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As Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz (D. PA-13) is leaving Congress to unseat highly unpopular Governor Tom Corbett (R. PA) next year, more news is developing on who will succeed Schwartz in the House:

Marjorie Margolies plans to file a statement of candidacy Thursday for the 13th District U.S. House seat that she held for one term in the early 1990s, sources close to the former congresswoman said.

Then-Rep. Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky cast the deciding vote to enact President Bill Clinton’s economic plan, which increased taxes $241 billion. Much of the burden fell on wealthy taxpayers, but there was also a hike in the gas tax, and she had promised in her 1992 campaign to oppose tax increases.

Margolies, 70, who now heads Women's Campaign International, which develops female political leaders in emerging democracies, and teaches government at the University of Pennsylvania, has always defended her reluctant vote as the right thing to do. (She resumed her maiden name after a divorce.)

She has deep ties to the Clintons. Maroglies is Chelsea Clinton’s mother-in-law. Her son, Marc Mezvinsky married the former first daughter in 2010. - Philadelphia Inquirer, 5/29/13

I don't doubt that Margolies would make a great candidate to win this seat but I think State Senator Daylin Leach is the best candidate in this primary.  I wrote about Leach a little while ago and you can read more about him here:

Let me give you a few good reasons why the Daily Kos community should throw their support behind Daylin Leach.  First off, he's an outspoken supporter of legalizing and regulating marijuana:

On April 3, State Sen. Daylin Leach (D-MontCo) introduced the “Regulate Marijuana Act”, alongside co-sponsors Sens. Farnese (D-Philadelphia) and Ferlo (D-Allegheny), which would legalize recreational marijuana in Pennsylvania, making it “a regulated product, treated in a way similar to how alcohol is treated,” according to Leach’s original memo on the bill. His bill would legalize the consumption of pot for adults 21 and over.

The senator, who is running for Rep. Allyson Schwartz’s U.S. Congressional seat in 2014 (which includes parts of north and northeast Philly), additionally noted: “Our foolish, ill-conceived, costly and destructive policy must end … People across our Commonwealth have spent time in prison, lost time at work, been forced to hire lawyers and had their lives disrupted,” Leach continued, “and sometimes destroyed because they used a product less dangerous than beer, less risky than children’s cough syrup and less addictive than chocolate.” - Philadelphia Weekly, 5/16/13

Leach is a strong supporter of GMO labels:

Protests were held around the country and the world Saturday against agribusiness giant Monsanto to call attention to health and environmentalconcerns about genetically engineered food.

“I’m here today because the people of Pennsylvania deserve the opportunity to know what’s int their food, to know what they’re feeding their family,” State Senator Daylin Leach said at the rally on Independence Mall in Philadelphia.

Leach has introduced a bill requiring the labeling of food that contains genetically modified organisms (GMOs). They’re already in the food supply, but it’s not yet known if or how they’ll affect people’s health. - CBS Philly, 5/25/13

He's a great ally in the LGBT community and has been a harsh critic of the Wynnewood-based Sports Camp that teaches "gay therapy":

The camp, not surprisingly, has drawn criticism from some quarters. State Senator Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery), in a statement released through his office, said that the camp stigmatizes homosexuality and suggested that programs like Courage only make life more difficult for young people who are gay:

It’s long been known that sexual preference has a genetic link and is not, in fact, attributed to any sort of childhood rejection or trauma, as advocates for this camp have suggested.

In fact, a recent study has discovered that epi-marks – genetic markers that control gene expression – play a large role in determining if one is born homosexual or heterosexual. According to the researchers who conducted the study, 'Different epi-marks protect different sex-specific traits from being masculinized or feminized – some affect the genitals, others sexual identity, and yet others affect sexual partner preference.’

To encourage our youth to deny themselves of who they are and to tell them that their sexual preference and gender identification are wrong is unconscionable. Instead of telling kids that they need to change the very fiber of their beings, we should encourage them to be confident and self-assured. It is hard enough to be a teenager, and we should not make that transitional time of self-discovery any more difficult.

By allowing them to embrace who they are, teenagers have a fighting chance at becoming well-adjusted adults. It is not our place as a society to tell anyone that being gay is a problem that should be ‘cured’ or ‘fixed’. That type of bigoted mentality will only breed cruelty and discrimination for years to come. - Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch, 5/24/13

And he's a huge opponent of fracking and has introduced fracking chemical disclosure legislation:

As we noted last March, Pennsylvania’s then-new shale gas law, Act 13, includes an oft-overlooked provision that would allow the state’s doctors to request information on fracking health hazards but would not allow them to share that information with anyone — including, as far as the language of the law makes clear, their patients.

