce the mailer and reproduced the article on a flyer with a profile of Leach, emphasizing his Jewish roots and activism, on the reverse. By election day, 70 volunteers had hand-delivered the literature to most district households. On November 5, 2002, Leach defeated Brooks 53%-47%, a difference of 1,170 votes.
Leach won re-election to a second term, defeating Republican Brad Murphy 62%-38%.
Leach won re-election to a third term, defeating Republican Monica Treichel 67%-33%.
In August 2005, Daylin Leach published an op-ed article in the Philadelphia Inquirer blasting the paper's coverage of the 2005 Pennsylvania General Assembly pay raise controversy. In what the Philadelphia City Paper called "the paper's first round against Leach," Inquirer columnist John Grogan responded by accusing Leach of "funny math." In response, Leach "struck back" against the Inquirer with a satirical email to associates under the pseudonym "Dutch Larooo" skewering Inquirer reporter Mario F. Cattabiani.
On September 1, 2005, Mario F. Cattabiani published a front page article in the Philadelphia Inquirer that "exposed" Daylin Leach's long-standing and satirical blog "leachvent.com." The Philadelphia City Paper blasted the Inquirer for allowing Cattabiani to "answer his attacker" though a trumped-up news article, noting that "thousands of insiders have laughed at Leach's satire for years," but the Inquirer acted as though it had been "recently discovered." The Philadelphia City Paper noted that Cattabiani's article incorrectly characterized Leach's website as a "blog" rather than satire and had focused on Leach's pseudonym's "impure thoughts," while ignoring the "satirical attack" on his Cattabiani's reporting. The next day, Leach removed his website, allowing Cattabiani to "regurgitates the same spicy bits" in two subsequent front page stories. John Grogan jumped in declaring that Leach had "dug his own political grave." The Philadelphia City Paper criticized this fury of negative articles about Leach by noting that "hidden behind the newspaper's florid obsession with Leach's naughty bits, is the state rep's pointed satire of their mediocre coverage — a criticism that the newspaper never addresses...The Inquirer savaged this young legislator because his satire was hitting its mark: Them."
Notable accomplishments in the house include his bills that would allow hybrid cars into the state fleet, that give state funding for breast and ovarian cancer screening for low-income women, that would address redistricting reform, that would eliminate state's lethal use of paralytic drugs, and that would require hospitals to offer emergency contraception to sexual assault victims.
- State Government
When Connie Williams of Pennsylvania's 17th senate district decided to retire, Leach decided to enter the election. He was the Democratic nominee and defeated Republican Lance Rogers, a Montgomery County Commissioner, 62%-38%.
Leach won re-election to a second term, defeating Republican nominee Charles Gehret 63%-37%.
Daylin was awarded the 2008 Humane Legislator Award by the Humane Society, the 2011 Legislative Leadership Award by GVF Transportation, and the 2011 Friend of Education Award by the Lower Merion Education Association.
In January 2013, he proposed legislation that would legalize recreational use of marijuana in Pennsylvania for people 21 years or older, called the "Regulate Marijuana Act." The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board would regulate marijuana. In defending it, Leach argued “We would never, in a rational society, starting from scratch, have the policy we have now.”
- Consumer Protection & Professional Licensure
- Environmental Resources & Energy
- Judiciary (Chair)
2014 congressional election
On April 1, 2013, Main Line Times reported that Leach will run for the Pennsylvania's 13th congressional district, which is expected to be open as incumbent Democrat Allyson Schwartz is expected to run for Governor of Pennsylvania in 2014. However, while the majority of Upper Merion Township is within the boundaries of the 13th Congressional district, Leach's home in Wayne, Upper Merion Township is within the state's 7th Congressional district.
- "SESSION OF 2003 - 187TH OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY - No. 1". Legislative Journal. Pennsylvania House of Representatives. 2003-01-07.
- "2002 Special Election for the 149th Legislative District". Commonwealth of PA - Elections Information. Pennsylvania Department of State. 2004.
- Beiler, David; Joshua Runyan (2006-05-01). "The mail-zilla: attack of the monster direct mail mistakes.". Campaigns & Elections.
- Levy, Faygie; Joshua Runyan (October 2002). "When Even the Mudslinging Gets Dirty". The Jewish Exponent (Philadelphia).
- "The Best of the Freshman Class". PoliticsPA. The Publius Group. 2003. Archived from the original on 2003-01-19.
- Leach, Daylin (August 15, 2005). "Pay raise issue treated unfairly; The vote wasn't nearly as nefarious as it's being painted by the media". The Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia).
- Grogan, John (August 23, 2005). "Keep shaming legislative greed". The Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia).
- Emails archived at Bruce Schimmel's personal website
- Schimmel, Bruce (September 22–28, 2005). "You Need Daylin Leach". Philadelphia City Paper (Philadelphia: Philadelphia City Paper). Archived from the original on 2009-09-07.
- Archive copy at the Wayback Machine
- Cattabiani, Mario (September 2, 2005). "Off-color humor blog goes off-line;State Rep. Daylin Leach posted a note saying: "I was trying to make people laugh and think, not upset them."". The Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia).
- Cattabiani, Mario (September 3, 2005). "Blog by legislator to remain off-line;State Rep. Daylin Leach said the Web site was being pulled "permanently." He had vowed Thursday to put it back online.". The Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia).
- Grogan, John (September 5, 2005). "This blogger dug his political grave". The Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia).
Media related to Daylin Leach at Wikimedia Commons
- Biography at Ballotpedia
- Biography, voting record, and interest group ratings at Project Vote Smart
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
- Financial information (state office) at the National Institute for Money in State Politics
|Pennsylvania State Senate|
|Member of the Pennsylvania Senate for the 17th District
2009 – present
|Pennsylvania House of Representatives|
|Member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for the 149th District
2003 – 2009