I am going to wade into a fairly explosive political situation here. You don’t have to agree with me, but I expect the discourse to be civil. Yesterday on Twitter, someone was not particularly civil. I will be coming back undoubtedly to update this post because I think this situation is going to continue to unfold.
I have known Daylin Leach a long time at this point. Almost 20 years. I was introduced to him as my then about to be new Pennsylvania State Representative by former (and now retired) State Senator Connie Williams, whom I had known years prior to that.
When Daylin and I first met, I wasn’t exactly user friendly to him. (When he tells the story, it’s much funnier!) I was part of a group fighting eminent domain for private gain in Ardmore, PA and I kind of rolled up on him and was all “Hey what are YOU going to do about this?” (and was somewhat combative, truthfully, as this was very important to me that my friends not lose their small businesses and historic storefront buildings.)
As a State Representative, he was terrific and Connie Williams was a tough act to follow. (All the years Connie was in politics, I was a Republican for Connie Williams. I think she is awesome politically and personally.) His office door was open to all, and he was there for you no matter what your political persuasion. (I was still a Republican at the time. I am now an Independent if it matters.)
When Connie Williams decided to retire as State Senator, Daylin decided to run for her seat. That was a drama filled election starting with the primary races for it. But Daylin prevailed with a wide margin against Lower Merion Commissioner Lance Rogers (whom I also know.)
I actually was invited to Daylin’s victory party. It was held in Radnor Township at the Radnor Hotel. So you had Delaware County Democrats and Montgomery County Democrats given how far the 17th PA Senatorial District Reaches.
When I first got there and went up to congratulate Daylin, there was then Radnor Commissioner Bill Spingler (yes, THAT Bill Spingler from the news) sucking up. Spingler stops what he is saying, turns and stares at me as says (rather rudely) “What is SHE doing here? She’s a REPUBLICAN!” Daylin said something funny and to the effect that he was allowed to have friends who were Republicans. He completely relieved an unpleasant moment with humor.
Now if you know Daylin at all you know about the stand up comedian in him. He actually used to blog a million years ago. His opponents made a big, hairy deal out of it. I read it and well, what am I going to say? I am a blogger. People don’t like what I write every now and again, so not for me to judge. But as I do recall, the Philadelphia Inquirer made much of it. Now can that be said that was because well, Daylin Leach had been hyper-critical of the Philadelphia Inquirer? Hmmm so let’s do the math and take a trip down memory lane.
I found a website which memorialized a certain Philadelphia City Paper Article in 2005.
loose canon/ You Need Daylin Leach
So why is the Inquirer trying to get him thrown out of office? by Bruce Schimmel
Please note: This article is published as an archive copy from Philadelphia City Paper. My City Paper is not affiliated with Philadelphia City Paper. Philadelphia City Paper was an alternative weekly newspaper in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The last edition was published on October 8, 2015.
Why did the Inquirer‘s Harrisburg reporter, a columnist and the paper’s editorial board collectively carpet bomb Daylin Leach out of a job that you need him in?
Leach is the Democractic state representative for the Main Line and Upper Merion. A year into his second term, this young progressive has often aligned himself with Center City state Rep. Babette Josephs on issues critical to the city. This friend from suburbia is a rare blessing.
But it wasn’t his politics that triggered the Inky’s attacks. The newspaper hates the state rep because he had the audacity to diss them — several times and wickedly well — in printed op-ed pieces and in political satire on his Web site.
Like most cutting satire, Leach’s stuff is outrageous, sometimes obscene. But political satire exposes a kind of truth that traditional media often don’t get — and which is why millions now watch satirists like Al Franken, Bill Maher or Jon Stewart, instead of reading newspapers…..Leach took issue with the Inky’s Harrisburg reporting with a serious — and civil — op-ed piece published in the Inquirer.
The article goes on and you can read it in it’s entirety here: You Need Daylin Leach 2005 Philadelphia City Paper as seen in My City Paper .
I have not ever been a donor to any of Daylin’s campaigns. As a rule of thumb, I do not contribute to any political campaigns financially. And let me tell you another little personal Daylin story.