Within a month of that fact becoming public, state Sen. Daylin Leach announced he planned on writing a bill which would “create a clearer and more comprehensive definition for the ‘medical necessity’ exemption under which drilling companies must immediately provide information requested if a health care professional can show the details are relevant to treatment or diagnosis of a patient.” He did. It went nowhere.

On Wednesday, Leach released a new memo to the state legislature, noting he will be re-introducing that bill to “clarify the rights and responsibilities of physicians and other health care professionals as set forth in the recently passed Act 13.”

He notes that the law, as it currently stands, “allows drilling companies to withhold from the public the composition of fracking fluid … if they deem it to be ‘proprietary information’” — and that ain’t right.

Gov. Corbett and others have repeatedly said that Leach is misinterpreting the law — that sure doctors can tell their patients whatever they need to! Leach’s response is straightforward: If this ambiguity in Act 13 wasn’t intended, then the governor and the legislature should be in favor of clarifying the language as he suggests.

As noted in his memo, Leach’s bill would (a) require gas companies to comply with health-care professionals’ requests for information regarding fracking fluid content, (b) allow health-care professionals to share that information with their patients, and c) if necessary, allow health-care professionals to share that information with “public health officials at the local, state or federal level, as well as, in the case of an emergency, the public-at-large.” - Philadelphia Weekly, 1/11/13

And these are just a few reasons to get behind Leach's campaign.  I received an e-mail from Daylin's campaign highlighting his achievements and discussing the issues he's currently focused on in the State Senate:
The official start of summer is finally here. Like most families, when the weather gets warm we pack the kids into the car for a long drive while the stereo blasts Gilbert Gottfried's reading of all four of Robert Caro's LBJ biographies. It's very cute, the kids are now old enough to "beg" and "plead" with us to turn it off.

Already this summer, the campaign has gotten off to a great start, we've already spoken out against the abuses of big business, and received the endorsement of the thousands of members of the UAW!

I couldn’t have come this far without your support and am asking you to click here to contribute $250, $100, $50, or whatever you can afford to give to help us keep building:

Over the next few months I'll be spending quite a bit of time in Harrisburg -- because the start of summer also means budget season for Pennsylvania and there are a host of really important issues on the docket that I will be taking the lead on:

SB915 - The Safe Harbor bill for Sexually Exploited Children. This legislation presumes that any minor involved in prostitution is a victim of human trafficking and protects them from criminal prosecution. SB915 continues the bi-partisan work that I have been doing to prevent human trafficking in Pennsylvania.

SB300/HB300 - The LGBT non-discrimination bill. As Chair of the LGBT Caucus in the State Senate, I will be working to bring this bill to a vote on the floor of the Senate. It is unconscionable that it is legal to discriminate against people based on their sexual orientation and gender identity, and this bill (once it becomes law) will rightfully protect members of the LGBT community.

Fighting SB3/HB818 - A bill to bar coverage of abortions under health insurance policies offered as part of Obamacare. I will be leading the fight against this bill. It is important to be clear that the only purpose for this bill is so the right-wingers in Harrisburg can exploit a partisan divide to further limit women's access to health care.

We will also be debating measures that weaken organized labor, strengthen gun laws, increase tax breaks for corporations, restore funding for public education, increase expansion of protection from abuse orders and so much more. I will be sure to update you as all of this progresses and make sure you have the opportunity to make your voice heard. Just like I will when I am in Congress.    

And finally, when I'm not with my family, or in Harrisburg, I'll be working toward the June 30th fundraising deadline (which is an incredibly important deadline for our campaign). I'll be telling you a lot more about it in the weeks ahead, but in the meantime if you'd like to make a contribution, please click here, and if you'd like to host or attend a fundraiser, please email Vanessa at

Thanks as always for your support.



Please click here to donate to Daylin's campaign:

And if you would like to get involved with Leach's campaign, you can do so here:

Originally posted to pdc on Fri May 31, 2013 at 06:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by Philly Kos, LGBT Kos Community, DKos Pennsylvania, In Support of Labor and Unions, Milk Men And Women, Climate Hawks, and The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party.

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