April 4, 2013

Admirably, Allyson Schwartz has been a real fighter for Women's Choice. Unfortunately, her progressive credentials stop there. PA-13-- Northeast Philadelphia -- is one of the most liberal districts in Pennsylvania. Obama beat McCain 65.4-33.7% in 2008 and did even better last year-- 66.2-32.9%. Schwartz was reelected with 69% of the vote, 66% in Montgomery County and 74% in the parts of the district within Philadelphia. She's always been extremely cautious to not get out ahead on any contentious issues and tends to vote very conservatively for a Democrat in a safe seat, especially on issues of economic justice. Now she's running for the gubernatorial nomination and is giving up her seat in the House. This is the perfect time to replace her with a real leader and a courageous fighting progressive. State Senator Daylin Leach fits the bill perfectly. Take a look at the video up top. You have to admire a politician who brags about an "F" from the NRA.

But an "F" from the NRA isn't why he's so well known in the area. He's been taking on tough issues that most politicians are afraid to get anywhere near-- from legalizing marijuana and pushing marriage equality to labeling genetically engineered food. He's been a major opponent in the state legislature of Republican efforts to privatize and voucherize public education and has been one of the leading voices against GOP efforts at voter suppression. Yesterday Imentioned that I spoke with another congressional candidate, this one in Florida, about important issues. When I mentioned specific tough issues, she punted, reverted to generalities and made excuses about hanging up. When I asked her about the Chained CPI I wasn't sure if it was ignorance or a desire to play everything close to the vest. When I asked Daylin about Chained CPI, I felt like I was on the phone with Bernie Sanders or Raul Grijalva. "At a time when corporate profits, executive compensation, the stock market and wealth disparity are at near record highs, it is obscene to even consider balancing our budget on the backs of seniors and veterans," he instantly responded. "I fully supported President Obama's election, but I can't support any drift towards corporatism to appease tea-party extremists."

And he had a lot of answers like that to my questions. When I asked him how to deal with Medicare, he reminded me of Alan Grayson: "Some complained that the Affordable Care Act was over 2,000 pages. My health care reform would be two words. Where it says in the law that people over 65 are eligible for Medicare, I would cross out 'over 65.' Done."

Although we've been following his career since 2011, we just had our first conversation yesterday and we're satisfied enough that he's the real thing that we've made him an official Blue America endorsee. His record in the state legislature made the process a lot faster. (Besides he has the funniest website I ever saw from a politician.) Meanwhile, if you'd like to contribute, you can do so on our ActBlue page. We're working on setting up a live online chat. But you'll get a pretty good idea who he is if you watch the video above.

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