I wanted to meet Michelle Obama when her husband was first running for President. On March 13, 2008 I had that opportunity and did. It was a small venue and I was one of like 50 women. Daylin Leach gave me the ticket to the event. He could have given it to someone who could have done something for him politically, of his own political party. But he did not. He gave me that ticket and it was a once in a lifetime very cool kind of thing I shall remember always. I got to meet a future First Lady.
Anyway, my point is (right or wrong), Daylin and the Inquirer have had a seriously rocky relationship. And no, not everyone likes Daylin. He’s a politician. And he’s a politician who walks to the beat of his own drummer. Even his own political party isn’t necessarily enamored of him in my humble opinion.
But is Daylin Leach worthy of the ire of the #metoo movement? I don’t think so.
Yesterday I said so the Philadelphia Inquirer and political foes are trying to “Al Franken” Daylin Leach. Where are Dan Muroff for Congress ‘s paws in all of this? There are few politicians who I would defend, but Daylin is one of them. And seriously where are they in all of this? And might I add, Governor Tom Wolf has been lickity split quick to jump on the let’s-burn-Daylin-at-the-stake hit parade, hasn’t he?
Of course Governor Wolf is saying this….he’s up for re-election and will say anything to keep himself in the Governor’s office, right?
I have to ask about how it is Governor Wolf is saying this? Are we now all guilty until proven innocent? Himself included? Is Wolf the living embodiment of let he who is without sin cast the first stone?
I wasn’t voting for Wolf already because of the whole Sunoco Pipeline issue, so this is just yet another reason to look at other candidates, but I digress.
Oh and because I as a woman do not believe this whole thing, yes I was briefly vilified on Twitter. Isn’t it interesting that as a woman I am only apparently allowed to share the same opinion as every other woman, and not allowed to have my own individual opinion? So much for “you’ve come a long way baby”, right?
Things need to be done the right way. And to persecute people for every dumb ass off-color remark or what someone perceives to be an incorrect glance is not a way women should want to rule the world.
Where I have a problem with a lot of the stuff is it minimizes what actual victims of sexual assault, sexual harassment, and domestic violence go through. It all can’t be lumped together. It can’t.
This is just more of the politics of ugliness that is running rampant across this country.
Is Daylin a perfect person? No, but are any of us? He’s a guy who overcame great odds to get where he is. But he is also a man with a beautiful wife and children who are also being punished by this political witch hunt. And to me, right or wrong, this is a political with hunt. When a sitting governor up for re-election and not exactly well liked in many quarters hops on board this train SO fast, sorry doesn’t it make you a little suspicious?
Some of the comments I have seen written by women who have no dog in this race, and don’t know Daylin have said:
I’m trying to find the middle ground…where a man is just a stupid ass as opposed to a pedophile or a rapist.
We are losing nuance. No one should get fired over dumbass jokes. Save the big guns for serious, intentional harassment and crimes. Goes for Franken too, imho.
There is a quote in the Inquirer article that says:
Aubrey Montgomery, a former finance director for Leach’s first campaign for Senate in 2008, said Leach has consistently supported policies that help women.
“But,” she said, “as great as his legislative record is for women globally, he can be awful to women individually.”
I have to ask is she thinks Daylin Leach is THAT awful, why is she Facebook friends with him and why does she share fond memories from her time with him? Oh wait….she is kind of part of opponent Dan Muroff’s team as per the Inquirer, right? Here is the other quote:
Montgomery said she continued to support Leach because she backed his policy positions. In recent years, however, she has done compliance work for, and donated money to, Dan Muroff, who is running against Leach in the Democratic primary for Congress.
Can’t have it both ways, my dear, or can you because it’s Pennsylvania politics after all?
And then the quotes concerning political conventions. Have you ever been to a national political convention? I have. I volunteered at The RNC 2000. I loved it, but suffice it to say you are all squished in everywhere like lemmings. And I saw things that would seriously raise eyebrows, not what was described in the Inquirer article.
The women who say Daylin is prone to inappropriate touching have me puzzled. Does he have political Tourette’s or something? Seriously, I have to ask, because I have never found him to be that guy, and there are plenty of them out there. And no, I am not “victim blaming”, I am expressing how I feel as a woman about all of this.
Here are Daylin’s own words on this:
Yes, politics is a sad, ugly business. And in this country today since the onset of the current administration in Washington, DC it has grown angrier and more divisive.
I am sorry on one hand that I know the women who believe they are victims in this particular case are going to be unhappy that I as a woman am not siding with them. But I can’t, because sadly (right or wrong), I do not believe them.
Daylin Leach may be many things, which at times might be considered arrogant (which I have always thought was a defense mechanism from the days when he was that foster kid struggling to survive), but do I believe he is some evil dude out to take advantage of young staffers or women in general? Hell no. If anything, he is one of the most consistent champions of the right that we as women should not have to work so hard to maintain.
The problem people have always had with Daylin is he has always been himself. Right or wrong, good or bad. And the other thing is if he thinks he has been wrong, he apologizes, doesn’t he?
But we as women cannot persecute every guy for every stupid dumb ass remark or perceived slight. Maybe sometimes things are in poor taste by some perceptions and interpretations, but that doesn’t make something necessarily illegal.
And for people to lay the cesspool that is Harrisburg at the feet of one guy is among other things, ludicrous. And that is an opinion I am entitled to. It seems to me if they do, there are a lot more hypocrites running around in Pennsylvania’s unfortunate state capitol that I originally imagined.
My press sources say Daylin is not talking to anyone. Heck, can you blame him? This is all happening during the holidays too, which I find additionally nasty. But, when someone is too great of a threat, politics happens, doesn’t it?
People are going to say, “Why does she care?” She’s just some middle aged woman. Well I wasn’t always. And I remember dealing with what were things that were actually unpleasant and true sexual harassment and inappropriate touching and more. This, which is being reported? Sorry, in my opinion, it doesn’t even come close. Women can’t cry wolf here, and neither should Governor Wolf.
Here are the articles:
PennLive: Pa. lawmaker accused of inappropriate touching, sex talk: report
Updated Dec 17, 12:37 PM; Posted Dec 17, 7:57 AM
PennLive: Gov. Tom Wolf calls for resignation of Sen. Daylin Leach following allegations of inappropriate behavior
Updated Dec 17, 10:05 PM; Posted Dec 17, 4:36 PM
Philadelphia Inquirer: News — State
Ex-staffers: Sen. Daylin Leach crossed line with sex talk, inappropriate touching
Updated: DECEMBER 17, 2017 — 6:06 AM EST
by David Gambacorta & Angela Couloumbis – Staff Writers
Thank you so very much for taking the time to post this, and for the many other things you publish. I completely agree that questionable accusations from things taken out of context or from sources with questionable motives are unjustly endangering the careers and good work of valuable politicians. Al Franken is another unfortunate example. Please keep on keeping on! Joan Bergquist
Very judicious, Carla. If metooism, moves from defense of women’s rights to a political aggression tool, both women and political life will lose. Daylin’s detailed explanation sounds genuine, unlike a lot of others. He should be afforded the right to go on with his life, both personal and political. As for what you say about the Governor, the country and his party would be better off if he had kept out of the 2016 campaign for US Senate. Former PA-07 congressman Joe Sestak would have won in the fall if Wolf had not done all he could in the spring to make Katie McGinty the Dem candidate, and we would not be afflicted with a Trump enthusiast representing PA in the Senate today. I was polled by Quinnipiac the other day and when asked whether I thought Trump should resign because of accusations of sexual harassment, I said No: there is a process and let’s see it. The moral, to me, is: let accusations play out and let voters vote.
Thank you Karla …I know you will keep pursuing this and other unfair and unfriendly commentaries. It’s sad to think that if something is printed, it’s believable or factual, without
taking the time to investigate. It seems the loudest and ugliest voice wins, or gets your article published regardless of ethics. Sensationalism has no boundaries. Defamation of character, does in court.
Too long to read thoughrly … but I get the drift … applause.hy
Well it’s not too long but if you don’t want to read the whole thing that’s fine.